Voting and Election History

Find results of past federal elections. Learn how voting methods and voter habits have changed over the years.

Results of Past Federal Elections

You can find the results of past federal elections from several government sources.

Federal Election Commission Resources

Every two years, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) releases the official results from each state’s federal elections. The information covers elections from 1982 to 2016 and includes primary, runoff, and general election results for:

  • U.S. Senate
  • U.S. House of Representatives
  • U.S. president (for years when there is a presidential election)

National Archives Resources

You can find the details of the 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential elections and counts for electoral college votes versus popular votes on the National Archives and Records Administration's Historical Election Results page. And you can see the "box scores" for all elections from 1789 to 2016.

House of Representatives Resources

Find the statistics from every federal election from 1920 through 2016 from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. The results, in PDF format, are organized by state and include Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories. They show the official vote counts for every candidate for president, senator, and U.S. representative.

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History of Voting in America

The history of voting in America may bring to mind images of the Civil Rights era or the women’s suffrage movement. But the story is not only about laws and protests.

How Technology Has Changed Voting and Elections

The methods used to vote and to count ballots have changed over the years. Early methods included the wooden ballot box and the curtained-off voting machine. Modern methods include touch-screens. Advances in technology have changed how we vote. And since states run elections, procedures vary from place to place.

Explore how voting methods in the U.S. have changed. Check out Vote: The Machinery of Democracy, a Smithsonian Institution interactive exhibit online.

Americans’ Voting Habits

Demographics play a huge part in how America votes. You can learn about who votes in federal elections with U.S. Census Bureau information.

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Last Updated: November 8, 2018