« PreviousContinue »
the result of a canvass shall show that any of the ballots counted were objected to as marked for identification, a writ of mandamus may, upon the application of any candidate voted for at such election, within thirty days thereafter, issue out of the supreme court, if such statement be filed in a county clerk's office, to the board of county canvassers, or if in any city clerk's office or in any town or village clerk's office, to the board or body of canvassers if any of the returns of the inspectors or canvassers of the election district, and otherwise to the inspectors of election making such statement, requiring a recount of the votes. If the court shall, in the proceedings upon such writ, determine that any such ballot was marked for the purpose of identification, in any manner not proper or necessary for expressing a vote for a person for an office to be filled at such election, the court may order such ballot to be excluded upon a recount of such votes. Inspectors and canvassers of election districts, and boards of canvassers, shall continue in office for the purpose of such proceedings.
Authority has always been possessed by the courts to compel county boards cf canvassers to reconvene to correct errors made by them in canvassing election returns. The Election Code deals with this important subject in the following manner:
"S133 Mandamus for correction of errors by county boards of canvassers.-The supreme court may, upon affidavit presented by any voter showing that errors have occurred in any statement or determination made by any county board of canvassers, make an order requiring such board to correct such errors, or show cause why such correction should not be made. If such board fail or neglect to make such correction, or to show cause as aforesaid, the court may compel such board by writ of mandamus to correct such errors; and if it shall have made its determination and dissolved, to reconvene for the purpose of making such corrections. Such meeting of the board of county canvassers shall be deemed a continuation of its regular session for the purpose of making such corrections as the court shall order, and the statement and certificates shall be made and filed as the court shall direct, and shall stand in lieu of the original certificates and statements so far as they shall vary therefrom, and shall in all places be treated with the same effect as if such
corrected statement had been a part of the original required by law."
DISABLED VOTERS DEFINED.
The physical disability clause of the Ballot Reform Act of 1890, and of the amended Ballot Reform Act of 1891, is amplified, and physical disability" is defined by the Election Code. The Ballot Reform Law said, that "any voter who declares under oath to the inspectors of election that, by reason of physical disability, he is unable to prepare his ballot without assistance, shall be permitted to bring with him to such booth or compartment a person of his own selection, who may retire with such disabled voter to the booth or compartment and assist him in the preparation of the ballot."
The Election Code substitutes for that phrase the following, stating the various kinds of physical disability which render a voter excusable in asking for assistance in preparing his ballot :
"Not more than one person shall occupy one voting booth at the same time, except that a voter who shall declare under oath to the inspectors of election that, by reason of total blindness, loss of both hands, such total inability in both hands that he can not use either hand for ordinary purposes, or physical disability by reason of crippled condition or disease to enter the booth alone, he is unable to receive or prepare his ballots without assistance, may select a person for that purpose, who shall be allowed to pass within the guard-rail and receive such ballots and to enter the voting booth with such voter and there assist him in preparing his ballot. The person so selected shall not in any manner request, or seek to persuade or induce such voter to vote any particular ballot or for any particular candidate, and shall not directly or indirectly reveal to any other person the name of any candidate voted for by such voter, or any thing occurring within such voting booth, and he shall not remain within the guard-rail longer than is necessary to assist such disabled voter."
GOING WITHIN THE GUARD-RAIL TWICE.
The Election Code continues the provision of the Ballot Reform Law which permitted a voter if he spoiled one set
of ballots to obtain another, and so on until he shall have received four in all. Yet there is the following provision in section 105 in regard to such voters as go outside the guard-rail after obtaining one set of ballots:
"A voter may, after receiving one set of official ballots and before voting, return all such ballots to the ballot clerks and then pass outside the guard-rail; and afterward, while the polls are open, enter once again within the guard-rail for the purpose of voting, and receive and prepare his ballots and vote, the same as if he had not once before been within the guard-rail and received his ballots therefor. But not more than two sets in all of official ballots shall, on such account, be delivered to any voter, and no voter shall pass within the guard-rail more than twice, at the same election, for the purpose of voting."
THE ELECTION PENAL CODE.
One of the new election laws is the Election Penal Code. This provides for the punishment of misdemeanors at political caucuses and conventions; of false registration; of the mutilation, destruction or loss of a registry list; of the misconduct of registry officers; of the failure of a house dweller to answer inquiries; of the removal, mutilation or destruction of election supplies, poll-lists or cards of instruction; of a refusal to permit employes to attend an election; and finally of misconduct in relation to certificates of nomination and official ballots. The act contains the various penal provisions formerly contained in the Ballot Reform Act of 1890, the amended Ballot Reform Act of 1891, the City and Rural Registration Act of 1890, and the Corrupt Practices Act of 1890. It thus collects in one statute the various penalties for violations of the election laws scattered through various other statutes. The language in these former statutes is modified in some respects in the process of codification.
Section 41p, No. 1, in the Corrupt Practices Act of 1890, reads:
"§ 41. What is unlawful.-It shall be unlawful for any person, directly or indirectly, by himself or through any other person:
1. To pay, lend or contribute, or offer or promise to pay, lend or contribute any money or other valuable consideration, to or for any voter, or to or for any other person, to induce such voter to vote or refrain from voting at any election, or to induce any voter to vote or refrain from voting at such election for any particular person or persons, or to induce such voter to come to the pulls or remain away from the polls at such election, or on account of such vter having voted or refrained from voting or having voted or refrained from voting for any particular person, or having come to the poll or remained away from the polls at such election."
This section has been amended by the dropping of the sentence "to induce such voter to vote or refrain from voting at any election," and the section reads as follows:
"41p. Giving considerations for franchise.-Any person who directly or indirectly, by himself or through any other person,
"Pays, lends, or contributes, or offers or promises to pay, lend or contribute any money or other valuable consideration to or for any voter, or to or for any other person, to induce such voter to vote or refrain from voting at such election for any particular person or persons, or to induce such voter to come to the polls or remain away from the polls at such election or on account of such voter having voted or refrained from voting, or having voted or refrained from voting for any particular person, or having come to the polls or remained away from the polls at such election."
This section also of the Penal Code declares that any one who thus bribes a voter is guilty of an infamous crime, punishment by imprisonment for not less than three months, nor more than one year, and, in addition, forfeits any office to which he may have been elected at the election with reference to which such offense was committed.
THE NEW CONGRESSIONAL APPORTIONMENT LAW. The new law apportioning the Congressional districts of the State, chapter 295 of the Laws of 1892, changes all the thirty-four districts in the State except five, namely: The old fourteenth, renumbered sixteenth, containing Westchester county and the twenty-fourth Assembly district of New York; the old fifteenth, renumbered seventeenth, containing Rockland, Sullivan and Orange counties; the old nineteenth, renumbered the twentieth, containing the county of Albany; the thirtieth, renumbered the thirtyfirst, containing the county of Monroe; and the thirtyfourth, containing the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus and Chautauqua.
The most recent election figures bearing upon the politi cal complexion of the new Congressional districts are those of 1891. These disclose the political attitude of voters in the new districts with considerable positiveness except in the case of four districts, to wit: The seventeenth district, composed of the counties of 'Rockland. Sullivan and Orange, in which in 1888 the Republican candidate for Congressman had a plurality of seventy-four votes, whereas in 1891 the counties of the same district gave the Democratic candidate for Governor a plurality of 280 votes; the new eighteenth Congressional district, made up of the counties of Putnam, Dutchess and Ulster, which, in 1888, gave a plurality for the Republican candidate for President of 1,937 votes, and yet, in 1891, gave a plurality for the Democratic candidate for Governor of 1,156; the new nineteenth Congressional district, composed of Columbia and Rensselaer counties, which in 1888 gave the Republican candidate for President a plurality of 718 votes, and, nevertheless, gave the Democratic candidate for Governor in 1888 a plurality of 1,807 votes; and the new twenty-first Congressional district, composed of the counties of Greene, Schoharie, Otsego,