Abbildungen der Seite

By Mr. BLAIR: Q. The two separate offenses which it is the object of the law to prevent are illegal registration and illegal voting, and you felt authorized to issue, aud did issue, warrants to prevent the commission of these offenses ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. The illegal registration takes place before the illegal voting ?-A. Yes, sir.

Q. Would not the United States have the right to punish the illegal registration wherever it is liable to lead to the casting of an illegal vote for a national officer I-A. I do not so understand it.

Q. Wherever the illegal registration takes place there would be dan. ger of an illegal vote for a member of Congress or Presidential electors? -A. Yes, sir.

Q. Therefore, I assume, the national power may be exerted to prevent an illegal registration in any event when a national officer is to be chosen. Now, to proceed further, where an illegal vote is to be cast for a mem. ber of Congress or for an elector for President and Vice-President, you would certainly understand it to be within the scope of the national power for the United States to make the arrest for illegal voting, and to punish the offender I-A. That is tbe very question I have been asked.

Q. By no means. I think that perhaps in the way the question was put there was a little confusion in your mind, as there was in mine at first. If the vote cast was for a national officer, there can be no doubt in your judgment as to the power of the national authority to punish the offense 1-A, I think I would rather answer that I execate the law as I find it, and do not pass upon the abstract question of power.

Q. But let me call your attention to the further point. If the illegal vote is cast under State law and for a State officer, that would not be a vote of which the United States would bave jurisdiction -A. I presume not.

Q. Therefore there would be no conflict between the national and State authority in the proper execution of this supervisors’law. If the proof showed, as to a man brought before you, that he voted only for governor or any other State officer, you would not undertake to hold him under this law for a violation of a United States law, but you would turn bim over to the State authorities 1-Ą, I should not arrest any man for voting illegally at a State election, but should make the arrest for illegal voting at an election at which a member of Congress is voted for, because the statute defines that at an election at which a member of Congress shall be voted for the ballot of the voter shall be presumed to have upon it the name of a candidate for Congress.

Q. But when, upon your trying the case, the proof has shown that he has not voted for a member of Congress nor for any national officer, that presumption would be rebutted, would it not I-A. I could not answer that question without reference to the law. I have not the words of the statute in my mind.

Q. The presumption that the voter has voted for national as well as State officers may exist from the natural course of events, yet when the proof is developed on the trial that he did not vote for a national officer as well as a State officer, it follows that the vote is illegal because a violation of a State law, and the offense not within the jurisdiction of a United States court to punish. I think you will find such to be the law, and that the case would be dismissed by you for want of jurisdiction.A. I should refer to the statute, and if the case did not come within it should discharge the accused. I will say in brief that if the proof showed

that the vote had not been given for a national office, I would order the discharge.

Q. I thought that it was a mere piece of casuistry. You went on to state further that no complaint had been made of the manner in which the law had been administered.-A. No complaint of the manner in which the law had been administered has been made.

*By the CHAIRMAN: Q. Was any difficulty or disorder at the polls in November, 1878, reported to you ?-A. No difficulty or disorder of any kind. Perfect order and harmony prevailed throughout the city.

Q. Hov many policemen are there in the city of Boston ?-A. I am unable to answer.

Q. You have a large police force here ?-A. I presume so.

Q. Was there any necessity for the presence of marshals, in addition to the police force, to preserve the peace at the polls in the city of Boston at the last election I-A. There was no necessity for their acting, wbether there was a necessity for their being appointed or not.

Q. Was there any contest that required the arrest of a single individual in November, 18781-A. I bad one hundred and sixty warrants to serve, and deputy marshals were required to serve those.

Q. They served how many on election day?-A. I could not tell how many they served.

Q. How many did you serve ?-A. I served twenty.

Q. How many marshals had you in the city of Boston ?-A. Two hun. dred and twenty-five, I think.

Q. They served twenty warrants on election day. How many men were convicted under them l-A. I could not tell you that; there are 106 precincts.

Q. That is not the question; I want results. There were 225 mar. shals and 20 arrests. What do you know about the number of convictions under those arrests? I ask for a mere general statement.-A. I have been told that every one that was tried was convicted. Now, if you ask me how many were tried, I would have to say I did not know.

Q. You do not know how many were tried ?-A. I think that some eight or ten were tried. Four were discharged and one was defaulted.

Q. So far as the supervisors of election were concerned, was there any necessity practically for their presence at the polls I-A. That omnes back to the whole question.

Q. Certainly. I ask you the question again whether there was practically any necessity for the presence of the supervisors at the polls 1A. I was required to appoint supervisors, and I did so.

Q. I do not ask that.-A. I do not express any opinion about that.

Q. You cannot say whether there was or not? A. I merely did my duty as a magistrate.

Q. Do you not think that tbe officers of election appointed under the authority of the State of Massachusetts were sufficient to conduct an honest, free, and pure election in the city of Boston in November, 18787 -A. Undoubtedly the city of Boston has the power to enforce an honest and pure election if it chooses to do so; I have no doubt of that. With regard to the appointment of deputy marshals, you asked whether there was a necessity for them, and my reply is that under tbeir appointment there was perfect peace. Whether or not there would have been peace without them, I cannot tell you.

Q. They did not arrest anybody for illegal voting, except as they made arrests on the twenty warrants that were issued before the election ?-A. What would have happened if they had not been there with their badges on, I cannot tell you.

Q. They had tbeir badges on 1-A, I presume so.

Q. The policemen were there with their badges also ?-A. I think so; I was not about the polls.

Q. Do you think that the State of Massachusetts is able to enforce the laws and maintain the peace at her elections 1-A. I do not know. I know that so far as I am called upon as supervisor I shall enforce the law.

By Mr. BLAIR : Q. Mr. Dean and his friends applied for the appointment of these supervisors at the election in the first instance !--A. Yes, sir.

(NOTE.-On the following day the witness appeared and made a statement, as follows:)

I am now prepared to answer the question which Senator Blair asked me yesterday in reference to the number and political sentiments of the deputy marshals appointed in November, 1878. I find that in the city of Boston there were, in all, 216 appointed. Of these, 130 were Republicans, 58 were Democrats, 18 were members of the Greenback party, and 10 called themselves Independents. In the city of Lowell 7 Republicans and 6 Democrats were appointed as deputy marshals. I make this statement from the records on file in my office.


BOSTON, Aug. 14, 1879. The chairman submitted in evidence Articles III and XX of the articles of amendment of the original constitution of the State of Massachusetts, and sections 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 of the act of May 11, 1878 (Statutes of Mass.), in relation to registration and elections in the city of Boston. These are as follows:


ART. III. Every male citizen of twenty-one years of age and upwards (excepting paupers and persons under guardianship), who sball bave resided witbin the commonwealth one year, and within the town or district in which he may claim a right to vote, six calendar months next preceding 'any election of governor, lieutenant-goverpor, senators, or representatives, and who shall bave paid by himself, or bis parent, master, or guardian, any State or county tax which shall within two years next preceding such election have been assessed upon him, in any town or district of tbis commonwealth, and also every citizen who shall be by law exempted from taxation, and who shall be in all other respects qualified as above mentioned, shall have a right to vote in such election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives, and no other person shall be entitled to vote in such elections.

ART. XX. No person shall have the right to vote, or be eligible to office under the constitution of this commonwealth, who shall not be able to read the constitution in the English language and write his name: Prorided, houerer, That the provisions of this amendment shall not apply to any person prevented by a physical disability from complying with its requisitions, nor to any person who now bas the right to vote, nor to any persons who shall be sixty years of age, or upwards, at the time this amendment shall take effect.

[NOTE.—The foregoing Art. XX took effect May 1, 1857.||


SEC. 12. The city registrar shall, on the first day of every month, and, also, two days before every election, send to the registrars of voters a list by wards of male persoos over twenty-one years of age deceased within the preceding month, or since the last time of sending such list; and the names of such persons found upon the voting lists shall be erased therefrom.

Sec. 13. If the name of a qualified voter shall be erroneously erased from the published voting list, he may apply to the registrars of voters at any time before the closing of the polls for its restoration; and if he shall prove that his claim be valid, his name shall be restored to the voting list, and he shall be given a certificate thereof, if such restoration is made on the day of election'; on presentation of which to the officers of the precinct in which he was entitled to be registered, he shall be allowed to vote therein ; and the certificate shall be returned and preserved in like manner with the ballots cast in said precinct.

SEC. 14. On complaint in writing, under oath, made by any voter of the city at least seven days prior to an election, setting forth that he has reason to believe, and does believe that any one whose name is on the voting list has not the legal qualifications of a voter, and setting forth the pature of the alleged disqualification, it shall be the duty of the registrars, if they shall be satisfied that there is reasonable gronnd for such complaint, to sumunon such person to appear before them at a time and place named, and to examine him under oath in regard to the matter set forth in the complaint, and if satisfied that he is not a qualified voter, his name shall be stricken from the list.

SEC. 15. If the registrars are not satisfied as to the identity or qualifications of an applicant for registration, they may make such examination of said applicant under oath as they may consider necessary or proper to verify the fact that he is possessed of the constitutional requirements of a voter, and said registrars, as soon after the second day of September in each year as may be necessary, shall hold evening sessions in or near each ward for the performance of any and all the duties imposed upon them by the provisions of this act: Provided, howerer, That they shall hold not less than ten evening sessions prior to the annual State or municipal election.

Sec. 16. The registration of voters shall cease at 10 o'clock in the evening of the fourteenth day preceding the day of any election, and po name shall thereafter be entered on the voting-lists except as provided in section ten, chapter three hundred and seventy-sis, of the acts of the year eighteen hundred and seventy-four, or to restore a pame erroneously stricken off as herein before provided.

The CHAIRMAN. Article XX of the articles of amendment to the Constitution took effect upon May 1, 1857.

JOSEPH M. WIGHTMAN sworn and examined.

By the CHAIRMAN: Question. State your official position with regard to the elections in the city of Boston.-Auswer. I am now, and have been for two years, chairman of the board of registrars of voters of the city of Boston.

Q. You were mayor of the city at one time?-A. I was ; in 1861-'62. I became connected with the board of registry two years ago last April.

Q. Of how many members does that board cousist ?-A. The number established by law is three. There are but two registrars in office at present (Mr. L. E. Pearson and myself); the term of office of one of the registrars having expired on the first Monday of last April, and the vacancy not having yet been filled. The members serve for three years; one being appointed annually by the mayor, and the appointments being confirmed by the board of aldermen.

Q. Specify the duties under the statutes of Massachusetts of this board of registry.-A. The duties are, in brief, under statute law, to prepare a correct list of the qualified voters of the city of Boston. Various statutes have been passed in pursuance of that, and they appear, so far as our judgment is concerned, to meet every exigency that may arise. We act entirely under statute law, not under any of the ordi. nances of the city, but our appointment, our salaries, and appropriations are made by the city council of the city of Boston.

Q. Have you any pamphlet copy of the statutes, gathered together, relating to the subject matter of the registration at elections ?-A. We have pot.

Q. Whence come the data upon which you base the voting-list?-A' Early in the year, perhaps in the month of March, we send to and ra. ceive from the collector of taxes certain books containing the names of persons who have legally qualified themselves for voting by paying a tax. Our clerks, taking those books and the voting list of the year be. fore, which is printed and has been prepared carefully, compare every name on the printed voting list with the list of payments furnished from the collector's office. In every case of such payment being shown, the name is checked on the voting-list. The names of voters appearing as having been duly qualified in the year previous remain on the list, as the fact that they complied with the law and paid their taxes in the previous year continues their qualification for the next year. This proceeds until about the 1st of May, on which day, as required by law, the as. sessors proceed to visit every block, every house, and every tenement in the city of Boston, for the purpose of ascertaining the number of as. sessable polls (that is, males over twenty-one years of age), without regard to their being voters. There are in the city of Boston about pinety thousand assessable polls. The assessors, with their several clerks, go around nominally every day from the 1st of May until the 15th of July, when they complete their work. The assessments are made by three assessors of different grades and their clerks, assignments being made to the different wards. We arrange in the beginning with the principals to bave the clerk of the ward assessors in each ward prepare for us a carefully-drawn list of the whole assessed vote. The form for the list is supplied by us, and is identical with that which I now hold in my hand, having letters on the margin. Each day's work of the clerks of the assessors is transmitted to us, and is required to pass through the collector's office. Our clerks, therefore, are continually examining these pames, ascertaining who have changed their residences, where such parties have removed, and what the business of the party is in each case, so that we are able to identify each individual. The entry wbicb is made upon our books is in this form : If, for instance, the individual is in ward one and upon page 18 of tbe assessor's book, we enter the name upon our book under tbe letters, " ward number one, page 18." Then if the name of the man is the first upon the page it is marked “A”; if the third on the page, it is “0”. and so on. The name is carried out in full, the residence of the party in the previous year being given, with his business or occupation. These sheets as they come in, being in a loose form like that to which I now call your attention, are given to the clerks, by wbom a comparison is made of these names with those upon the voting-list for the previous year; and, after careful examination, if found to be correct, a second check (the assessor's check) is made upon the list. This portion of the work in correcting the names is the portion upon which we are now engaged, and have been since the 15th of July. We have a telephone connecting our office with the office of the assessors, which facilitates the labor of making corrections. If the initials of a pame wbich appear, for instance, on the voting list of last year as “ J. L." are reported by the assessors "J. T.,” we immediately send over to the assessor's office the original record and have the correction made. That is the process up to that point. In that way, of the sixty thousand names which we have upon our voting.list, about fifty to fifty five per cent. remain over year after year, without any change and without any trouble, but with the privilege of recourse to us or to the assessor for correction.

Q. Up to the 15th of July, you have then the original pay.list of the previous year with the checks of the tax collector, next the check of the

« ZurückWeiter »