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Inventory of the Elections Division. California Secretary of State Records
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Arrangement and Description

 

1. Reports of Voter Registration. 1912-Date.

Scope and Content Note

For the period 1912-1964 voter registration statistics are found in the published Statement of Vote. Issued by the Secretary of State in each election year the statement lists by county the number of registered voters, number of votes cast in the previous primary or general election, and the number of precincts. In 1922 the information was expanded to include registration by party, including the categories cf miscellaneous and declined to state. In 1962 the Report of Registration became a separate publication. The Report of Registration is published three times during each election year and once in nonelection years and is compiled from statements submitted by county clerks and registrars of voters. The original submitted statements become a permanent part of the Elections Record Group.
One purpose of the county registration statements is to enable the Secretary of State to determine whether a new political party has qualified for election participation by the registration method. New political parties are determined on the basis of the January report in even-numbered years. Another purpose is to establish comparative registration figures concerning party strength in election years. The January report in nonelection years reflects the purge of persons who failed to vote in the previous election.
Contents: The Report of Registration lists voter registration by a number of categories. The major categories include registration by county, congressional, senatorial, and assembly districts and by subdivisions within the counties. Subdivisions within the counties for which registration is listed are supervisorial, congressional, senate, and assembly districts and incorporated cities and unincorporated areas. Supplemental tables and charts reflect changes in registration over the previous decade and increases in voter registration over previous registration periods or elections and provide estimates by counties of the percent of the eligible population registered to vote.
 

2. Nomination Papers-statewide Offices. 1894-Date.

Scope and Content Note

Candidates for statewide offices must file a declaration of candidacy with the Secretary of State before their names can be placed on the ballot. The original provisions for such filings are found in legislation enacted in 1891 ( Stats. 1891, ch. 130). Beginning with the 1892 general election all nominations, by convention or otherwise, were required to be certified to by the Secretary of State. The same law also placed responsibility for the printing of ballots in the hands of the county clerks. Prior to 1891 anyone, upon application to the Secretary of State, could obtain ballot paper and print tickets bearing a slate of candidates (Pol. Code [1886 ed.], Sec. 1189). Such a system often led to corrupt election practices. The convention system of nomination of statewide and local candidates disappeared with enactment of the 1909 Direct Primary Law ( Stats. 1909, ch. 405).
Contents: A declaration of candidacy may be made by the candidate or by sponsors on his behalf. When made by sponsors the candidate's affidavit of acceptance is filed with the declaration (Elections Code, Sec. 6490). A candidate who personally declares his candidacy is required to cause sponsor certificates to be executed by his sponsors. The number of sponsors required varies with the office and is set forth in Section 6495 of the Elections Code. The sponsors certificate is prepared and signed by a verification deputy appointed by the candidate (Elections Code, Sec. 6500).
A candidate's declaration includes information as to his name, residence, occupation, business address, name of employer, political offices held, party registration, and statement of qualifications for office. The names of the individuals appearing on the sponsor's certificates also have informational value.
Each primary election year a number of candidates fail to qualify for the ballot through failure to file the required number of sponsor signatures, not meeting filing deadlines, lack of proper affiliation with a political party, and the like. In such cases there is a separate file containing correspondence between the Secretary of State's office and the individual respecting the disqualification.
 

3. Nomination Papers-Presidential Primary Nominees. 1928-Date.

Scope and Content Note

Qualification for the presidential primary involves procedures not required of candidates for other offices. An organizing committee is formed for each nominee to select and qualify a separate slate of delegates to the national convention of the candidate's party.
The chairman of each qualified party state central committee takes the initial action. The chairman must notify the Secretary of State on or before the first day of March immediately preceding the presidential primary as to the number of delegates to represent the state at the party's next national convention (Elections Code, Sec. 6020). The number of delegates having been certified by the Secretary of State, the various organizing committees select candidates for delegates equal in number to which the party is entitled, name alternates, and appoint verification deputies to circulate nominating petitions. There is no restriction as to the number of pledged or unpledged slates on the ballot of any one party. Before the nominating petitions are circulated each candidate must endorse the slate pledged to him (Elections Code, Sec. 6055). Candidates for delegate must file an affidavit of candidacy expressing preference for a specific person as presidential nominee, or, if an unpledged group, the name of the chairman of the group (Elections Code, Sec. 6057).
Nomination papers for candidates for delegate of any party are signed by not less than one-half of one and not more than two percent of the vote polled for the party's candidate for Governor at the last preceding election at which a Governor was elected. Delegates are spread over all Congressional Districts in order to give each district representation (Elections Code, Sec. 6053).
California's Presidential Primary Law changed with the 1976 presidential primary as a result of the passage of Proposition No. 4 in the 1972 primary. California now has an open primary system similar to those found in many other states. All avowed or announced candidates will be placed on the ballot. Candidates not wishing their name to appear on the ballot will have to file an affidavit with the Secretary of State.
Contents: Nomination papers for certified presidential nominees for the period 1928-date are filed in the Elections Record Group and include the nominating petitions for presidential nominees and affidavits of candidacy of delegates and alternates. The presidential nominating petitions consist of lists of signatures and addresses as gathered by one or more verification deputies sufficient to qualify the slate of delegates on the ballot. Nominating petitions are grouped by county as received from the respective county clerks or registrars of voters who have determined whether the signers are valid registered voters. The affidavits of candidacy for delegate include the delegate's name, address, congressional district, precinct, party affiliation, and preference for presidential nominee or name of chairman if an unpledged delegation. The affidavits of candidacy for delegates are filed with the organizing committee's statement or letter listing the name of the committee and names of officers, the presidential nominee's endorsement of the slate of candidates, and any correspondence relative to qualification of the slate of delegates.
 

4. Certified Lists of Candidates. 1916-Date.

Scope and Content Note

Once a candidate has properly filed nomination papers the Secretary of State certifies his candidacy to the respective county clerks ( Stats. 1891, ch. 130). Samples of the statements of certification can be found filed with the year-to-year election returns, although for many years none have been preserved. Published lists of certified candidates were first issued in 1954.
Contents: The Certified List of Candidates, in its published form, includes the name of the office, number of the district (where applicable), name and address of candidate, designation of candidate's office or occupation, and party affiliation. Write-in candidates are not included. A separate publication is issued in each presidential election year for delegates and alternates to party national conventions. Delegates and alternates and their addresses are listed under the name of the person for whom a preference as the party's nominee for President has been expressed or under the name of the chairman of a group expressing no preference (Elections Code, Sec. 6170, 6375).
 

5. Ballot Measures. 1911-Date.

Scope and Content Note

Ballot measures qualify for the ballot by exercise of the initiative or referendum by the electorate or by legislative action, i.e. Senate or Assembly Constitutional Amendment. The initiative and referendum methods were approved at a special election held in October, 1911.
In order to qualify an initiative measure for the ballot its proponents must submit, before circulation, a draft of the petition to the Attorney General with a request that he prepare a title and summary of the chief purposes and points of the proposed measure ( Stats. 1915, ch. 42). The petition must then be signed by qualified voters equal in number to at least eight percent, in the case of an amendment to the Constitution, or five percent in the case of a statute, of the votes for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election. Based on the 1970 gubernatorial returns, a measure qualified for the 1972 ballot by the filing of petitions bearing the signatures of 520,806 (8%) or 325,504 (5%) electors. Qualification of a legislative ballot measure requires the concurrence of two-thirds of the membership of each house.
Important to an understanding of the background and intent of a ballot measure are the ballot arguments. When a measure is submitted by the legislature the author and one member of the same house who voted for the measure are appointed by the presiding officer of that house to draft an argument for adoption. The presiding officer also appoints a member who voted against the measure to draft an argument against adoption. If the legislature fails to draft an argument either for or against a measure, any voter may request the presiding officer for permission to prepare and file an argument (Elections Code, Sec. 3527.4). Ballot arguments for initiative or referendum measures are filed with the Secretary of State. Any voter may, within the time limit, prepare and file with the Secretary of State an argument for or against any measure for which arguments have not been prepared or filed (Elections Code, Sec. 3563). Arguments may not exceed five hundred words. In addition to the primary argument each side has the opportunity of writing a rebuttal argument not to exceed 250 words (Elections Code, Sec. 3565.5).
When an issue qualifies for the ballot the Legislative Counsel prepares an impartial analysis in general terms showing what effect a Yes and No vote will have on the measure and an impartial detailed analysis of the measure showing the effect of the measure on the existing law and the operation of the measure (Elections Code, Sec. 3566). The Legislative Analyst also prepares an impartial analysis of a measure if, in his opinion, it involves additional expense to the state (Elections Code, Sec. 3566.3). The analysis is printed in the ballot pamphlet with the Legislative Counsel's analysis and the ballot arguments. The Secretary of State causes the ballot pamphlets to be printed and distributed to each county clerk who in turn distributes them to the electors.
Contents: In most cases where an initiative petition is submitted to the Secretary of State, only the summary as compiled by the Attorney General has survived. In a few cases all petitions, including signatures sufficient to qualify the measure, have been preserved. The text of legislative ballot measures is printed in the statutes for each session and may also be found in the Legislative Bill File in the State Archives. Ballot titles as prepared by the Attorney General's office are substantially complete in the Elections Record Group for the period 1944-date. Ballot arguments prior to 1956 appear irregularly; since then the file is complete. Ballot pamphlets have never been filed as part of the election papers. The Government Publications Section of the State Library has a complete set of ballot pamphlets for the years 1898-date. Doubtless other major libraries in California also have copies of this publication.
Recall and referendum petitions are few in number. They resemble the initiative petition in form. of the recall petitions on file none qualified for a place on the ballot.
 

6. Election Returns. 1849-Date.

Scope and Content Note

The Secretary of State is California's chief elections officer. Upon receipt of the certified abstracts of votes from the county clerks the Secretary of State is required to compare and estimate the vote and make out and file in his office a statement thereof (Elections Code, Sec. 18756). The Secretary of State also certifies and declares the results of all elections upon any question submitted to the electors by either initiative or referendum (Government Code, Sec. 12165).
The earliest election returns in the State Archives include crude, handwritten statements of votes cast, occasionally accompanied by poll lists of eligible voters. A few of the early returns are written in Spanish, a reflection of a nearly forgotten cultural contribution to California's political history. Uniformity in reporting began in 1855 with the adoption of the first standardized form. Forms have remained in use although many changes have occurred in their design over the decades. Since the 1950's the output of computer technology has largely replaced the slower, handwritten system. By 1970 thirty-nine of California's fifty-eight counties were employing some type of automated vote-counting and reporting system.
The primary means of recording and reporting votes cast is by precinct totals (based on Political Code [1906 ed.], Sec. 1282, enacted March 12, 1872). In the mid-nineteenth century a precinct was frequently an entire community. The general election on November 13, 1849 saw only 121 precincts in operation in the entire state and only two in San Francisco. In the November 1970 General Election the number of precincts statewide totaled 21,699, including 1,350 in the City and County of San Francisco (Secretary of State, Statement of Vote, November 3, 1970, p. 3).
General elections in California are presently held every two years, in even numbered years. Between 1849 and 1863 general elections were held every year, the principal reason being a one year term of office for all Assemblymen (1849 California Constitution, Art. IV, Sec. 3). Prior to 1880 general elections were held in September. After 1880 the date was moved to November to conform to federal practice ( Stats. 1880, ch. 102). County elections were held separately every other year in the month of April until 1882 when they were consolidated with the general election ( Stats. 1881, ch. 62). The next major change came in 1909 with the addition of the direct primary ( Stats. 1909, ch. 405). Shortly thereafter the presidential primary was added ( Stats. 1911, 1st Ex. Sess., ch. 18). Each primary was held at a different date and the two were not consolidated until 1944 ( Stats. 1944, 3rd Ex. Sess., ch. 1). The June primary dates from 1945 ( Stats. 1945, ch. 797).
Contents: Depending on the character of the election, the certified abstracts of votes include returns for one or more of the following offices: Presidential Electors, Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction, U.S. Senator, Congressman, State Senator, Assemblyman, Judges of the Superior Court, Justices of Supreme Court, and Members of the Board of Equalization. Also included are returns on ballot measures. Earlier abstracts contain returns for elected officials either predecessor to modern day counterparts or for offices which have since been abolished. Modern day computer-produced returns frequently include additional summaries. Vote totals may be broken down by congressional districts, state senate and assembly districts, county supervisorial districts, and incorporated cities. As previously noted such summaries are of great value in determining local voting patterns.
Although not required to do so by law, many counties also include election results for county offices. The offices vary slightly from county to county depending on the form of local government. The vote for local offices is reported in accordance with the precinct format used for statewide offices. Local returns for the nineteenth century are more complete than those for the twentieth century. Municipal election results are not reported to the Secretary of State.
 

7. Semiofficial Canvass. 1966-Date.

Scope and Content Note

Application of computer technology to the statewide canvass of votes has greatly reduced the time required to count the millions of votes cast in California elections. The State Archives contains documentation of the first computer produced semiofficial canvass which was conducted in 1966 (originally authorized by Stats. 1959, ch. 2094). Samples of the handwritten semiofficial canvass for the 1962 and 1964 elections have also been preserved. Returns telephoned in from the various counties are key punched on cards and the data fed into a preprogramed computer system. What formerly required several days could now be accomplished in a period of approximately twenty-four hours. With the help of a high speed printout system totals for statewide offices can be produced at any time in a matter of minutes. As of 1972, five counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego) representing 52.8 percent of the state's total vote, were feeding information by card to card transmission thereby eliminating telephoning and key punching. Other counties were expected to join this system which would further reduce the time required to compile results.
Contents: The semiofficial canvass format is nearly the same as that employed in the official statement of vote. Results are reported by office, district, and candidate. The frequency of reporting by the counties varies from every half-hour to every second hour until the canvass is completed. Statewide totals are produced at about the same frequency. In the 1972 primary, for example, some 12 to 14 reports were issued in a seven hour period, accounting for approximately 75% of the total statewide vote. Also included as a part of the records of the semiofficial canvass are samples of the forms used by telephone and keypunch personnel for recording the data supplied by the counties.
 

8. Statement of Vote. 1849-Date.

Scope and Content Note

The Statement of Vote is a direct outgrowth of the Secretary of State's function of certifying a statewide report of votes cast. Initially the Secretary of State was required only to file in his office a copy of the statement of vote and transmit a copy thereof to the Governor ( Stats. 1850, ch. 38). The statements of vote in the Elections Record Group exist in both manuscript and published form. The manuscript statements of vote are both bound and unbound, the former variously titled Election Returns, Estimate and Statement of Vote, Official Declaration, and Statement of Vote. Just when the statement of vote was first printed is unclear. The earliest known is for 1860, a copy of which is in the Government Publications Section of the State Library, and after the late 1870's they appear for each general election. Similar publications are available for the direct and presidential primaries commencing in 1910 and 1916, respectively. The Archives' file of published statements is substantially complete from 1904 to date.
Contents: Initially the Statement of Vote was an abbreviated listing of candidates and the total number of votes that each received. In statewide races-Governor, Presidential Electors, etc.-a breakdown by county was made. Beginning in 1912 a statement of the number of voting precincts, voter registration, and total votes cast by county was added. This information became the basis of a separate publication in 1962. See series entry 1 above.
In 1962 a supplement to the statement of vote was first issued ( Stats. 1961, ch. 133). The supplement shows the number of votes cast at the general election in each county, city, and congressional, senate, assembly, and supervisorial district for each candidate for the offices of Presidential Elector, Governor, and U.S. Senator, and for each statewide ballot proposition of major interest (the latter as determined by the Secretary of State by authority of the Election Code, Sec. 18413.5). No such supplement is issued for primary elections.
 

9. Campaign Statements of Receipts and Expenditures. 1894-Date.

Scope and Content Note

The 1893 Purity of Elections Law was the first major attempt at reform of the state election system. The principal conditions of the law required a candidate for statewide office, and any committee acting on a candidate's behalf, to file a statement of receipts and expenditures with the Secretary of State ( Stats. 1893, ch. 16). The statement was to show all money paid, loaned, contributed, or otherwise furnished to him, or for his use, directly or indirectly, in aid of his election, and all moneys contributed, loaned, or expended by him, directly or indirectly, by himself or through any other person, in aid of his election ( Stats. 1893, ch. 16). Such statements were to show the names of contributors, the names of those to whom the money was paid, and the specific nature of each expenditure. In addition, Section 5 of the act set limits on the amount of money that could be spent for a particular office. The latter provision was repealed in 1949 ( Stats. 1949, ch. 192). The same filing requirements were later made applicable to candidates in the direct primary ( Stats. 1909, ch. 405).
The original law was only partially successful. Campaign filings for the first elections after passage of the 1893 law do show some detail as to names of contributors, amounts expended, and for what purpose. Vouchers normally were attached to the statements for verification. After 1900, however, the majority of filings lacked detailed information. Candidate's statements often show few or no details concerning receipts or expenditures. Committee filings, though fewer in number, are more detailed. From the late 1930's more detailed reports were again the rule and by 1972 candidate filings had generally become quite detailed. In the 1970 primary, for example, 15 Gubernatorial candidates filed reports totaling nearly 1800 pages.
In the early 1970's public concern over the high cost of political campaigns manifested itself in basic reforms at both the Federal and State level. The Federal Elections Campaign Act Act of 1971 (Public Law 92-225) required each presidential, senatorial, and congressional candidate, and committees acting on their behalf, to file detailed statements of receipts and expenditures. Seven statements were to be filed each election year, on the 10th day of March, June, and September and on the Fifteenth and Fifth days preceding the primary and general elections. In each nonelection year a report was to be filed by January 31st. Original statements under Public Law 92-225 were to be filed with the Controller General, for presidential candidates, or with the Secretary of the Senate or Clerk of the House of Representatives. Copies of all Federal filings concerning certified California candidates for the offices of President, Senator, Congressman, and all committees are required to be filed with the California Secretary of State.
In 1971 the California Secretary of State launched a concerted effort to enforce existing Election and Government Code provisions relating to candidate and committee filings. Special effort was directed at committees supporting more than one candidate. In preceding elections few of such committees filed statements of any kind. Beginning in 1972 statewide condidates and their committees were required to file a pre- and post-election statement for both the primary and general elections.
Contents: Since the inception of the 1893 law the form of campaign statements has been standardized. The form is of two sections, one for receipts, and the other for expenditures. The statement of receipts required the names of all contributors regardless of amount. The requirement is still in effect except that in 1969 a section was added to the Government Code requiring only contributions in excess of $500 be reported by the name of the person or organization from whom it had been received ( Stats. 1969, ch. 1512). In practice many candidates list all contributors and amounts without regard to the $500 limitation.
The statement of expenditures is a more lengthy document. Legitimate expenditures include such categories as nomination pap9ers and filing fees, traveling expenses, rent of facilities and utilities, payment of personnel, printing of literature, handbills, etc., newspaper advertising, radio and television, canvassing voters, supervising registration of voters, etc. (For the full list, see Elections Code, Sec. 11504). Initially all expenditures required vouchers as verification. Current laws make no such requirement.
 

10. Miscellaneous. Variously Dated.

Scope and Content Note

Scattered throughout the Elections Record Group is a variety of records too fragmentary to qualify as separate record series and therefore brought together under this section. The more important records, a majority of which are official filings, are described below.
 

Election Proclamations (Elections Code, Sec. 2601). Forty-four days before a general election and not less than eighty-four days before a special election the Governor issues an election proclamation setting the date of the election and the offices to be filled. The proclamation, under the Great Seal of the State, is transmitted to the boards of supervisors of the counties in which the elections are to be held. Proclamations in the Archives' file are generally certified or printed copies, only a few being originals.

 

Petitions for Place on Ballot (Elections Code, Sec. 6430). Qualification of a new political party for a place on the state-wide ballot prior to 1910 required a petition signed by voters equal to three percent of the entire vote cast at the preceding general election ( Stats. 1909, ch. 405). Parties wishing to qualify in a specific district or other political subdivision were required to meet, relatively, the same regulations. To qualify for the ballot by petition in 1972 a party must file a petition signed by voters equal in number to at least ten percent of the entire vote of the state at the last preceding Gubernatorial election. Petitions of this class in the Elections Record Group relate principally to the period 1900-1910.

 

Certificates of Election (Elections Code, Sec. 18757). These certificates, issued by the Secretary of State to all statewide officers, U.S. Senators, and Congressmen, list the candidates for each office and the number of votes cast for each. A second type of certificate of election found in the Archives' files, that issued by county clerks ( Stats. 1850, ch. 38), contains no detail except the name of the elected official. Certificates in the files are few in number for any one election and are generally copies since the originals were retained by the individual elected. Some correspondence relative to certification is also found.

 

State Party Central Committee Records (Elections Code, Secs. 8000-9061). The Secretary of State keeps and files records of appointments to each state central committee. Before each biennial meeting of the state central committee the Secretary of State delivers to the chairman a certified, alphabetical list of the members of the committee. The membership list is arranged in alphabetical order by congressional district for the Democratic Party and by senatorial district for the Republican Party. The congressional, senatorial and assembly districts of each appointed member are listed. The above information is compiled and published for each party. Included in the publications are names and addresses of all statewide committee officers, chairmen of county central committees, and delegates to state conventions.

 

Ballots. Nowhere in the Elections Code is there any requirement for the preservation of election ballots. Through chance, wartime measures, and filings in other record groups, a number of ballots dating between 1849 and 1900 have survived in the State Archives. The earliest ballots are entirely handwritten. Later examples present a variety of sizes and colors. Ballots in the Civil War period show patriotic vignettes and slogans. State and local political issues are reflected in ballots of the 1870's when the Workingmen's Party campaigned on an anti-Chinese platform. By the turn of the century ballots had become standardized and had lost much of their color and distinctive character.

 

Other Records. The Election Officer's Digest, issued each election year, is an abbreviated edition of the Elections Code pertaining to the duties of election officers during the casting and canvassing of the vote. The Election Calendar, also issued each election year, is a compilation of election code provisions arranged in accordance with the chronology of their operational requirements. Other materials, largely collected and preserved for their exhibit value, include party platforms and such campaign handouts as buttons, broadsides, tracts, etc.

 

11. Election Records in Other Record Groups.

Scope and Content Note

Records pertaining to the elections process are found in other record groups in the State Archives.
 

Contested Elections. One of the most unique series consists of the records of some eighty separate contested elections which are filed with the Legislative Papers Record Group. Each contested election, variously dated from 1850-1940, is a case study of the election process at the local level. Included within these files are depositions of participants describing in detail the way an election was run and the irregularities that resulted in the contest. Exhibits, such as poll lists, voter registration records, ballots, etc., provide additional color and insight into a system no longer in existence.

 

County Records. County records are a source of certain information pertaining to the election process. The Great Register of Voters, begun in 1866 by the county clerks, lists the registrants name, place of birth, date of naturalization (if applicable), and local address. The minutes of the County Board of Supervisors contain two important sources, election returns for local races, including municipal races and ballot issues, and records pertaining to the establishment of precinct boundaries. The State Archives has the Great Registers of Voters (1866-1914) and Board of Supervisors' Minutes for Sacramento County (1850-1950) and the Great Registers of Voters for Marin County (1866-1908). In most cases such records are to be found in the offices of the county clerks.

Appendix

 

Appendix I Secretaries of State of California

 

Van Voorhies, William. Dec. 20, 1849

Scope and Content Note

Appointed by Governor Peter H. Burnett Dec. 20, 1849. Resigned from office Feb. 19, 1853.
 

Denver, James W. Feb. 19, 1853

Party:

Dem.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor John Bigler Feb. 19, 1853. On October 5, 1855, Denver left the State, leaving his resignation effective Nov. 5, 1855. Governor Bigler requested his immediate resignation and appointed C. H. Hempstead to the office. Denver refused and his deputy refused to affix the Great Seal to Hempstead's commission. The commission did not receive the Seal until the effective date of Denver's resignation.
 

Hempstead, Charles H. Nov. 5, 1855

Party:

Dem.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor John Bigler Oct. 6, 1855.
 

Douglass, David F. Jan. 10, 1856

Party:

American

Notes:

Appointed by Governor J. Neely Johnson Jan. 10, 1856.
 

Forman, Ferris Jan. 9, 1858

Party:

Dem.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor John B. Weller Jan. 9, 1858.
 

Price, Johnson Jan. 10, 1860

Party:

Lecompton Dem.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor Milton S. Latham Jan. 10, 1860.
 

Weeks, William H. Jan. 11, 1862

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor Leland Stanford Jan. 11, 1862. Died in office Aug. 16, 1863.
 

Tuttle, A. A. H. Aug. 17, 1863

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor Leland Stanford Aug. 17, 1863.
 

Redding, Benjamin B. Sept. 2, 1863 Dec. 7, 1863

Party:

Union

Notes:

First Secretary of State to be elected, serving a four year term.
 

Nichols, H. L. Sept. 4, 1867 Dec. 2, 1867

Party:

Dem.
 

Melone, Drury Sept. 6, 1871 Dec. 4, 1871

Party:

Rep.
 

Beck, Thomas Sept. 1, 1875 Dec. 6, 1875

Party:

Dem.
 

Burns, Daniel M. Sept. 3, 1879 Jan. 5, 1880

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

First Secretary of State elected under the new State Constitution.
 

Thompson, Thomas L. Nov. 7, 1882 Jan. 8, 1883

Party:

Dem.

Notes:

First Secretary of State to serve the full four year term under the new State Constitution.
 

Hendricks, William C. Nov. 2, 1886 Jan. 3, 1887

Party:

Dem.
 

Waite, Edwin G. Nov. 4, 1890 Jan. 5, 1891

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Died in office Oct. 30, 1894.
 

Hart, Albert Nov. 1, 1894

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor Henry H. Markham Nov. 1, 1894.
 

Brown, Lewis H. Nov. 6, 1894 Jan. 7, 1895

Party:

Rep.
 

Curry, Charles F. Nov. 8, 1898 Jan. 2, 1899

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Elected to three consecutive terms.
 

Jordan, Frank C. Nov. 8, 1910 Jan. 2, 1911

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Frank C. Jordan enjoyed the longest tenure in office of any Secretary of State. He was elected to the office eight consecutive terms and died in office Jan. 18, 1940.
 

Peek, Paul Mar. 1, 1940

Party:

Dem.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor Culbert L. Olson Feb. 29, 1940. Resigned from office Dec. 22, 1942.
 

Jordan, Frank M. Nov. 3, 1942 Jan. 4, 1943

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Frank M. Jordan, son of Frank C. Jordan, was elected to seven terms as Secretary of State. He died in office March 29, 1970.
 

Sullivan, H. P. Apr. 3, 1970

Party:

Rep.

Notes:

Appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan April 3, 1970.
 

Brown, Edmund G. Jr. Nov. 3, 1970 Jan. 4, 1971

Party:

Dem.
 

Appendix II August 1, 1849 Election Returns

Scope and Content Note

On August 1, 1849 an election was called by the civil governor, Brigadier General Bennett Riley, to elect delegates to a Constitutional Convention to be held in Monterey commencing September 1. Returns are by district in accordance with the political demarcations of Mexican California days; county government depended on adoption of a formal constitution and the enabling legislation which would follow. Scattered returns are also found for judicial and municipal officers-Alcalde, Judge of First Instance, Prefect, Town Council, Sheriff, etc.
Note: Returns followed by an asterisk are wholly or partially in Spanish.
 

Appendix III November 13, 1849 Election Returns

Scope and Content Note

Election returns for the November 13, 1849 election include votes for or against adoption of the State Constitution as proposed by the Constitutional Convention, and election to the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Congress, and State Legislator. To make it easier for miners and other residents of the mountain communities to vote, the number of precincts was increased over the number open in the August 1st election.
Abstracts of statewide returns under letter of Henry W. Halleck, acting Secretary of State, dated December 12, 1849.
Note: Returns followed by an asterisk are wholly or partially in Spanish.
 

Appendix IV Civil War Military Election Returns, 1863-65

Scope and Content Note

The Civil War years in California created a unique situation in relation to the election process. During the course of the conflict some 16,000 Californians volunteered for federal service. Most were stationed in California although many units were scattered throughout the western territories, from Idaho to New Mexico, guarding the overland trails. The California Hundred, attached to the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry, actively campaigned in the eastern battlefields. To enable soldiers, nearly all of whom were stationed out of their home districts, to vote in the general elections, special legislation was passed ( Stats. 1863, ch. 355; Stats. 1863-64, ch. 383).
Under the above laws the Adjutant-General was required to draw up a list of all California electors in the military service of the United States. From this list the Secretary of State made up separate lists of electors and transmitted them to the various unit commanders. Balloting was done on the regular election day and the returns and ballots returned to the Secretary of State for checking and inclusion with the remainder of statewide returns.
Listed below, in alphabetical order by camp, fort, or other geographical location, are the military returns. Records of each election include abstracts for military posts, List of Electors, Resident of California, in the Military Service...Entitled to Vote.... (as compiled by the Adjutant-General), and soldiers' ballots.

General Election for 1863

  • Benicia Barracks (Solano Co.)
  • Camp Babbit (Tulare Co.)
  • Camp Bidwell (Butte Co.)
  • Camp Connor (Idaho Terr.)
  • Camp Crittenden (Utah Terr.)
  • Camp Curtis (Humboldt Co.)
  • Camp Curtis (Los Angeles Co.)
  • Camp Douglas (Utah Terr.)
  • Camp Drum (Los Angeles Co.)
  • Camp Independence (Tulare Co.)
  • Camp Leonard (on Kern River)
  • Camp Lincoln (Del Norte Co.)
  • Camp Morris (San Bernardino Co.)
  • Camp Stanford (San Joaquin Co.)
  • Camp Stanton (Los Angeles Co.)
  • Camp Trinidad (Del Norte Co.)
  • Camp Union (Yolo Co.)
  • california Hundred (centreville, Virginia)
  • Carisso Creek (San Diego Co.)
  • Fort Boise (Idaho Terr.)
  • Fort Borvie (ariz. Terr.)
  • Fort Bragg (Mendocino Co.)
  • Fort Bridger (Utah Terr.)
  • Fort Colville (wash. Terr.)
  • Fort Craig (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Crook (Shasta Co.)
  • Fort Gaston (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Haskins (Oregon)
  • Fort Humboldt (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Lapwai (Idaho Terr.)
  • Fort Mcrae (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Mojave (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Miller (Fresno Co.)
  • Fort Ruby (Nevada Terr.)
  • Fort Tejon (Kern Co.)
  • Fort Union (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Walla Walla (wash. Terr.)
  • Fort West (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Wright (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Yuma (San Diego Co.)
  • Franklin, Texas
  • Goose Creek (Utah Terr.)
  • Ham's Fork, Green River (Utah Terr.)
  • La Paz (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Las Cruces (New Mexico Terr.)
  • New San Diego Barracks
  • Provost Marshal's office (s.f.)
  • Rio Miembres (Ariz. Terr.)
  • Smoke Creek (Nev. Terr.)
  • Tucson (Ariz. Terr.)

General Election for 1864

  • Alcatraces [sic] Island
  • Bear Valley (Mariposa Co.)
  • Benecia Barracks (Solano Co.)
  • Camp Anderson (Humboldt Co.)
  • Camp Babbitt (Tulare Co.)
  • Camp Bidwell (Butte Co.)
  • Camp Connor (Idaho Terr.)
  • Camp Curtis (Los Angeles Co.)
  • Camp Douglas (Los Terr.)
  • Camp Jaqua (Humboldt Co.)
  • Camp Lincoln (Del Norte Co.)
  • Camp Union (Sacramento Co.)
  • Drum Barracks (Los Angeles Co.)
  • El Monte (Los Angeles Co.)
  • El Picacho (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Bridger (Utah Terr.)
  • Fort Craig (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Crook (Shasta Co.)
  • Fort Gaston (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Goodwin (Arizona Terr.)
  • Fort Humboldt (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Mojave (Arizona Terr.)
  • Fort Sumner (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Walla Walla (washington Terr.)
  • Fort Wright (Tulare Co.)
  • Fort Yamhill (Oregon)
  • Fort Yuma (San Diego Co.)
  • Franklin, Texas
  • Goose Creek (Utah Terr.)
  • Las Cruces (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Los Angeles
  • New San Diego Barracks
  • Presidio, San Francisco
  • Provost Guard, San Francisco
  • San Bernardino
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Santa Barbara
  • Siletz Block House (Oregon)
  • Weber River (Utah Terr.)

General Election for 1865

  • Co. C., 1st Bn. Native Cavalry (en route to Ariz. Terr.)
  • Alcatraces [sic] Island
  • Benecia Barracks (Solano Co.)
  • Camp Babbitt (Tulare Co.)
  • Camp Cady (San Bernardino Co.)
  • Camp Jaqua (Humboldt Co.)
  • Camp Lincoln (Del Norte Co.)
  • Camp Mcdermit (Nevada)
  • Cape Disappointment (Washington Terr.)
  • Drum Barracks (Los Angeles Co.)
  • Fort Bowie (Ariz. Terr.)
  • Fort Craig (New Mexico Terr.)
  • Fort Crook (Shasta Co.)
  • Fort Dalles (Oregon)
  • Fort Gaston (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Humboldt (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Mojave (Arizona Terr.)
  • Fort Wright (Humboldt Co.)
  • Fort Yuma (San Diego Co.)
  • Point Blunt (Angel Island)
  • San Bernardino