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14 old photos of Angelenos exercising their right to vote

In 1952, one woman gave birth in the morning, then voted that same afternoon

If long lines didn’t keep you from voting today, know that your comrades of yesteryear were also undeterred. LA’s photo archives contain plenty of old images of Angelenos on Election Day, and what we found was evidence of tenacious voters exercising their rights in earnest.

One captures a woman turning in a ballot in a hospital gown; she had given birth then voted—on the same day. In another, a nonagenarian, photographed in 1962, proclaims he’s been voting since before the turn of the 20th century.

See these and other Election Day photos below. And go vote.

A line of voters at at a polling place on November 8, 1949.
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
Mary J. Sherraden, 100 years old, has clerk, Mrs. Harriet Richardson, mark off her name as having voted on June 8, 1954 at Venice Boulevard and Westmoreland.
USC Libraries Special Collections
About 30 voters waiting to vote at Rosewood Avenue School on November 8, 1950, where only two machines were available.
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
Jerry Turton was flown November 4, 1952 from Santa Monica to Big Bear in a Lear, Inc. plane, expressly so that he could vote where he is registered. His company gave him the necessary two hours off to make the trip. Arrangements were made by the Santa Monica Republican headquarters.
USC Libraries Special Collections
Photograph caption dated June 3, 1958 reads: "Mrs. Michael McGarvey, right, casts first vote in Burbank Precinct 125 at 531 N. Frederick St. as statewide primary election begins. Accepting ballot is precinct official Mrs. Fred Brammer."
Photograph caption dated June 3, 1958 reads: "Mrs. Michael McGarvey, right, casts first vote in Burbank Precinct 125 at 531 N. Frederick St. as statewide primary election begins. Accepting ballot is precinct official Mrs. Fred Brammer."
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
Ruth Beckstrom, 25, of 1507 Penmar Avenue in Venice, who gave birth to a baby boy at 4:11 a.m. November 4, 1952, is given ballot stub after voting at 4:11 p.m. the same day. She was transported from St. John's hospital, Santa Monica, to her precinct in ambulance.
USC Libraries Special Collections

Photograph caption dated November 6, 1962 reads: "George Wampler, 93, was the first person to vote in his precinct, No. 2690, in North Hollywood today, and he didn't mind telling people he's been voting since 1892, when he cast his ballot for Grover Cleveland. Wampler is one of more than two million Los Angeles County voters expected to go to the polls today."
Photograph caption dated November 6, 1962 reads: "George Wampler, 93, was the first person to vote in his precinct, No. 2690, in North Hollywood today, and he didn't mind telling people he's been voting since 1892, when he cast his ballot for Grover Cleveland. Wampler is one of more than two million Los Angeles County voters expected to go to the polls today."
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
Lily D. Holden, of Studio City, who says she’s been first voter at her precinct for 17 years, leaves polling place on April 2, 1957.
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
Photograph caption dated November 3, 1958 reads: "Registrar of Voters Benjamin S. Hite prepares office for expected record turnout of 75 per cent of Los Angeles County's 2,793,997 registered voters Tuesday. Registrar's office will employ 700 additional persons for speed vote tabulations Tuesday night."
Photograph caption dated November 3, 1958 reads: "Registrar of Voters Benjamin S. Hite prepares office for expected record turnout of 75 per cent of Los Angeles County's 2,793,997 registered voters Tuesday. Registrar's office will employ 700 additional persons for speed vote tabulations Tuesday night."
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
A cue of voters is pictured casting their ballots at a downtown hotel on August 25, 1936, one of the 4295 precincts where Los Angeles County voters voted in that year’s primary election.
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
John C. Haston, deputy registrar, shows Lucile Martin how to operate a voting machines to be used in an election on August 22, 1930.
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
Future congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas (center) sits with other supporters of incumbent President Franklin Delano Roosevelt awaiting the results of the 1940 election.
Future congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas (center) sits with other supporters of incumbent President Franklin Delano Roosevelt awaiting the results of the 1940 election.
Los Angeles Public Library photo collection
Miss Snider was first to take advantage of offer by California Ambulance service to take any hospital patient to polls on November 4, 1952. She was first voter at precinct at 1914 Arizona Avenue in Santa Monica.
USC Libraries Special Collections