On the night before the 1974 midterm election, President Gerald Ford makes an address from the Rose Garden urging Americans to vote regardless of which candidate they support.
President Ford Urges Voters to Turn Out for 1974 Midterm Election
JOHN CHANCELLOR, anchor:
Good evening. This is where some of us, a lot of us, will be working tomorrow night, as the returns on the election roll in from around the country. And in Washington today, President Ford was talking Washington talking about those returns. There is traditionally a low voter turnout in midterm elections, between 40 and 45 percent. In a Rose Garden statement today, the President asked all eligible citizens to vote tomorrow as a show of confidence in the country. Here’s that story, reported John Cochran.
JOHN COCHRAN, reporting:
The President, accompanied by Mrs. Ford, urged voters to turn out in large numbers tomorrow, regardless of which party they support. The White House said Mr. Ford’s brief remarks were nonpartisan, but he did repeat a warning that he’d made in campaign speeches.
President GERALD FORD: Now some surveys indicate a turnout tomorrow of only 40 percent of the voting population. If this is true, the Congress with which I must work in Washington, the Congress that will be working with me on controlling inflation, strengthening our economy, and preserving world peace could be elected by only 21 percent of the voters. I don’t think anyone wants that kind of minority decision.
COCHRAN: The boards have already voted by absentee ballots in Michigan, apparently referring to the close race for his old Congressional seat, the President said that he hopes their votes will be counted because it might be important. The President’s appearance in the Rose Garden was followed by an unusual outdoor briefing from his Press Secretary Ron Nessen. Nessen said Mr. Ford believes he increased the voter turnout for those Republican candidates he personally campaigned for.
During one of his campaign trips the President said that if he had stayed at the White House this fall, Republicans could have blamed him for not even trying to prevent a disaster. Now whatever happens tomorrow Mr. Ford can at least say he traveled more than16,000 miles trying to help his party. John Cochran, NBC News, at the White House.