Presidential Quotations on Elections

Every four years, American citizens enter polling places to cast their votes for the Presidential candidates of their choice. Democratic, Republican or Independent, each American voter exercises his or her Constitutional right to participate in the process of electing the nation's next Commander-in-Chief.

What have some of these top executives, the Presidents of the United States, had to say about the American voting process?

Let's examine election-related comments from some of the individuals who have served as President of the United States. Although this list of American Presidential quotations may not be comprehensive, readers may find the contents compelling.

(Quotes are arranged alphabetically by speaker or author.)

"Always vote for principle,
though you may vote alone,
and you may cherish
the sweetest reflection
that your vote is never lost."
John Quincy Adams
6th President of the United States
(1767 – 1848)

"I like the noise of democracy."
James Buchanan
15th President of the United States
(1791 – 1868)

"Your every voter,
as surely as your chief magistrate,
exercises a public trust."
Grover Cleveland
22nd President of the United States
(1837 – 1908)

"To vote is like the payment of a debt,
a duty never to be neglected,
if its performance is possible."
Rutherford B. Hayes
19th President of the United States
(1822 – 1893)

"The vote is the most powerful instrument
ever devised by man
for breaking down injustice
and destroying the terrible walls
which imprison men
because they are different
from other men."
Lyndon B. Johnson
36th President of the United States
(1908 – 1973)

"A nation that is afraid
to let its people judge
the truth and falsehood
in an open market
is a nation that is afraid
of its people."
John F. Kennedy
35th President of the United States
(1917 – 1963)

"Ballots are
the rightful and peaceful successors
to bullets."
Abraham Lincoln
16th President of the United States
(1809 – 1865)

"How can a president
not be an actor? "
Ronald Reagan
40th President of the United States
(1911 – 2004)

"Democracy cannot succeed
unless those who express their choice
are prepared to choose wisely.
The real safeguard of democracy,
therefore, is education."
Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd President of the United States
(1882 – 1945)

"A vote is like a rifle;
its usefulness depends
upon the character of the user."
Theodore Roosevelt
26th President of the United States
(1858 – 1919)

"I think I might as well give up
being a candidate.
There are so many people in the country
who don't like me."
William Howard Taft
27th President of the United States
(1857 – 1930)

"Whenever a fellow tells me
he's bipartisan,
I know he's going to vote
against me."
Harry S. Truman
33rd President of the United States
(1884 – 1972)

"Popularity, I have always thought,
may aptly be compared to a coquette –
the more you woo her,
the more apt is she
to elude your embrace."
John Tyler
10th President of the United States
(1790 – 1862)

"If you think too much
about being re-elected,
it is very difficult
to be worth re-electing."
Woodrow Wilson
28th President of the United States
(1856 – 1924)

Clearly, many of the American Presidential comments on voting and elections are quite serious, perhaps even philosophical. Others are more sardonic, sarcastic or even comical. In all cases, the comments are thought-provoking, particularly for American citizens considering their voting options – or whether to vote at all.

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