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closed in envelopes. The proposed new Constitution was rejected, but by a narrow majority; the votes being in round numbers), For, 62,000; Against, 67,000.*

The expression used in the election law of the State of Ohio, is another example of the ordinary meaning attached to the word “ballot."

By the 43rd chapter of the statutes of the State of Ohio, sec. 9,7 it is enacted, “ That each elector shall, in full view, deliver to one of the judges of the election, a single ballot or piece of paper, on which shall be written or printed the names of the persons voted for,” &c., &c. Nothing is said about folding the


for the purposes of concealment, but in the next section “the judge of the election” is simply instructed to put the paper in the box “without inspecting the names written thereon.”

Again, in the election law of the State of Maine (March, 1821), chap. 115, sec. 6, nothing

* November 15. A few votes not returned.

+ 1841.

is said about the votes being secret; but it is solely required of the “ Select-men and Assessors presiding” at the election, that “ “they shall call on the voters in such meeting quali. fied for choosing such officers, requiring each of them to give in their votes on one list, for as many different persons as are then to be chosen ;” and by section 9, no vote is to be received “unless delivered in writing by the voter in person.” And by the Election Law of the same State for 1841, chap. 518, sec. 3, “the ballots for the election of Governors, Senators, Representatives, &c., are to be written or printed on clear white paper."

I will now give a couple of instances in which the law makes a show of requiring secrecy in the candidates voted for; but in a manner so vague and imperfect, as to prove that no value is attached to the provision.

By the revised statutes of Indiana (1843), chapter 5, art. 4, sec. 31, it is provided that “the ballot be a paper ticket which shall contain, written or printed, or partly written and partly printed, the names of the persons for

whom the elector intends to vote.” * * And by section 32, “the inspector shall receive his ballot, and in the presence of the other judges put the same, without being opened or examined, into the ballot-box.” * *

By the election law of the revised statutes of the State of New York (1845–6), chap. 6, sec. 7, The electors shall vote by ballot; and each person offering to vote shall deliver his ballot, so folded as to conceal its contents, to one of the inspectors, in the presence of the board of inspectors."

Whatever show of concealment there may be in these provisions, and in similar ones in other States, the universal practice, as is very well known, is, that there is no concealment whatever, and that voters, in point of fact, no more attempt to disguise their inclinations in favour of particular candidates, or their votes, than they do in this country.

The following extract from a New York paper describes with so much particularity the actual process of elections in that city and State, and the manner in which the elections

are “worked," that it will be read with some interest. I should not insert it in these pages, did it not exactly correspond with the accounts given me of those scenes in that country, by persons on whose fairness and strict veracity I place the most implicit confidence. It amply confirms also what has been said above, as to the hands into which the elections have now fallen.

From the New York Herald of May 20th, 1852:


"The whig primary elections that have been carried on during the last week and the present, in this city, exhibit more than the ordinary amount of bribery, corruption, and fraud, of every description. The way in which the primary elections, both of whigs and democrats, have been managed for several years past in this city, is a subject of comment and complaint among all classes ; but no remedy appears to have been thought of for the evil, and respectable citizens, instead of going to those elections, and taking such a part in them as would keep the rowdies and politicians in abeyance, have surrendered their rights into their hands, and for the most part have kept aloof from the contest, preferring to mind their own private business rather than be exposed to collision with bullies, in minding the business of the public, which is everybody's business

and nobody's. The result is, that corruption prevails to an alarming extent in these primary party elections, which rule and control the legal elections of the people--the nominees of the rum and rowdy delegates, no matter how unfit for office, carrying all before them, according to the usages of party, in voting for what they call "regular nominations,” but which ought to be called irregular, disorderly, and mob nominations. For instance, look at the proceedings on Thursday last, in the nineteenth wardvoters carried to the ballot-box in scores of waggons, from various localities; and, in other wards, hundreds of democrats voting for Scott or for Fillmore—men ignorant and steeped in crime-picked up in all the purlieus of the city, and purchased at a dollar a head; and some, it is said, so low as fifty cents, to deposit in the ballot-box a vote they had never seen. This demoralising process is playing fearful havoc with our institutions, rendering them, to a vast extent, not only a nullity, but perverting them to mischiefto bad and corrupt legislation—and to the mal-administration of public justice. The judicious grieve at these results; but what can they do to arrest the progress

of the evil ?

" The following is a faithful and exact description of the system :-A lazy fellow, who hates to work for a living, and encouraged by the success of ward politicians, who have grown fat upon corruption and the spoils of office, devotes his energies, day and night, to the acquisition of influence in the ward in which he resides. He spouts --he brawls in the bar-room, and affects public virtue of the highest order. He is a patriot of the first water, and “a clever ” fellow to boot. He treats the rowdies

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