Election 1940: Candidates' Statements (11-4-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (November 4, 1940)

By United Press

President Roosevelt and Wendell L. Willkie today urged all voters to cast ballots tomorrow. Their statements follow:

Wendell L. Willkie

Tomorrow is the day on which all Americans of voting age have their chance to show the world the force and power of the free ballot in a democracy dedicated to peace and progress.

Voting is the only way our citizens have to control their government. Failure to vote is not only an abdication of the high privilege of American citizenship, but is an acquiescence in the loss of liberty that may come if the power of the bosses be not out-voted.

No conditions should prevent the exercise of that right and the discharge of that duty. That high privilege should be exercised and that solemn duty discharged in every city, town and village, regardless of weather, distance or difficulty.

Voters must remember that their vote is secret and may not be learned by any man. They can vote as they please, regardless of the party in which they may be registered. This year the ballot of each voter will be cast after thoughtful and prayerful consideration of the future of his country.

Despite last minute rumors which counsels of desperation spread about me to mislead voters, I repeat now what I said to the convention at Philadelphia immediately following my nomination:

I stand before you without as single pledge, promise or understanding of any kind except for the advancement of your cause and the preservation of American democracy.

Since that time the only pledges pr promises of any sort that I have made to anybody have been those which I have made to the American people in my public addresses. I have neither offered to, nor discussed with any person any appointment to any Cabinet position or any other position, and I have never authorized anyone else to do so.

President Roosevelt

It is a duty to the nation that every citizen should exercise the solemn right of suffrage guaranteed under the Constitution. It therefore behooves all citizens to co-operate to the end that the largest number eligible shall register their preference in the elections to be held on Tuesday, November 5, next.

To that end, I am directing that all employees of the federal government be given sufficient time from their duties to cast their votes, and I urge that all government agencies – state and local – and all other employers grant the same privilege, in order that all who are qualified may vote.

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