1862 Argentine presidential election

The Argentine presidential election of 1862 was held on 4 September to choose the first president of Argentina. Bartolomé Mitre was elected president.

1862 Argentine general election

4 September 1862

156 members of the Electoral College
79 votes needed to win
Nominee Bartolomé Mitre
Party Liberal
Home state Buenos Aires
Running mate Marcos Paz
Electoral vote 133
States carried 13
Percentage 100%

President before election

Bartolomé Mitre
(Acting President and Governor of Buenos Aires)

Elected President

Bartolomé Mitre


These elections were all indirectly decided in the electoral college, and not reflective of popular vote (whose turnout averaged 10% of male suffrage). The cosmetic nature of this electoral system, which became known locally as the voto cantado (the "vote song," for its predetermined script), resulted from a period of intermittent civil wars between those who favored a united Argentina with a strong central government (Unitarians) and Buenos Aires Province leaders who favored an independent nation of their own (Federalists). These conflicts had dominated local political life since 1820, and did not immediately subside with the enactment of the Argentine Constitution of 1853.

The military guarantor of the Argentine Confederation, General Justo José de Urquiza, lost control over his appointed successor, Santiago Derqui, and this led Buenos Aires Governor Bartolomé Mitre to take up arms in defense of autonomy against what he saw as Derqui's reneging on their 1860 gentlemen's agreement. Victorious at the 1861 Battle of Pavón, Mitre obtained important concessions from the national army - notably the amendment of the Constitution to provide for indirect elections through an electoral college comprised - by design - somewhat disproportionately of electors from the nation's hinterland provinces.[1]

A skilled negotiator, Mitre placated restive sentiment in Buenos Aires and Entre Ríos Provinces (where separatist sentiment was highest), and nominated Marcos Paz, a Federalist and former Mitre foe, as his running mate. Arranging an electoral college election on 4 September 1862, he and Paz received the body's unanimous support.[2]


Argentine Republic
Population 1,400,000
Voters 14,000
Turnout 1%
Presidential Candidates Party Electoral Votes
Bartolomé Mitre Liberal Party 133
Total voters 133
Did not vote 23
Total 156
Vice Presidential Candidates Party Electoral Votes
Marcos Paz Liberal Party 91
Manuel Taboada Unitarian 16
Tadeo Rojo 6
Domingo Faustino Sarmiento 5
Mariano Fragueiro Unitarian 5
Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield Unitarian 3
Manuel Anselmo Ocampo 3
Manuel Urdinarrain 3
Valentín Alsina Unitarian 1
Total voters 133
Did not vote 23
Total 156

Results by Province

Province President Vice President
MitrePazTaboadaRojoSarmientoFragueiroVélez SarsfieldOcampoUrdinarrainAlsina
Buenos Aires251541131
CatamarcaDid not voteDid not vote
Entre Ríos8323
La Rioja66
San Juan82
San Luis88
Santa Fe88
Santiago del Estero1212


  1. Historical Dictionary of Argentina. London: Scarecrow Press, 1978.
  2. Todo Argentina: 1862 (in Spanish)


  • Diario de Sesiones de la Cámara de Diputados del Año 1862. Tomo Primero. Buenos Aires: La Tribuna. 1863. p. vi.
  • Duhalde, Eduardo Luis (2007). Acción Parlamentaria de John William Cooke. Buenos Aires: Colihue. p. 232. ISBN 978-950-563-460-6.
  • Rosa, José María (1981). Historia Argentina, Tomo VII: La Oligarquía (1862-1878). Buenos Aires: Editorial Oriente S.A. p. 10.
  • "Historia Electoral Argentina (1912-2007), p. 58" (PDF). www.mininterior.gov.ar. Ministry of the Interior. December 2008. Retrieved 13 June 2017.
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