Tally Sheet for the Declaration of War Against Japan

Fast Facts

Since 1917, when Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman to serve in Congress, more than 300 women have followed. Women in Congress documents their service.

More >

/tiles/non-collection/r/r_fc_japan_war_tally_sheet_na-at.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration
The Tally Clerk oversees the recording of votes and ensures the accuracy of the vote count on the House Floor. The actual “tallying” is now accomplished by an electronic voting system, but before its installation, the Reading Clerk would call the roll of Members and the Tally Clerk entered the votes by hand onto a tally sheet such as this one, allowing for near-instantaneous announcement of the results of the vote. The sheets show the names of the Members and whether they voted “yea” or “nay.” Because Tally Clerks are part of the Clerk’s office, tally sheets become official records of the House. This tally sheet shows the votes for the declaration of war against Japan on December 8, 1941, taken after President Franklin Roosevelt delivered his “date that will live in infamy” speech. Jeannette Rankin, the first woman to serve in the House, is the only “nay” vote.