From Transcribe Wiki
Revision as of 14:49, 17 February 2020 by Anewby (talk | contribs)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

following the convention system, was what is called the period of the legalized delegate convention plan. for many years the process made very little progress, but in the late eighties, in '89 and '90, came the Australian ballot movement. the Australian ballot movement spread like wildfire over the united states, and within a few years practically every state had adopted it. in other words, here was a formula, a scheme, a method of protecting the purity of elections, and after the Australian ballot system was adopted for regular elections, then it came to be the tendency to adopt the same system for party elections, and what happened toward the end of the century was, as in the case of the Illinois law of '98 and the new York and boston laws of about the same time, that they clamped down upon the party convention practically all the rules of the Australian ballot system. in other words, they made the legal safeguards of the primary and regular election the same to all the intents and purposes. those legal safeguards are that there shall be publicity in regard to the time and place and purposes. those legal safeguards are that there shall be publicity in regard to the time and place and purpose of the election, that there shall be regular polling places engaged by the state, that there shall be sworn judges and clerks appointed by the government, that there shall be printed ballots furnished by the government. that there shall be lawful provisions for the counting and the revision of the count, and that there shall be penalties provided and prosecuting machinery provided for violation of these laws. those were all applied or began to the conduct of the party or primary election. there were many interesting stages in the struggle to keep away from them. for example, in many of the states, at first they merely provided that the ballots of all parties should be of the same size, the ballots of all factions should be the same size in a party. in the earlier days, you see, they would have one faction that would have a large ballot and another one would have a small ballot, so that when a man voted you could tell whom he was voting for, which faction of the party, the a faction or the b faction. then they had different colors, one might be pink and the other green. so these practices were followed up with the law, which said all ballots should be of the same size and the same color. even then the law could be evaded by getting different shades of white. for instance, one might be a dead white and another more of a cream color; one might be a very thin paper and another might be rather thick, so that when a man voted you could tell exactly which faction he belonged to. finally the conclusion was reached to have all the ballots for these party nominations printed by the government with the names of all candidates on, just as in the Australian ballot law. then there could be secrecy in regard to the actual voting. an amusing thing happened in Illinois here at one time in one of the hotly contested elections, where the candidates went around in a cloud of gold dust. when they were pulling out of the ballots from one of the boxes they found a ballot with a five dollar bill wrapped up inside of it. the man got five dollars for voting but he had forgotten to take out the five dollars. but that is no crime under the laws of this state yet, as far as that is concerned. the crime under our law is to receive a bribe, not to give one, though in general the law applies to both. the movement toward the direct primary