Nov. 3, 1908: Election Day on Bunker Hill

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"This kindly greeting to all we waft;
Get a move on you, and vote for Taft."

-Los Angeles Times, Nov. 3, 1908

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Election Day in Los Angeles, and the sweet smell of democracy is thick in the air.  Perhaps a little thicker for you if you were a Bunker Hill resident voting in the 30th or 31st Precinct.

Though Democrat William Jennings Bryan would sweep the Southeastern U.S., Republican William Howard Taft would win the White House with 51.6% of the popular vote and a commanding 321 electoral college votes.  Taft took California in a landslide with 55.5% of the popular vote, compared to Bryan’s 33%.  The Socialist voter turnout in California was lighter than had been predicted.

Interesting issues on Californians’ ballots included amendments to move the state capital from Sacramento to Berkeley, to limit funds generated by the state school tax to elementary school spending only, and to give state legislators a raise.  The Times recommended a "No" vote on all three measures, stating that "many thoughtful citizens, realizing that the present State Constitution is a fearfully patched and inconsistent instrument, have resolved to vote against all further patching, stamping "No" against every amendment."

Los Angeles County voted a straight Republican ticket in 1908, placing not a single Democrat in any elected office.  Different times.

So, enjoy yourselves tomorrow night as the results pour in, but don’t become so engrossed that you fall victim to the sad fate of the politically engaged Mrs. E.S. Kimball.  Kimball, a Bunker Hill resident, went down the Hill to the Times Building, where election bulletins were projected on an enormous curtain to an audience of approximately 50,000.  In her absence, burglars broke into her house, and stole about $800 worth of diamond and gold jewelry.

Bryan supporters, no doubt.

So, get out the vote – Taft in ’08!

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