This cartoon presents a lively scene of the newfound attention and excitement brought to the small town of a national political candidate. The participation of a local politician in a national race often thrust small towns into the spotlight and instilled an increased sense of pride in its inhabitants. The artist shows the hectic, circus-like appearance of a normally unknown town after the influx of the national press, onlookers, and the curious.
In the early 20th century voter intimidation by policemen was a real concern for Philadelphians. Laws were created to ban the police from inside polling stations in an attempt to protect voters from intimidation or violence. Days before the election of 1919, District Attorney Samuel P. Rotan released a statement reminding citizens of the laws and their rights as voters:
"A police officer, whether in uniform or otherwise, has no right to be in or about any polling place, or within fifty feet thereof, either during the counting and preparation of the return, except to make an arrest or to preserve order. It is a crime for any one to assault or intimidate any voter during the holding of an election, or to attempt to influence or overawe a voter, or to prevent him from voting..."
The cartoonist depicts the perception of the police force as thuggish and not helpful to the process of holding fair and free elections.
 McDougall, Walt. "Rotan To Punish Election Frauds." Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, PA). 1919, November 3: p. 02. Library of Congress - Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Retrieved from: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045211/1919-11-03/ed-1/seq-2/
The17th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1913 and gave the citizens the responsibility of directly electing U.S. Senators. Prior to this amendment, state legislatures chose which candidates would run for the office. This often resulted in undue influence by special interests and corrupt political machines.
Drawn a month before the amendment's passage, this cartoon depicts the demand for direct elections as a hungry alligator or crocodile. It has chased Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Boies Penrose and then President WIlliam Howard Taft up a tree to escape. Both politicians were considered enmeshed in the machine politics that direct elections would not benefit.
Our Documents: 100 Milestone Documents from the National Archives. (n.d.). 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Direct Election of U.S. Senators (1913). Retrieved from: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=58
As early as 1848, attempts were made to give women the right to vote. Originally, it was a question of interpreting the 14th amendment but that proved unsuccessful. When the 15th amendment was reconstructed to extended the right to vote to ex-slaves, the women’s suffrage movement plead that women should be included as well under the premise of “universal suffrage”, that was also denied. With the court case of Susan B. Anthony, who was criminally prosecuted for illegally voting in the 1872 election, the movement realized they would have no support in the courts system. So they looked to Congress, it was there that the seed of a 19th amendment was planted, when in 1878 a constitutional amendment was proposed to provide “‘The right of citizens to vote shall not be abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.’ This same amendment would be introduced in every session of Congress for the next 41 years.”
Source of quote: Linder, Doug. “Exploring Constitutional Law”, Women's Fight for the Vote: The Nineteenth Amendment. University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Kansas City, Missouri.
Linkto source: http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/nineteentham.htm
This cartoon shows the Democratic party in its usual depiction as a donkey and as a ineffectual door-to-door salesman. Behind a barely opened door is the voter who looks skeptically at the offered Democratic Guide to Prosperity. The cartoon implies the Democratic congressional campaign will be less than successful in this particular election.
This cartoon expresses the anticipation with which political parties and candidates await election results. The Democrats, as usual, are depicted as a donkey and the Republicans as an elephant. Both hungrily await the results delivered from the voters.
Here the cartoonist illustrates the tendency for opposing political parties to each claim a future victory at the voting booths. The cartoon points out that this is one of the few times both parties make the same assertion.
This cartoon argues that the truly successful politicians will be those that manage to keep the majority of the promises they made to the voters while running for office. The cartoonist likens these pre-election promises to eggs that successful politicians must "keep warm" to be successful.
The cartoon shows the figure of Ananias standing over the shoulder of a busy campaign manager as he writes out a long list of campaign claims.
The story of Ananias is told in the New Testament of the Bible. Following the example of other members of the early Christian church, Ananias sold his land and donated the proceeds to the church. When he went to turn the money over he lied about how much he made and held some back. The story recounts how he died on the spot as punishment from God.
The early Christian's name became associated with stinginess and lying. Seeing the extravagant claims of the campaign manager, Ananias exclaims "What a piker I was!" A piker is a person who is stingy or who only does things in small or cheap ways.
In was first election satire since 2004's "This Land" and "Good to be in DC", they bid farewell to Bush and give Obama and McCain a proper JibJab hazing! And, of course, who could forget about Hillary and Bill? This rip-roaring musical romp gives the election process the proper spanking it deserves!