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the more effectual prevention of fraud. The development in this direction has been particularly noticeable in those states where organized effort to win elections by fraudulent means has been carried to the highest point of efficiency. Just as in the familiar contest in the field of naval construction between highpower projectiles and still more powerful defensive armor, so every advance in the direction of greater rigor and minuteness in the provisions of the election law has been met by a more than corresponding systematization and perfection of the methods for evading such provisions. This process is particularly interesting to trace in New York state (which has, on the whole, the most complete and highly developed election law of any state in the Union, though those of Massachusetts and California are very close rivals, and on certain specific points both they and those of other states are in advance of the New York law). As any description of the development of the various statutes along this line would necessarily be a lengthy matter, and as it would involve a discussion of other parts of the election law than that which is directly affected by the Australian ballot system for example, the subject of registration-it cannot here be attempted. In general, it may be said, however, that the development of ballot laws has been carried farthest in the larger states, especially in those which contain great cities and in which the parties are most evenly balanced. In such states as Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, and Maine there have been scarcely any changes since the Australian system was first adopted.
Primary Election Laws 1
State legislation now goes behind the regular official elections and controls to a greater or less extent the structure and operations of the several parties.2
I. At the outset, the legislature must determine the character of the political associations which are to be brought within the purview of the law, for groups with slight numerical strength or formed for only quasi-political purposes are obviously outside
1 See Merriam, Primary Elections. Professor E. C. Meyer is revising his Nominating Elections for early publication.
2 See above, p. 142.
the scope of primary legislation. In meeting this problem of definition, two rules have been devised. It is sometimes the practice to extend the application of the law only to those political associations which cast a fixed number of votes for some specified candidates at the preceding state election. New York, for example, places the minimum at ten thousand votes for governor, and specially exempts from the operation of the law organizations and associations of citizens for the election of city officers, providing that membership in such an association shall not prevent the elector from enrolling with and acting as a member of a political party. The more frequent practice, adopted by the most recent statutes, is to determine upon some percentage of the entire vote which any political organization must cast in order to bring it within the view of the law. The Iowa statute of 1907 includes in the term "political party" any organization which at the last preceding general election cast for its candidate for governor at least two per cent of the total vote cast at that election. Oregon defines a political party as an affiliation of electors representing a political organization which at the preceding general election polled for its candidate for Congress at least twenty-five per cent of the entire vote cast for that office in the State. (Law of 1905.)
II. After the definition of what organizations shall come within the purview of the law, it is next imperative that some precise and regular mode should be provided for determining who are entitled to membership and voting rights within the party. Otherwise it would be impossible for the primary law to attain its fundamental purpose of securing the expression of the popular will on the composition of the committees and conventions, the nomination of candidates, and the drafting of the platform. This principle is enunciated in the preamble to the Oregon law: "Every political party and every volunteer political organization has the same right to be protected from the interference of persons who are not identified with it as its known and publicly avowed members that the government of the state has to protect itself from the interference of persons who are not known and registered as its electors. It is as great a wrong to the people, as well as to the members of a political party, for any one who is not known to be one of its members to vote or take any part at any election or other proceedings of such political party, as it is
for one who is not a qualified and registered elector to vote at any state election or to take part in the business of the state." This seems axiomatic; but obviously it is difficult to prescribe the conditions of party allegiance without at once preventing that independence in voting which is the hope of decent politics. If only known party voters are to attend the primaries, what becomes of the secret ballot at elections that boon which it took so many years to secure? In the midst of a great diversity of practices in this matter of providing a party allegiance test, four general methods are discernible: official enrolment in the party by secret or open process; personal declaration at the primary; investment of the right to determine the test in party officials; and the heroic device of abandoning the test altogether by the establishment of secret primaries. 1
I. The first of these methods has been adopted in New York. In the cities and villages where the personal enrolment law applies, the voter, on registering for the coming election, receives a blank which he must fill out if he intends to participate in the primary elections of any party. He then goes into a booth where he indicates by a mark under the emblem the party with which he intends to affiliate, and at the same time subscribes to a declaration running as follows: "I am in general sympathy with the principles of the party which I have designated by my mark hereunder; it is my intention to support generally at the next general election, state or national, the nominees of such party for state and national offices; and I have not enrolled with or participated in any primary election or convention of any other party since the first day of last year." The enrolment blanks so filled out are placed in sealed envelopes and deposited in a special box; a week after the regular election. the seals are broken and the lists of each party made up from the declarations. Judicial process may be invoked for the cancellation of the names of fraudulent voters and the names of voters who have died or moved out of the district before the ensuing primary. The chief objection to this system is that urged against viva voce voting at elections; namely, that it makes
1 On this problem, see a valuable article by Professor Charles E. Merriam in the Proceedings of the American Political Science Association, 1907, pp. 179 ff.
public the party affiliation of every voter who enrolls, and makes him liable to the pressures incident to such publicity. 1
2. The second test of party allegiance, that is, personal declaration at the primary, is one quite generally applied, but it tends to approximate the New York plan owing to the frequent adoption of an official register based on such declarations. According to this scheme, the voter at the primary asks for and receives the ballot of the party in whose nominations he wishes to take part, and, unless challenged, he deposits the ballot in the box of the party he has chosen; if challenged he takes an oath to the effect that he is a member of that party, has supported it generally at the last election, and intends to vote for at least a majority of the candidates at the coming election.
3. The third method-leaving the imposition of the test to the party officials operating under organization rules — is prevalent in the South where, for well-known reasons, the dominant party has desired a generous freedom in this respect.
4. Wisconsin has solved the problem of the allegiance test by a heroic provision: each voter at the primary is given ballots of all the parties; the ballots are officially prepared and all alike in form and color and are in a single sheet separated by perforated lines; on each ballot the names of the several party candidates are arranged in alphabetical order 2 under the titles of the offices to which they seek the nomination; the voter separates from the group of ballots the ballot of the party for which he wishes to vote, marks it, folds it, and then deposits it in the regular box. All the other papers he puts in a separate box for the blanks, which are destroyed immediately after the canvass. absolute secrecy is preserved.3
1 Another disadvantage of the scheme of enrolment and in fact of all tests for party membership is the difficulty it places in the way of separating state and national from local issues.
? Provision was made in 1909 for "rotating" the names of the candidates so as not to give the names beginning with A, B, C, etc., for example, an advantage over those beginning with S, T, U, etc.
3 The Minnesota primary law of 1899, which was first made applicable to the single city of Minneapolis, also provided for secret ballot, and the first trial resulted in a protest against the secret feature of the statute. A Republican candidate for mayor was nominated against the wishes of the organization and the cry immediately followed that "the Democrats did it.” When the legislature met again, it reëstablished the old requirement of a
III. Having defined the type of organization which shall be deemed a party and laid down the rules determining membership in the party, legislatures are next compelled to provide for safeguarding the balloting at primaries, and in this connection they have regulated the dates of primaries, polling places, size and shape of ballots, the conduct of the balloting, the count, and the payment of the expenses. The principles now accepted in this field of primary legislation are the oldest and best known, so that they need little more than mention here. There is a uniform tendency to fix the holding of all primary elections of all parties on the same day and at the same place for all territorial divisions coming under the provisions of the law; but this is not universally adopted; some states, for instance, forbid two parties to hold their caucuses on the same day, leaving the matter otherwise to the determination of the committees, subject to certain limits as to time. While fixing uniform dates for primaries, New York separates the polling places of parties by providing that one polling place shall be furnished in each district for the party casting the highest number of votes at the last gubernatorial election, and another place for all other parties. There is also a tendency to require an official ballot for all parties; ' but New York allows any person to provide ballots subject to the regulations of the custodian of primary elections as to size, color, weight, and texture of the paper. It is also a generally accepted principle that the primaries should be conducted by regular officials according to minute provisions as to hours of opening and closing, and counting the ballots; and finally that the expenses should be borne by the same governmental authority that bears the regular election expenses.
IV. The definition of party, the provision of an allegiance test, and the protection of the ballot at the primary are but the preliminaries to the control of party organization and operations. The dominating element in the state party organization is, of course, the central committee (including the chairman), who have charge of marshalling the party hosts in campaigns and have
declaration of allegiance on the part of the party voter and at the same time extended the provisions of the law to other parts of the state. Review of Reviews, Vol. XXIV, pp. 465 ff., October, 1901; A. L. Mearkle, "The Minnesota Election Law."
1 Printed at public expense.