Willkie Novelty Ballot


Political candidates have often distributed campaign promotional materials intended to help voters understand how to vote, whether by marking a ballot with a pencil or with a mechanical switch. In 1940 when Republican Wendell Willkie challenged incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt, the world was focused on events in Europe and the beginnings of World War II. Willkie had been the dark horse candidate at the Republican National Convention, slipping ahead of favored candidate Thomas E. Dewey. As part of his campaign, Willkie attacked Roosevelt's unprecedented run for a third term and his inclination to involve America in the War. This novelty campaign ballot was created to influence voters specifically in Rockland County, New York. Notice the biographical information for the main candidates and the red levers that can only point in this sample ballot at the Republican nominations.


National Museum of American History.