Voting and Election History

Find results of past federal elections and availability of the 2016 Presidential election results. 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 2012 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

A Barnesville, Maryland man enters a voting booth at the community hall in November 1944 to vote using a recently installed voting machine.

If you think about the history of voting in America, you may picture the Civil Rights era, the women’s suffrage movement, and the Constitutional amendments that grant people’s right to vote. But the story is not just 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. From the wooden ballot box to the curtained-off voting machine to the modern touch-screen, advances in technology have played a big role in voting. And since states run elections, procedures vary from place to place.

You can learn how voting methods have changed in the U.S. in Vote: The Machinery of Democracy, an online interactive exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Americans’ Voting Habits

Demographics play a huge part in how America votes. The U.S. Census Bureau collects and releases information on who votes in congressional and presidential elections.

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Last Updated: September 13, 2018