County Recorder's Notes - Election History

Election 2016
Published Thursday, February 18, 2016


By Delisa Weeks

Kiowa County Clerk and Recorder



Why is Election Day on a Tuesday?

  • Years ago, when voters travelled to their polling locations by horse, having an election on Tuesday allowed them time to worship on Sunday and ride over on Monday.


How many votes were cast for President in the 2012 U.S. Presidential election?

  • 129.1 million votes were cast.  That's a voter turnout of about 53.6%



Why do presidents have to wait all the way until January 20 to assume office?

  • It used to be a lot longer.  Until 1937, presidents didn't get sworn in until March 4 because it took so long to count and report ballot results, and because of the winner's logistical issues in moving to the capital.  But then better technology kicked in, and the 20th Amendment moved presidential inaugurations to noon on January 20 allowing presidents to start taking care of business sooner. 


How many times has a candidate for president won the popular vote but lost the election? 

Four times in our nation's history,

  • In 1824 Andrew Jackson won the popular vote but got less than 50% of the electoral votes.  John Quincy Adams became the next president when he was picked by the House of Representatives.
  • In 1876 Samuel Tilden won the popular vote but lost the election When Rutherford B. Hayes got 185 electoral votes to Tilden's 184.
  • In 1888 Grover Cleveland won the popular vote but lost the election when Benjamin Harrison got 233 electoral votes to Cleveland's 168.
  • In 2000 Al Gore won the popular vote but lost the election to George Bush.  In the most highly contested election in modern history,  the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount of ballots, giving Bush the state's 25 electoral votes for a total of 271 to Gore's 255.   


In most Presidential Elections the candidate who wins the popular vote will also receive majority of the electoral votes, but this is not always the case, some electors abstain from voting, while other vote different than they pledged to vote.  Some states have passed legislation to fine electoral voters if they don't vote the way the system is set up for their state. 


The Kiowa County Clerk and Recorder can be reached at 719-438-5421 for voter information or email us at .