United States Historical Election Returns, 1824-1968 (ICPSR 1)

Version Date: Apr 26, 1999 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research



Version V3

Slide tabs to view more

Please read the collection notes below; there are many points to be aware of for this collection prior to analysis.

This collection of historical election data contains state files that list county-level returns for over 90 percent of all elections to the offices of president, governor, United States senator, and United States representative from 1824 through 1968. The data files include returns for all parties and candidates (as well as write-in and scattering votes if available for individual states), and for special elections as well as regularly-scheduled contests. Over 1,000 individual party names and many additional unaffiliated candidates are included.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. United States Historical Election Returns, 1824-1968. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999-04-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR00001.v3

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote
National Science Foundation (GS881)
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research

1824 -- 1968
  1. The election data have been matched-merged and fixed-formatted within states. Because of the volume of data available for some states, it was necessary to store the election returns in more than one file per state.

  2. County names have been standardized, including names for counties that have experienced name changes over time. In addition to the names, a county identification number was added to all county-level records. This number allows unique identification of all counties within states.

  3. Data for elections to the office of United States representative have been collapsed to the whole-county level.

  4. The election data files for each county contain the congressional district number of that county at the time of each election for the office of United States representative. When a county was divided into more than one congressional district, a code value indicating the number of congressional districts into which the county was divided was inserted in place of the congressional district number. It is thus possible to aggregate to the congressional district level all county-level election data (except in the case of split-district counties), and to perform the aggregations for the districts as they were constituted for any Congress.

  5. Counties may have been assigned a congressional district number of zero if they were not in existence at the time of the election, did not report vote totals, or did not participate in that election.

  6. For 1970 to 1990 election returns data, see GENERAL ELECTION DATA FOR THE UNITED STATES, 1970-1990 (ICPSR 0013).

  7. Part 204, a listing of political party codes used in all data files, is an ASCII text file included as supplementary documentation. There is no actual codebook for this collection. Variable information is contained in the setup files. Some variable labels are cryptic. For example, the variable label V34="825 2 GOV 9001 VOTE" is interpreted as year of election/code for elected office/type of election/elected office/party code.

  8. There are data for one race in Delaware from 1823 included in the collection, though this year is not reflected in the title.

  9. In datasets 126, 127, 128 and 129 for Georgia, the county identification code for Jackson county is 1510 in the data, however, it should be 1570. Users are advised when analyzing these data by county to either use the county names in variable V2 or recode the county identification in variable V3 from 1510 to 1570 for Jackson county.

official election returns provided by state governments



2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research. United States Historical Election Returns, 1824-1968 [Computer File]. ICPSR00001-v3. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1999-04-26. http://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR00001.v3

1999-04-26 A machine-readable listing of political party codes has been added to the collection as Part 204.

1997-09-26 SAS and SPSS data definition statements have been generated for all parts, and reformatted logical record length data files are now available for Parts 12, 33, 34, 35, 84, 96, 101, 104, 130, 156, and 194.

1984-06-19 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Performed consistency checks.
  • Standardized missing values.