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Quotations for Election Day


An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry. ~George Eliot, Felix Holt, 1866

Mrs. Stuyvesant Fish is to give a "fairy-tale ball" at Newport. Somebody should go as a campaign promise. ~Poems and Paragraphs by Robert Elliott Gonzales, 1918

...the politicians... talked themselves red, white, and blue in the face... ~Clare Boothe, Europe in the Spring, 1940

Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the Powers That Be whether they are the Powers That Ought to Be. ~Sydney J. Harris, Publishers-Hall Syndicate, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1972

During a political campaign the air is full of speeches — and vice versa. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, compiled by Evan Esar, 1968

Wise politicians don't try to fool the people all the time, but only when votes are needed. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor

It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting... ~Tom Stoppard, Jumpers, 1972  [Dotty —tg]

I like the smell of a dunged field, and the tumult of a popular election. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right? ~Robert Orben

Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least. ~Robert Byrne, The Third — and Possibly the Best — 637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, 1986

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote — a very different thing. ~Walter H. Judd

BALLOT BOX.  The altar of democracy. ~H. L. Mencken

A mugwump is a man in politics who never votes for anybody, but who is always voting against somebody. ~Richard Croker, 1890s

In this country people don't vote for, they vote against. ~Will Rogers (1879–1935)

Hell, I never vote for anybody. I always vote against. ~W. C. Fields (1880–1946)

The right to vote is the fundamental citizenship right that protects all other rights. ~Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., 2005

Lucy: Life is a mystery, Charlie Brown… Do you know the answer?
Charlie Brown: Be kind, don't smoke, be prompt, smile a lot, eat sensibly, avoid cavities and mark your ballot carefully…
~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1969

Our political leaders will know our priorities only if we tell them, again and again, and if those priorities begin to show up in the polls. ~Peggy Noonan, Patriotic Grace: What It Is and Why We Need It Now, 2008

Many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time... ~Winston Churchill

Voting is the language of democracy. ~Wade Henderson

There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, compiled by Evan Esar, 1968

People on whom I do not bother to dote
Are people who do not bother to vote...
And excuse themselves by saying What's the difference of one vote in fifty million?
They have such refined and delicate palates
That they can discover no one worthy of their ballots,
And then when someone terrible gets elected
They say, There, that's just what I expected!...
Oh let us cover these clever people very conspicuously with loathing,
For they are un-citizens in citizens' clothing...
~Ogden Nash (1902–1971), "Election Day Is a Holiday"

There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter. It all matters. ~Barack Obama, 2016

Yet every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country — and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians. ~Charles Krauthammer, "Political Suicide," in The Washington Post, 1994

Our presidential race is beginning to sound more and more like Harry Potter's duel with the Ministry of Magic. ~David J. Beard (1947–2016), @Raqhun, tweet, 2008

And that conviction will, I dare say, be backed up by the greatest torrent of money ever poured out to influence an American election — poured out by the men who fear nothing so much as change and who want everything to stay as it is — only more so. This idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal — that you can gather votes like box-tops — is, I think, the ultimate indignity to the democratic process. ~Adlai E. Stevenson, 1956

Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved, and they actually paralyze what slight powers of cerebration man can normally muster. ~James Harvey Robinson, c. 1930

Make no mistake, here in our time, it's more important than ever that we show up to vote, not just this year, but every year and in every election. Every voice must be heard and every vote must be counted. ~Michelle Obama, 2012

Not voting is not a protest — it is a surrender. ~Keith Ellison, 2016

Why can we land people on the Moon, machines on Mars and transfer trillions internationally, but can't figure out how to run efficient, accurate and fair elections? ~Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., 2004

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; just go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, compiled by Evan Esar, 1968

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them. ~Adlai E. Stevenson, 1952

A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation. ~James Freeman Clarke

The right to vote is the crown jewel of American liberties, and we will not see its luster diminished. ~Ronald Reagan, 1981

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President. I'm beginning to believe it. ~Clarence Darrow

If Voting Changed Anything, They'd Abolish It  ~Ken Livingstone, 1987

We'd all like to vote for the best man, but he's never a candidate. ~Kin Hubbard  [spelling standardized —tg]

That terrible earthquake at some unknown point is probably the recoil from the November landslide. ~Indianapolis Star, 1920

I wish there was no period between election day and inauguration, and every sitting president had to have their bags packed on election night like it was an episode of The Bachelor. ~Taffy Brodesser-Akner, @taffyakner, tweet, 2020,

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published 2002 Oct 2
revised 2021 Sep 30
last saved 2024 Apr 21