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Power of the People: Voting in California, 1850-2016

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May 17 – December 31, 2016

Developed in partnership with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and the California State Archives, “Power of the People: Voting in California, 1850-2016” chronicles over 165 years of election history in the Golden State.

Open May 17-December31, 2016, this all-new exhibit surveys the evolution of how Californians vote, from paper ballots used in the 1850s to a computer-based prototype of the future, while examining historic elections and the changing ways campaigns get their messages across.

Highlights include 1864 absentee ballots introduced for the state’s enlisted Civil War troops; 1911 Certification of Special Election reflecting the passage of women’s suffrage; early campaign materials created by the inventors of political consulting; 2003 recall election memorabilia; and more.

Through artifacts on loan from the California State Archives California State Library, Sacramento State and private collectors, the exhibit reveals that California voters have always held the power to shape the future.