Jugate of black and white circular portraits of Charlene A. Mitchell and Michael Zagarell surrounded by white text over red background.
End War & Racism Vote Communism was the 1968 campaign slogan for Charlene A. Mitchell and Michael Zagarell, the Communist Party USA's candidates for president and vice president. Zagarell, only 23 years old and below the constitutionally required age to run for office, was the Communist Party's National Youth Director. Mitchell, born in Cincinnati, OH and raised in Chicago, IL, was the first African-American woman to run for US President.
It was the first time since 1940 that the Communist Party of USA had nominees for president and vice president. They earned 1,075 votes nationwide despite being on the ballot in only two states—one of which was Minnesota. There, the candidates, the Communist Parties of America and Minnesota, and the Minnesota voters sued for the candidates' names to be entered onto the ballot. The Minnesota Secretary of State denied the candidates from appearing on the ballot under the Federal Communist Control Act of 1954. The case was then brought to the US District Court in an attempt to not only gain entry on the ballot for the candidates, but also to invalidate the 1954 act. The court ruled that the two were to be placed on the ballot, but did not make a ruling about the 1954 Act. The case was eventually brought before the US Supreme Court, which ruled that the case had not followed the proper legal channels and since the election had passed they, too, saw no reason to invalidate the 1954 Act and dismissed the case.