Voting is a privilege that should be taken seriously. Even so, there are still some lighthearted facts about the historical process. Here are eight fun and/or interesting facts.
George Washington Used His Campaign Budget To Buy Drinks On Election Day
Apparently, George Washington liked to turn up. According to Thirteen, on Election Day in 1758, he used his campaign budget (50 pounds) to purchase 160 gallons of liquor and served it to the 391 voters. They state, “The custom of buying votes with booze was one of the English traditions imported to the American colony.”
Idiots can’t vote in Ohio
There is a clause in Ohio that prohibits idiots from voting — no, really. It reads, “No idiot, or insane person, shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.”
Countries Around The World Vote On Sunday
Here in America, we are a tad different than other countries. Per Mental Floss, most non-English speaking countries vote on Sundays. But some other English speaking countries are still different from us. In Canada, they vote on Mondays. The Brits vote on Thursdays, and Australians on Saturdays.
A Cartoonist Created The Two-Party Symbols
As Thirteen explains, Thomas Nash created the famous elephant and donkey when he lampooned the political parties in a cartoon in Harper’s Weekly magazine in 1874.
Victoria Woodhull Was The First Woman To Run For President
Victoria Woodhull broke barriers when she became the first woman to run for president in 1872. Thirteen points out that she also did some other extraordinary things in her lifetime. They include being the first women to open a stock brokerage firm, bankrolling a controversial newspaper, and getting arrested for publishing an article that accused preacher Henry Ward Beecher of adultery.
Voting Is Mandatory in Australia
Down below, Australians over 18 are required by law to register to vote and participate in elections. As Mental Floss adds, whoever doesn’t show up on Election Day is fined AU$20, which is around 15 U.S. dollars.
Astronauts Are Able To Vote From Space
Astronauts have had the ability to vote since 1997. As Mental Floss explains, “Once astronauts make their selections, their ballots—PDFs of the paper ballots they’d receive in the mail—are beamed back down to Earth, where clerks open the encoded documents and submit a hard copy of the astronaut’s ballot to be counted.”
Some Countries Have To Get Creative So Residents Can Vote
According to Mental Floss, in Gambia, where literacy is an issue, citizens cast their votes in a non-traditional way. They drop marbles into color-coded drums with pictures of the candidates. The outlet explains the process, saying, “each drum is rigged with a bell, which the marble after it’s dropped in, dings.” They add that if the bell rings more than once, workers will know that someone has broken the rules.