The Cortland Democrat, Friday, November 13, 1891.
The Republican "Marked" Ballot.
(From the Syracuse Courier, Nov. 9.)
It appears that in four different towns in this county, viz.: Camillus, Clay, Elbridge and Tully, comprising nine election districts, the Republican ballots were shifted so as to give the Republicans a marked ballot. For instance, the Republican ballots in the First district of Camillus were marked on the outside "Second District," while the Democratic, Labor, and Prohibition ballots were properly marked "First District." There might just as well have been written on the outside of each of those marked ballots, "this is a Republican ballot."
The Journal says it is a technical mistake and one which has been legalized. There was no mistake. If the change occurred in only one, or two towns even, the Journal and Republican officials might plead mistake, but it is impossible to plead mistake for every district in the four different towns. We ask the Journal to explain how in the town of Elbridge containing three districts the Republican ballot alone could have been shifted by mistake so as to give the Republicans a marked ballot in all three districts?
The returns carry the evidence of fraud upon their faces. Republican officials are dissatisfied with the secret ballot. They are trying to invent some method to evade and destroy it. The democracy of this county are [sic] not fighting upon technical grounds when they say the secrecy of the ballot has been outraged. If it is legal to change the ballot in nine election districts, it is legal to change the ballots for every district in the State. There is a vital principle involved for which Democrats must fight.
The object of the marked ballot was to enable the Republicans to buy up the floaters, and to enable the Munroes to intimidate voters.
It is too important to the Democratic party to have a secret ballot to permit any tampering with it. Now is the time to teach those who have tampered with it a wholesome lesson. No Democratic body should tolerate or legalize any such proceedings. We charge a deliberate and preconceived design to evade the secrecy of the ballot.
Mr. Munroe should never be permitted so take his seat by such means and methods.
"Ineligible" to Seats in the Senate.
(Syracuse Courier, Nov. 9.)
If Rufus T. Peck gained a citizenship in Canada, as is alleged, and did not regain citizenship in his native State after his return there can be but little question of his ineligibility to a seat in the Legislature. The fact that he has already served two years in the Legislature does not alter the case. What shall we say of a man, however, who, if ineligible and he knew it, imposed himself unconstitutionally on a county as its representative in a law-making body? It is a question both of fact and of law. No amount of special pleading will change either. Votes cast for an ineligible candidate are void. They will be regarded as not cast and the candidate next in the list must receive the certificate of election. If Peck goes out on that score, Nichols goes in, without a new election. The onus of proof rests, of course, with those attacking Peck's eligibility.
Another like case is in Fassett's old district. Sherwood, who claims to be elected, is Park Commissioner of the city of Hornellsville. The Constitution declares every person ineligible to the Legislature who holds any city office or has held any within 100 days of the election. The question of eligibility was submitted to the Attorney-General long before election and he gave a written opinion against it. The Republicans with strange perverseness kept him in the field and gave him their votes. The seat belongs to the Democratic candidate he having received the largest number of votes cast for an eligible candidate. Sherwood's case like Peck's, is one of law and of fact. We fail to see how Republicans can get over the obstacles in the way of these two men taking seats in the Senate, unless they can show facts to be otherwise than alleged. The courts are the proper tribunal in which to bring the issue. [Rufus T. Peck's election was contested for alleged ballot irregularities, and the New York State Court of Appeals threw out over 1200 ballots cast for Peck. This gave the Senate seat to Democrat John A. Nichols—CC editor.]
The Cortland Standard gave up considerable of its space last week to extending its hearty congratulations to the Republican County candidates over the fact that they were triumphantly elected. Sutherland, the candidate for Attorney-General received a plurality of 1186 in the county while Pecks plurality was only 770, Tripp's 907, Miller's 234, Jones' 550, Squires' 808, and Angel's 982. If running from 200 to 900 behind the ticket is being triumphantly elected, few of our neighbor's friends will care to have any of the Standard's triumphantly in theirs. The truth is the entire ticket barely escaped defeat, with a majority of 1200 to their credit to start with, and the less the Standard says about their run the better.
While the new way of voting commends itself to many, it does not entirely overcome some of the objectional [sic] features of the old method and it may well be doubted if any method can be devised that will prevent the rascality practiced by some of the Republican heelers in the country districts. For instance, in district No. 4 of this town on election day, the Republican heelers were peddling pasters and paster ballots not only inside the limits but they did not hesitate to peddle them in the room occupied by the inspectors. Indeed, so impudent did they become that a Republican inspector was obliged to call one of them down and threaten to have him locked up unless he conducted himself differently, but even this reprimand did not last long. It is possible that the blanket ballot might force the Republicans in the rural districts to a more decent observance of the proprieties of the occasion and a slight observance of the rules of law governing elections. If so, we should heartily welcome it.
Thousands of good people in every part of the State are feeling jolly over the fact that Superintendent of Public Instruction Andrew S. Draper will undoubtedly be forced to step down and out as a result of the recent elections. Hs is too arbitrary, dictatorial and unreliable for the position and he should long since have given way to a better man.
The editor of the Cortland Standard has commenced the work of reforming the Tammany Tiger. His friends express the fear that another canary bird cage will be empty in the near future.
A large number of extra men are at work night and day, Sundays not excepted, in the Navy Yards at Brooklyn, and Vallejo, Cal. The war ships are being put in order for duty and the guns are being mounted and put in shape for active duty. It is believed that such active preparations are being made in consequence of the little unpleasantness of a diplomatic nature which has recently taken place between this country and Chili, growing out of the recent assault committed by Chilians on the sailors belonging to the American ship Baltimore anchored in the harbor of Valparaizo.
The Democrats in this county who were crazy with delight over the fancied possibility of electing a part of their county ticket are correspondingly in the dumps over their total defeat. They had no grounds for their hopes, and have no reason for being cast down because nothing has come of them, but we fear that even Democratic success in the State will not altogether console them. Had they had any chance at the outset, the Cortland Democrat would quickly have destroyed it, and that they succeeded in cutting down the majorities of some of the Republican candidates is due more to the adoption in certain professedly Republican quarters of Democratic methods of falsehood, misrepresentation and groundless personal abuse than anything else. Tactics of this kind may strike inconsiderate persons as smart, but they always react. There are political guns which are far more dangerous at the breech than at the muzzle.—Cortland Standard, Nov. 5.
The amazing cheek displayed by the editor of the Standard in the above paragraph is enough to make a horse laugh. It is undoubtedly true as the Standard says, that the majorities of some of the Republican candidates were cut down through the falsehood, misrepresentation and groundless personal abuse of the Democratic candidates by the Cortland Journal, but as the Standard reiterated substantially the same abuse, we fail to see why it should now attempt to lay all the blame on its co-partner in the dirty business. It has become pretty generally understood in this vicinity that when the Standard advocates the election of any candidate to office, he is in danger and as a rule the candidate thinks himself fortunate when he incurs the hatred of the editor of the Standard to such an extent, that his name is not mentioned in the paper. Undoubtedly the Journal's rank abuse and lying about Democratic candidates and the fact that the Standard subsequently copied the lying charges almost word for word, made a good many votes for the Democratic candidates, but the truth as published in the DEMOCRAT was what convinced many honest Republicans that they should vote for the Democratic candidates. The better element in the Republican party long since recognized the fact, that when they are in search of the truth about all the candidates they must look to the columns of the DEMOCRAT for it, and they do not look in vain.
Three young women, victims of the Johnston flood, are just recovering their senses at Pennsylvania Hospital for the insane.
The Central office (Telephone) will be closed from 3 to 4 P. M. to day.
The fire department of the city of Syracuse is composed of sixty-five men, forty-five horses and twenty-three pieces of apparatus.
An advertisement in a Boston Daily newspaper, asking one Peter Carpenter to return to his home in Woburn, has brought to light a romantic story. The wife of the missing man says her husband was Father Jean Pierre Calves, a Catholic priest in Vergennes, Vt., where she first met him, that he renounced the priesthood and married her in Hudson, N. Y. in 1858, taking the name of Peter J. Carpenter. He has now been missing since November 1890, and his wife thinks he has entered a monastery somewhere to do penance.