Dakota Datebook

Bumper Ballots

Saturday, November 7, 2009


A strangely unique political ploy was reported from Bottineau on this day in 1910. The ploy was enacted by the Democratic headquarters that city, and was discovered and reported by a group of angry Republican supporters. Apparently, the Democrats were distributing bumper stickers in support of their candidate for governor, John Burke. Among the stickers was a design the Republicans found to be “…one of the crookedest and most insinuating” endeavors ever devised during an election. This sticker read, “For County Constable, C. A. Johnson;” the problem was that Johnson was Burke’s rival for governor. Because the trick was not discovered until the election came and went, several confused voters did just what the sticker asked, and voted Johnson for Constable. Burke went on to win the governorship for a third term.

Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job

The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Thursday, Nov. 10, 1910: p.1.
The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican. Monday, Nov. 7, 1910: p.1.

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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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