Elections are the cornerstone of a democracy, giving citizens an important voice in our future. In 1864, the Civil War’s fourth year, President Lincoln won 55 percent of the vote – with 212 electoral votes to Democratic challenger George B. McCellan’s 21.
But it’s perhaps most notable that the election was held at all. Before that, no country had ever held elections during a military emergency.
Lincoln himself said, “We cannot have free government without elections; and if the rebellion could force us to forego, or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.”