To build rapport with voters and get their governing message out, candidates host events where voters can interact with candidates, from the first formal campaign announcements to rallies, town halls, and “meet and greets.” In Campaign Events, photographs and old newspapers from various rallies, such as a rally for Senator John J. Williams in Dover, Delaware, encapsulates the reactions of the crowd after hearing the official news of the senator’s candidacy.
Before Election Day, many campaigns supply voters with resources such as polling locations and how to apply for an absentee ballot as a final push to make sure all votes are counted. In the Voting Booth displays a script of an October 1954 radio announcement by the Delaware Democratic State Committee with information about voter registration and polling resources. The exhibit also showcases newspapers, door hangers, and voter turnout tallies.
After the results come pouring in, the real work begins. As soon as candidates declare victory and the celebrations end, a new election cycle begins just as quickly as the last one ended. The newly elected officials are sworn in and then begin their work to better the lives of their constituents, and in many cases, prepare for re-election.
America’s long tradition of democratic elections is still an exciting and relevant part of both national and local culture. John Caldwell, associate librarian and coordinator of political papers and electronic records, curated the exhibit. The physical exhibit is on display in the Special Collections gallery of Morris Library throughout 2021. Trail to the Voting Booth and other great virtual exhibits can be found online at exhibitions.lib.udel.edu.