2008 — Down the Ballot: Welcome to the Wonderland of Political Campaigns
September – December
This exhibit is a guide to past national and local elections. Methods in how America voted, candidates who ran, and campaigning tools are included.
As it is election year, this exhibit signifies our nation’s right to vote and shows the significance of presidential influence.
Buttons, bumper stickers, cards, and other forms of campaigning have always had a part in America’s political history. As a staple of modern day campaigning the bumper sticker became popular in the 1930’s. Calvin Coolidge was the first known president candidate to use bumper stickers as part of his campaign.
Buttons date back to George Washington. In his day, buttons were actual buttons on one’s coat.
Caucuses and Memorbilia
The 2008 Oregon Delegation that attended the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Denver, Colorado.
Buttons, candy, passes, bags, clothing, and other memorbilia are included in this exhibit by Carl Fisher.
A paper deocuments the Caususes in Iowa. A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a political party.
This machine is a voting booth. It is a butterfly voting machine. Remember the infamous “CHADS” that were the center of the Florida voting controversy? Look closely around the edge of the booths case and you may see some CHADS.
“CHADS” are the leftovers of butterfly ballots after they have been punched and made ready to be machine counted.
In 1998, voters in Oregon passed a statewide ballot measure requiring that all elections be done by mail.
This machine is from the State of Washington, it was last used in 2004. Many individual counties in Washington are starting to move to the Vote By Mail model that Oregon started.
In this case are examples of mailers. Different political party representatives and parnters usually send out “mailers”, cards with information of the candidate, to neighborhoods. People are either targeted by their documented interests in various candidates in past elections or when they give money to a candidate. These would also be considered campaigning tools, however, mailers are more of information rather than support.
This is an example of thoughtful and witty advertisement of candidates. As well, pill boxes, cups, beer labels, and magnets just some of the forms political parties use to get their name to the public.
In the main display case, contains almost 80 years of Oregon political history.
Starting at the left is a scattering of American Presidential political memorabilia from various campaigns that have touched down in Oregon over the decades; from the 1950s with Ike Eisenhower to the 2004 presidential contest with John Kerry and George W. Bush.
Going to the right will take you through the exciting campaigns for statewide officeholders. Including the oldest buttons in the exhibit from the 1930s featuring Julius L. Meier, the only Independent candidate to hold the governorship elected in 1930 earning 54% of the vote. The other buttons include Charles Martin, Henry Hess, and Charles Sprauge. From the Governorship, to State Treasurer are found in this corner of the display.
Continuing around the display are local political items from races to mayor, to the State Senate. City Council, County, many of these are from the Portland area. Note the Neil Goldschmit for Mayor button and Frank Ivancie for Mayor. Both eventually became Mayor of Portland, and would continue a long rivalry between the two.
The last section includes the wide range of federal office seekers from Oregon Congress and the United States Senate. Some of Oregon’s greatest leaders have come from the halls of Congress. Mark Hatfield, Wayne Morse, John Dellenback, Edith Green, Les AuCoin…and many many more can be found in this collection
LOCATION: 1st Floor
Curator: Carl Fisher, WOU Political Science Student