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[civilwarwest] Soldier Voting -- Was: The most important campaign

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  • nickrelee@aol.com
    I just did a little looking up on the soldier vote. McPherson in Ordeal by Fire says by 1864 19 states allowed voting in the field, the notable exceptions
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2006
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      I just did a little looking up on the soldier vote.  McPherson in Ordeal by Fire says by 1864 19 states allowed voting in the field, the notable exceptions being Illinois and Indiana.  Seven of these included the soldier vote in the state totals while the other 12 calculated it separately.  In Reelecting Lincoln by John C Waugh he puts it as 13 counted it separately and 4 included it in the state total.  No word in either book what the 19 or 17 states were that allowed in field voting.  Waugh does list five states that required a soldier to be in his district to vote; Indiana, Illinois, Delaware, New Jersey and Oregon. 
       
      Waugh also says "The soldier vote wasn't deciding the election.  Only in Maryland was it making a difference, and there it didn't affect the presidential outcome.  That state's new constitution abolishing slavery would win by a slim 475 vote margin.  The soldier vote would decide it." (page 354)
       
      The comment that the soldier vote wasn't important because it was 150,635 out of 4 million isn't entirely accurate because 4-7 states calculated the soldier vote in their total, plus 5 made the soldiers come home.  So that's at least 9 states, and in Indiana and Illinois there were large numbers of soldiers, that the soldier vote cannot be separated from the state tally.  I'd guess that the soldier vote as closer to 300,000 or 400,000 which would make it 10% of the vote.  10% of the voters is a significant percentage.
      --Nick Kurtz
       
      In a message dated 9/1/2006 10:15:39 AM Mountain Daylight Time, clarkc@... writes:
      Of 4,175,000 votes cast, soldier's ballots totalled 154,000 (less
      than 4%) of the total. Lincoln garnered 120,000 of the votes by the
      boys in blue.
       
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