1868 Argentine presidential election

The Argentine presidential election of 1868 was held on 12 April to choose the president of Argentina. Domingo Sarmiento was elected.

1868 Argentine general election

12 April 1868

156 members of the Electoral College
79 votes needed to win
Nominee Domingo Sarmiento Justo José de Urquiza
Party Independent Federal
Home state San Juan Entre Ríos
Running mate Adolfo Alsina
Electoral vote 79 26
States carried 7 3
Percentage 60.3% 19.8%

Most voted party by province.

President before election

Bartolomé Mitre

Elected President

Domingo Sarmiento


Presiding over a prosperous economy overshadowed somewhat by the costly Paraguayan War, President Mitre was at pains to avoid risking the tenuous national unity his administration had secured. Though he hand-picked prospective candidates, Mitre avoided the appearance of direct support for any one figure, while limiting the field to those he considered acceptable. Electors from Buenos Aires Province favored Autonomist Party candidate Adolfo Alsina, who was instead persuaded by Mitre to run for the vice-presidency. The nomination was handed to the Ambassador to the United States, Domingo Sarmiento, who remained at his post and did not campaign. Mitre also supported former Unitarian Party leader Rufino de Elizalde and his running mate General Wenceslao Paunero, a key figure in Mitre's victory at the Battle of Pavón. These candidates were all preferred by the president over that year's dark horse, former President Justo José de Urquiza (whom Mitre attempted to dissuade from running for fear of the separatist conflict his presence might provoke).[1]

These candidates were, with the exception of Sarmiento, contentious in many circles and provided the new system its first real test. The electoral college met on 12 April 1868, and selected Sarmiento by 79 out of 131 votes, making this the only closely contested race during this era.[2]


Argentine Republic
Population 1,688,000
Voters 16,900
Turnout 1%
Presidential Candidates Party Electoral Votes
Domingo Sarmiento Independent 79
Justo José de Urquiza Federalist 26
Rufino de Elizalde Liberal Party 22
Guillermo Rawson Nacionalista 3
Dalmacio Vélez Sarsfield Unitarian 1
Total voters 131
Did not vote 25
Total 156
Vice Presidential Candidates Party Electoral Votes
Adolfo Alsina Autonomist 82
Wenceslao Paunero Unitarian 45
Manuel Anselmo Ocampo 2
Juan Bautista Alberdi 1
Francisco de las Carreras 1
Total voters 131
Did not vote 25
Total 156

Results by Province

Province President Vice President
SarmientoUrquizade ElizaldeRawsonVélez SarsfieldAlsinaPauneroOcampoAlberdide las Carreras
Buenos Aires24312521
CorrientesDid not voteDid not vote
Entre Ríos88
La Rioja66
San Juan88
San Luis88
Santa Fe871
Santiago del Estero1212
TucumánThe votes were not preservedThe votes were not preserved


  1. Levene, Ricardo. A History of Argentina. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1937.
  2. Todo Argentina: 1868 (in Spanish)


    • Diario de Sesiones de la Cámara Senadores del Año 1868. Buenos Aires: Imprenta del Orden. 1869. pp. 360–365.
    • Duhalde, Eduardo Luis (2007). Acción Parlamentaria de John William Cooke. Buenos Aires: Colihue. p. 232. ISBN 978-950-563-460-6.
    • Armagnague, Juan Fernando (1986). Historia del derecho: presidencias de Mitre, Sarmiento y Avellaneda. Mendoza: Ediciones Jurídicas Cuyo S.R.L. p. 83. ISBN 950-9099-09-0.
    • Rubé, Julio Horacio. La Candidatura Presidencial De Sarmiento, Capítulo IV.
    • "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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