“Carrot men” cast votes

Several Igorots showed an interest in the American presidential election of 1904 and asked to be able to cast their votes.

In response, two polling places were established in the Igorot village. Photographs of the two candidates, Theodore Roosevelt and Alton B. Parker, were placed over Igorot gongs; beans serving as ballots. Roosevelt carried the election, 83 to 2.


Fascinating piece of information this, from St. Louis Public Library’s feature on the Philippine Reservation in the 1904 World Trade Fair. It shows the Igorots’ (a) awareness of world events (well, at least, the US’), (b) intellectual curiousity of their time, and (c) ability to successfully communicate their desire to participate in the event.

It also shows that results of the voting was simply a matter of counting the beans perhaps witnessed by the Igorot voters themselves. What this implies in the way we here now have conducted ballot count is, complications arise when a middleman (or institution) gets in the picture.


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