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How Elections Ought to Run: An Idealistic Overview From the 1940s — VIDEO How Elections Ought to Run: An Idealistic Overview From the 1940s... How Elections Ought to Run: An Idealistic Overview From the 1940s — ... How Elections Ought to Ru...

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Election 2012 / POLITICS

How Elections Ought to Run: An Idealistic Overview From the 1940s — VIDEO

(Perlinger Archives)

photo of Brian Resnick
November 5, 2012

It's 1944, and even at the peak of wartime America, the process of electing a national government is in smooth motion. The video below, produced in 1945 and preserved by the Prelinger Archives, guides us through Election Day in Riverton, Calif., "a city that is not very large, not very rich [and], not very old."

We meet Mrs. Dawson, the principal of Public School No. 2, and overseer of the election precinct. A Republican and Democrat join her to help with the election proceedings, and are cheerfully sure to remove all campaign paraphernalia before the voting begins. The first voter? A milkman who has been up since 4 a.m. making deliveries. The video then explains how the three branches of government work, and how "the ultimate power always rests in the hands of the voter."

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