Original posting: 3 June 2009. Last update: 4 January 2013

TheGreenPapers.com

Dates of biennial Federal Elections
for Congress: from 1872 on


 

At the beginning of the American Federal system, there was no regulation as to the actual dates on which the People of the several States of the Union were to elect their Members of Congress (meaning Representatives in Congress, since United States Senators were originally chosen by the legislatures of their respective States); indeed, there wasn't even any constitutional provision respecting just when the terms of office in each house of Congress were specifically to begin (and end)! In fact, the only specific provision in the entirety of the original text of the Federal Constitution respecting any dates related to the Congress of the United States was that which mandated Congress to assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall be on the first Monday in December unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day (Article I, Section 4, clause 2- since altered, of course, by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution).

The States of the American Union, therefore, were entirely free to use whatever dates they might wish as the time for electing their Congressmen every two years (and the colloquial term was, indeed, "Congressmen"- not only because, back in the late 18th through the 19th Century, Members of Congress were always men, but also because Representatives to the U.S. House were, as already noted, the only persons actually elected to Congress by the People directly). The States tended to use the dates of their own State and local elections for this purpose and- throughout the country- these dates ranged from the Spring (the more usual in New England, as these tended to coincide with annual Town Meeting in those States) through late Summer (which seems to have been most common in parts of the South and out into the what we would now call the upper Midwest) and on into the Fall, as is currently the case with Federal and State elections in November (although October seems to have been as common as November during the early 18th Century, with either of these Fall months being the more common in the Mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes regions).

[Please note, however, that the foregoing synopsis of possible election times amongst the several States is merely the barest outline and that there, often as not, was at least one State in each region which used an election date that did not necessarily follow the time of year seemingly used by most of its sister States nearby for its elections; the indication of election times in the previous paragraph is merely to illustrate the larger point- that Election Day (and, by extension, Federal Election Day) varied throughout a given year during the earliest days of the Republic.]

It was also not all that uncommon for some States (particularly those holding their elections in the Spring) to actually elect their Congressmen in the odd-numbered, rather than the even-numbered, year-- in almost all cases, such elections being held after the term to which said Congressmen were being elected had already, technically, begun on 4 March! The reason States that did so could "get away with it" back then is that, even though a given Congress so began on March 4th, the annual convening of Congress usually not occurring until that first Monday in December of that same odd-numbered year allowed for plenty of time for Congressmen elected the previous, say, April or May- or even, perhaps, as late as August!- to get to the Nation's Capital by early December, even given the cruder transportation options of the time.

However, problems ensued if the President happened to call- or the Congress itself provided for- an Extra Session of Congress (beyond the usual alternating "long" and "short" sessions held annually beginning each December) not all that long after- or, in some cases, even before!- a State elected its Congressmen, in which case the State in question would not have any popularly elected representation at all during said Extra Session! (For example: in 1871, the 42d Congress met in just such an Extra Session from 4 March through 20 April; New Hampshire and Connecticut elected their Congressmen at the same time as their normal State/local Spring elections [in March and April, respectively] that year- again, these coinciding with Town Meeting in those venerable New England States- both of said Federal elections taking place after the Extra Session had already begun: meanwhile, California didn't hold its State elections- thus, did not even elect its own members of the 42d Congress- until the following September, missing out on the Extra Session entirely!)

Congress had already begun the process of regulating the dates of at least one kind of Federal election when- in time for the 1848 Presidential Election- it had adopted 5 Stat. 721 which mandated that Presidential Electors be "appointed" (in all but one State at the time, this "appointment" was via Popular Vote: thus, for all intents and purposes, a specific date for an election by the People- here, the Presidential Election- was being set by Federal statute for the very first time) on the nowadays-familiar Tuesday next after the first Monday in November. The main reason for this was to offset the already-evident effects of the brand new telegraph on said election results (if a State voted for President a few weeks before another prior to the advent of such long-distance instantaneous communication, the later State would- likely- not yet know the details of how the earlier State had already voted; with the telegraph, however, the returns from a national election were now in danger of being skewed unless all States in the Union voted for President on the very same day [of course, much later on, radio and television would have their own similar effects, given the difference in actual (GMT) poll closing times on that very same day between East Coast and West Coast jurisdictions: something that has yet to be effectively mitigated as of this typing (in mid-2009), by the way!]) but it also served to- albeit slowly- begin the push for standardization of election dates, even those of State and local elections, across the country.

Elections are rather expensive to hold- an unfunded, yet necessary, mandate that can well drain the public treasury- and, despite many differences between the conduct and procedure of Election Day a century and a half ago, as compared to nowadays (lack of a secret ballot, nothing approaching modern voting technology, even more questionable accounting and tabulation procedures than one finds today, etc.), the cost of holding elections was, even back then, a major factor in many States moving their own elections so as to have them coincide with the Presidential Election even before the Civil War. Most (but, to be sure, not all) States admitted to the Union after 1845 mandated the very same first Tuesday after the first Monday in November for their own elections in their first Constitutions; more interestingly, perhaps: almost all (but, again, not all) States that were to adopt newer Constitutions after 5 Stat. 721 had become law also changed their State election dates to that same first Tuesday after the first Monday in November!

Nonetheless, holdouts long remained, even among those States which elected their Congressmen in the even-numbered year immediately preceding that in which the Representatives so elected would officially begin their terms of office come the following 4 March (for instance, five States- Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and Pennsylvania- elected their respective Members of the aforementioned 42nd Congress on the same day in October 1870; more to the point: two years earlier [that is: in 1868] four of these same five States- all except Iowa- held Congressional Elections on the same day in October as well and then, some three weeks later [come early November], voters from these same four States dutifully returned to the polls to cast their votes for Presidential Electors, as scheduled by 5 Stat. 721!).

The first attempt to statutorily set the date of Congressional Elections (meaning, again, popular elections to the U.S. House of Representatives; U.S. Senators were, at the time, still chosen by State legislatures which retained full legislative power to arrange the time of said Senatorial elections so as to fit their own convenience) came about as part of the Act of Congress apportioning Congressmen- and, by extension, the Electoral Vote for President (since the number of Representatives in Congress from each State is that which causes the variations in numbers of Presidential Electors from State to State)- amongst the several States based on the most recent Census of the time, that of 1870. This act- 17 Stat. 28, adopted 2 February 1872- included, as its Section 3, a provision that the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every even-numbered year be set as the day for the election... of Representatives and Delegates to the Congress.

Here, for the first time, Congress was exercising its plenary power to at any time by Law make or alter regulations regarding [t]he Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Representatives in Congress (granted Congress by Article I, Section 4, clause 1 of the Federal Constitution) and, if your own State's election date did not happen to coincide with that now mandated by Congress for electing your State's Congressmen, it was clearly expected to, as soon as practicable, so coincide! Thus, 1872 was the first Congressional Election (that for the 43rd Congress) with an election date statutorily set by Congress and, therefore, it is with the 1872 Federal Elections that the table below begins.

However, there was a potential problem looming within Section 3 of 17 Stat. 28 which was the following: Congress, in effect, forcing a State to amend its own Constitution was (and, truth be told, still is!) of, at best, dubious constitutionality within the American Federal system; in addition, the date of Congressional elections set in 17 Stat. 28 would- at least technically speaking- only apply to those Congresses in which the U.S. House seats were apportioned per the Census of 1870 (which would have been, had other statutes not later intervened, only the 43rd through the 47th Congresses), since 17 Stat. 28 was primarily- except for its Section 6- a Reapportionment Act. Therefore, in order to make the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November the permanent statutory date for holding Congressional elections (again, only for seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as the United States Senate was still chosen by the State legislatures at the time), a new Act of Congress specific to setting just such a date would have been necessary in any event: this was to be 18 Stat. 400, adopted on 3 March 1875, the final legislative day of the very 43rd Congress that had been the very first Congress elected under the provisions of 17 Stat. 28.

At the same time, 18 Stat. 400 also took care of that rather dicey constitutional problem noted above and rooted within the very essence of American Federalism for it also included a provision that specifically exempted States in which the date of election did not coincide with this Tuesday next after the first Monday in November as a result of the date of a State's own elections being enshrined in its own Constitution (as opposed to being set by mere statute: a number of State Constitutions did not specifically mandate an Election Day but, rather, stated that members of its legislature were to be elected "at such times as shall be prescribed by law" [or similar language] and then simply required that all other elective officers- Executive and Judicial, as well as, often, county and/or township as well as State- be chosen on the same day the legislature was to be elected); in other words, where changing the date of a State's own elections to match the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, would necessitate the drafting and ratification of a State Constitutional Amendment, 18 Stat. 400 would now be inapplicable in such a State.

The next alteration of the Federally-mandated date for Congressional elections came about as a result of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution- through which United States Senators would, from now on, be directly elected by the People of the State to be so represented in the U.S. Senate- being declared to have been ratified on 8 April 1913. In order to implement this change as it might relate to Federal Election Day, Congress adopted 38 Stat. 384 (approved on 4 June 1914) which simply declared that United States Senators being regularly elected to full 6-year terms were to be elected on the same Tuesday next after the first Monday in November on which members of the U.S. House of Representatives were to be elected per 18 Stat. 400.

When the United States Code was authorized by Congress in 1926, 18 Stat. 400 became 2 USC 7 (meaning section 7 of Title 2 of the U.S. Code, this Title covering the subject of "Congress"), while 38 Stat. 384 was codified as 2 USC 1.

 
 

brackets [n] in the table below indicate that n seats in the given house of Congress were up for regular election at the time; by very definition, coincidental Special Elections are necessarily excluded from these totals.

 
Congress electedDate Members of Congress were, by statute, to be regularly electedfor Terms (Representatives for 2 years) beginning on 
43rd5 November 18724 March 1873 [292] 
44th3 November 18744 March 1875 [292] 
45th7 November 18764 March 1877 [293] 
46th5 November 18784 March 1879 [293] 
47th2 November 18804 March 1881 [293] 
48th7 November 18824 March 1883 [325] 
49th4 November 18844 March 1885 [325] 
50th2 November 18864 March 1887 [325] 
51st6 November 18884 March 1889 [325] 
52nd4 November 18904 March 1891 [332] 
53rd8 November 18924 March 1893 [356] 
54th6 November 18944 March 1895 [356] 
55th3 November 18964 March 1897 [357] 
56th8 November 18984 March 1899 [357] 
57th6 November 19004 March 1901 [357] 
58th4 November 19024 March 1903 [386] 
59th8 November 19044 March 1905 [386] 
60th6 November 19064 March 1907 [386] 
61st3 November 19084 March 1909 [391] 
62nd8 November 19104 March 1911 [391] 
63rd5 November 19124 March 1913 [435]U.S. Senators regularly elected (for 6 year terms)
64th3 November 19144 March 1915 [435]Class 3 [32]
65th7 November 19164 March 1917 [435]Class 1 [32]
66th5 November 19184 March 1919 [435]Class 2 [32]
67th2 November 19204 March 1921 [435]Class 3 [32]
68th7 November 19224 March 1923 [435]Class 1 [32]
69th4 November 19244 March 1925 [435]Class 2 [32]
70th2 November 19264 March 1927 [435]Class 3 [32]
71st6 November 19284 March 1929 [435]Class 1 [32]
72nd4 November 19304 March 1931 [435]Class 2 [32]
73rd8 November 19324 March 1933 [435]Class 3 [32]
74th6 November 19343 January 1935 [435]Class 1 [32]
75th3 November 19363 January 1937 [435]Class 2 [32]
76th8 November 19383 January 1939 [435]Class 3 [32]
77th5 November 19403 January 1941 [435]Class 1 [32]
78th3 November 19423 January 1943 [435]Class 2 [32]
79th7 November 19443 January 1945 [435]Class 3 [32]
80th5 November 19463 January 1947 [435]Class 1 [32]
81st2 November 19483 January 1949 [435]Class 2 [32]
82nd7 November 19503 January 1951 [435]Class 3 [32]
83rd4 November 19523 January 1953 [435]Class 1 [32]
84th2 November 19543 January 1955 [435]Class 2 [32]
85th6 November 19563 January 1957 [435]Class 3 [32]
86th4 November 19583 January 1959 [436]Class 1 [32]
87th8 November 19603 January 1961 [437]Class 2 [33]
88th6 November 19623 January 1963 [435]Class 3 [34]
89th3 November 19643 January 1965 [435]Class 1 [33]
90th8 November 19663 January 1967 [435]Class 2 [33]
91st5 November 19683 January 1969 [435]Class 3 [34]
92nd3 November 19703 January 1971 [435]Class 1 [33]
93rd7 November 19723 January 1973 [435]Class 2 [33]
94th5 November 19743 January 1975 [435]Class 3 [34]
95th2 November 19763 January 1977 [435]Class 1 [33]
96th7 November 19783 January 1979 [435]Class 2 [33]
97th4 November 19803 January 1981 [435]Class 3 [34]
98th2 November 19823 January 1983 [435]Class 1 [33]
99th6 November 19843 January 1985 [435]Class 2 [33]
100th4 November 19863 January 1987 [435]Class 3 [34]
101st8 November 19883 January 1989 [435]Class 1 [33]
102nd6 November 19903 January 1991 [435]Class 2 [33]
103rd3 November 19923 January 1993 [435]Class 3 [34]
104th8 November 19943 January 1995 [435]Class 1 [33]
105th5 November 19963 January 1997 [435]Class 2 [33]
106th3 November 19983 January 1999 [435]Class 3 [34]
107th7 November 20003 January 2001 [435]Class 1 [33]
108th5 November 20023 January 2003 [435]Class 2 [33]
109th2 November 20043 January 2005 [435]Class 3 [34]
110th7 November 20063 January 2007 [435]Class 1 [33]
111th4 November 20083 January 2009 [435]Class 2 [33]
112th2 November 20103 January 2011 [435]Class 3 [34]
113th6 November 20123 January 2013 [435]Class 1 [34]
114th4 November 20143 January 2015 [435]Class 2 [33]
Congress electedDate Members of Congress were, by statute, to be regularly electedfor Terms (Representatives for 2 years) beginning onU.S. Senators regularly elected (for 6 year terms)
 

data in italics in the table above indicate the next Federal Election, yet to be held: dates and other related information thereto are as currently scheduled.

 

EXCEPTIONS to the DATES OF CONGRESSIONAL ELECTIONS in the table above

May a State ever again regularly elect, by law,
its U.S. Senators and Representatives
in Congress on a date other than Federal Election Day
(the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November)?


Odd-numbered year regular Congressional elections held after the original adoption of 17 Stat. 28 in 1872

Several States- claiming the exemption provided for in 18 Stat. 400 as regarded election dates mandated by a State's own Constitution which differed from that of Federal Election Day (the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November)- continued to hold their regular Congressional elections in odd-numbered years (almost always after the Congress to which persons were being elected in said elections had already begun its 2-year term on 4 March!). These States are noted below:

CALIFORNIA: California had an alternating Congressional election date: in Presidential Election years, its Congressional election coincided with the date of "appointing" Presidential Electors by Popular Vote- the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November of what was, after all, an even-numbered year; however, as regarded the Congress elected in what we would term the Midterm Elections, California would delay its Congressional elections until its State elections (mandated by its own Constitution, as amended, of the time) which were scheduled for the first Wednesday in September of odd-numbered years. Thus, CALIFORNIA regularly elected its entire delegation of Congressmen on 1 September 1875 and 3 September 1879 (to the 44th and 46th Congresses, respectively).

This 1879 Congressional Election in California, as things turned out, was to be the very last time a State of the Union would hold a regular, full 2-year term, election (that is, a General Election, as opposed to a Special Election to fill a vacancy) for U.S. House of Representatives in an odd-numbered year. Earlier that very same year [1879], CALIFORNIA had already adopted a new State Constitution which would not take effect until 1880 but which also provided for State elections in even-numbered years on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November (therefore, from 1880 on, all Federal General [again, as opposed to Special] Elections in California- as well as all regular [again, not including special elections or the later recall] State elections in California- would coincide with Election Day as defined by Congress and specified in the table above).

CONNECTICUT: CONNECTICUT continued to hold its Congressional elections on the same day as its State elections- the first Monday in April- through 1875. Thus, CONNECTICUT regularly elected its entire delegation of Congressmen on 7 April 1873 and 5 April 1875 (to the 43rd and 44th Congresses, respectively). In October 1875, a State Constitutional Amendment was adopted moving the date of the State's own elections to the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, beginning in 1876 (therefore, from 1876 on, all Federal General [again, as opposed to Special] Elections in Connecticut- as well as all regular [again, not including special elections] State elections in Connecticut- would coincide with Election Day as defined by Congress and specified in the table above).

NEW HAMPSHIRE: NEW HAMPSHIRE continued to hold its Congressional elections on the same day as its State elections- the second Tuesday in March- these, in turn, having been scheduled so as to coincide with Town Meeting Day statewide. Thus, NEW HAMPSHIRE regularly elected its entire delegation of Congressmen on 11 March 1873, 9 March 1875 and 13 March 1877 (to the 43rd, 44th and 45th Congresses, respectively).

In December 1876, NEW HAMPSHIRE held a Constitutional Convention during which proposed Amendments to the State Constitution were considered; one of these proposals- moving the State's own elections to the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November (although Town Meeting Day itself would not be changed)- was approved by the Convention and submitted to the Town Meetings held throughout the State on that aforementioned 13 March 1877, whereby it was approved by the People of the Granite State (therefore, from 1878 on, all Federal General [again, as opposed to Special] Elections in New Hampshire- as well as all regular [again, not including special elections] State elections in New Hampshire- would coincide with Election Day as defined by Congress and specified in the table above).

 

Even-numbered year regular Congressional elections held after the original adoption of 17 Stat. 28 in 1872

Even after the disappearance of the odd-numbered year regular Congressional election, there were still those States- also claiming the exemption provided for in 18 Stat. 400 as regarded election dates mandated by a State's own Constitution which differed from that of Federal Election Day- which continued to hold their regular Congressional elections on dates other than the Federal Election Day mandated by 18 Stat. 400 become 2 USC 7 (though this, too, would become less common as time went on). Such States are noted below:

LOUISIANA: LOUISIANA's State elections had long not conformed- and, to this day, still do not conform- to the date set by Congress for all Federal elections in 2 USC 7 (applied, by extension, to the U.S. Senate in 2 USC 1) but, despite this, LOUISIANA elected its Representatives in Congress and United States Senators on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November and, thus, was compliant with the aforementioned Federal statutes through the 1976 Federal Elections.

In 1975. LOUISIANA adopted an election code that included a so-called "Open Primary" system in which all candidates for elective office would run "all-up" (that is, against each other regardless of Party affiliation): where a candidate in this "Open Primary" received a majority of the vote [1 vote beyond 50% of the total votes cast], that candidate was declared elected to the office; where no candidate in the "Open Primary" received such a majority, the top two candidates- regardless of Party affiliation (thus, two candidates from the same Party might end up running against one another)- would proceed to the "General Election" (which, in reality, was a so-called "second ballot" or "runoff" election), with the winner of this second election being declared elected.

In its original form, this "Open Primary" only applied to State and local elections in LOUISIANA but, in 1976, the election code was amended so as to apply this "Open Primary" system to Federal elections (that is, elections to both houses of Congress), beginning with the 1978 Midterm Elections. This Federal "Open Primary" (so called because it would not at all coincide with elections for State office) was to be held on the third Saturday in September immediately preceding Federal Election Day (unless this date might conflict with a recognized major religious observance in so-called "Judeo-Christian" tradition [as would happen in both 1980 and 1982: in 1980, the Federal "Open Primary" conflicted with the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur while, in 1982, the Jewish holy day of Rosh ha-Shanah fell on the appointed date for the Federal "Open Primary"], in which case the Federal "Open Primary" would be held exactly one week earlier). Meanwhile, the "General Election"/"runoff" would be scheduled for Federal Election Day itself (thus, the Louisiana election code attempted to provide at least some compliance with the requirements of 2 USC 1 & 7 since, while it was possible to elect Congressmen and Senators on "Open Primary" day. it was also possible that these might not be elected until the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in any event).

In 1982, the date of the Federal "Open Primary" was moved back to the first Saturday in October (with the very same restriction as regarded a conflict with a Jewish or Christian religious holiday, such conflict- again- necessitating the "Open Primary" being held on the Saturday the week before the normally scheduled date or, if a conflict was still found, back- when so necessary- one week further still [thus, in 1984, Yom Kippur, again, fell on the otherwise appointed day and, in 1986, the Federal "Open Primary" again conflicted with Rosh ha-Shanah; in 1996, the date scheduled for the Federal "Open Primary" happened to be the last day of the Jewish festival of Sukot (the "Festival of Tabernacles") which, being an eight day-long holiday, meant that one week earlier would be the first day of the same festival: thus, in that year, the Federal "Open Primary" had to be held two weeks before its otherwise appointed date).

By 1996, however, suit was brought in Federal court on grounds that applying the LOUISIANA Federal "Open Primary" system to the State's Congressional elections in the manner in which it was being scheduled was in direct violation of 2 USC 7 & 1 (since at least some Congressmen [and, perhaps, a U.S. Senator up for election the same year] could be elected, in any given election utilizing that schedule, before the statutorily-mandated Federal Election Day of the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November), conflicting with the clear intent of Congress that all regular, full-term Congressional elections be held on the very same day.

The Federal courts agreed with the plaintiffs (in the case that would end up in the United States Supreme Court as Foster v. Love [522 U.S. 67 (1997)]), after which LOUISIANA changed its Federal "Open Primary" so that the "Open Primary" would take place on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, with the "runoff" sometime thereafter beginning with the 1998 Midterm Elections. (Therefore, LOUISIANA's Federal election schedule has been, once again, compliant with 2 USC 7 and 2 USC 1 since 1998).

The dates of the Federal "Open Primary" in LOUISIANA, differing from the dates of Federal Election Day (which, instead, coincided with the date appointed for the ensuing "runoff"), are given in the following table:

 
Congress electedDate of the Federal "Open Primary" in LOUISIANA
96th16 September 1978
97th13 September 1980
98th11 September 1982
99th29 September 1984
100th27 September 1986
101st1 October 1988
102nd6 October 1990
103rd3 October 1992
104th1 October 1994
105th21 September 1996
 

MAINE: MAINE continued to hold its Congressional Elections on the same day as its State elections- the second Monday in September (as mandated, at the time, by Article II, Section 4 of its own State Constitution)- through 1958. In 1957, a State Constitutional Amendment was adopted moving the date of the State's own elections to the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, beginning in 1960 (therefore, from 1960 on, all Federal General [again, as opposed to Special] Elections in Maine- as well as all regular [again, not including special elections] State elections in Maine- would coincide with Election Day as defined by Congress and specified in the main table above).

The dates of Congressional elections (including elections for the United States Senate once the 17th Amendment was in force by 1914) in MAINE, differing from the dates of Federal Election Day, are given in the following table:

 
Congress electedDate Members of said Congress were regularly elected in MAINE
43rd9 September 1872
44th14 September 1874
45th11 September 1876
46th9 September 1878
47th13 September 1880
48th11 September 1882
49th8 September 1884
50th13 September 1886
51st10 September 1888
52nd8 September 1890
53rd12 September 1892
54th10 September 1894
55th14 September 1896
56th12 September 1898
57th10 September 1900
58th8 September 1902
59th12 September 1904
60th10 September 1906
61st14 September 1908
62nd12 September 1910
63rd9 September 1912
64th14 September 1914
65th11 September 1916
66th9 September 1918
67th13 September 1920
68th11 September 1922
69th8 September 1924
70th13 September 1926
71st10 September 1928
72nd8 September 1930
73rd12 September 1932
74th10 September 1934
75th14 September 1936
76th12 September 1938
77th9 September 1940
78th14 September 1942
79th11 September 1944
80th9 September 1946
81st13 September 1948
82nd11 September 1950
83rd8 September 1952
84th13 September 1954
85th10 September 1956
86th8 September 1958
 
 

Other, special, cases in which the statutory Federal Election Day was not utilized for Congressional elections

 
 

ALASKA: In preparation for being proclaimed a State of the Union by President Eisenhower (which was done on 3 January 1959), Alaska held elections for- among other offices- both of its United States Senators and the one Representative in Congress at Large to which it would be entitled at the beginning of its Statehood, said elections being held on 25 November 1958, three weeks after the date appointed for this purpose under normal circumstances per 2 USC 7 (&1).

The election for Representative was for the full two-year term beginning 3 January 1959, thus this seat in the U.S. House of Representatives for ALASKA is counted as the 436th seat in that body in the main table above. However, the elections for both U.S. Senate seat were held for unspecified terms, as each Senator from ALASKA so elected would, once seated in that body, be drawing lots to determine which two out of the three possible terms- 2 years, 4 years or the full 6 years- each would be serving (please see the page re: Senate "Electoral Classes"- in particular: footnote (d) to TABLE II- for further explanation).

As things turned out, the two new Senators from ALASKA each drew so-called "short terms" (one for 2 years [which happened to be 'Class 2'], the other for 4 years [which happened to be 'Class 3'])- thus, neither had been elected to a full 6-year term: therefore, neither U.S. Senator from ALASKA elected in 1958 is counted amongst the 32 'Class 1' Senators elected at the same time as the 86th Congress in the main table above.

 
 

This page is a "work in progress" and further research is ongoing in order to add to- as well as, where necessary, revise- the information provided above.