Explore Palm Springs: 1940 City Council Election

In order to vote, you needed to be present on Election Day. No absentee ballots were issued.

Renee Brown History

Palm Springs City Council candidates used community events to espouse their platforms and remind people to vote.

During a citywide election held April 9, 1940, many of those battling it out for seats on the city council used the Desert Circus parade and other community events to highlight their platforms and remind citizens to vote.

To be eligible to vote in the election, a voter had to be present in Palm Springs on Election Day and vote at the polls in their own wards. No absentee ballots were issued because the election was only being held in the odd numbered wards and not throughout the city. Each ward had its own polling location where residents from that ward were required to vote.

The First Ward became a hotly fought contest between three candidates vying for the office. Businessman Floyd Bigley won the seat after First Ward citizens voted at Palm Springs Builder’s Supply office on Sunny Dunes Road.

The Third Ward had only one candidate who filed — current Mayor Phillip Boyd — but a surge of citizens came to vote as a rousing show of confidence in the mayor. The Fifth and Seventh wards also had only one candidate. The city council canvassed the results of the precinct vote the next week and announced the winner.

There is a multitude of ways to Explore Palm Springs, which turns 80 in 2018. One of the more intriguing methods is by exploring Palm Springs history. The Palm Springs Historical Society will share a story whose time and place corresponds with today.

The Palm Springs Historical Society is located at 221 S. Palm Canyon Drive.

Visit for more information.