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233. Registration. - In order to determine whether all persons who claim the right to vote are really entitled to vote, and to identify individuals in communities where residents are not personally known to one another, nearly all the States require each voter to "register" his name, address, age, length of residence, and other facts pertaining to his qualifications as a voter with a registration officer or board provided for each voting-place.

All States, except Arkansas, where the constitution provides that registration shall not be a prerequisite to voting, require registration in some form in order to prevent double voting and other election frauds. In rural districts where the voters are well acquainted with one another one registration is suffi

cient so long as the voter remains in the same voting district, f but two thirds of the States require voters to register each yea

that an election is held. f For instance, in New York the voter must sign his name in

the registration book and on election day he must again sign his name so that the election officers may compare the two signatures. Where there is annual registration the party “machines" see to it that their regular party men register, but independent voters and many travelling men often fail to register and hence lose their vote. However, for cities, this practice involves less evil than would result from permanent registration, which is necessarily very inaccurate.

C 234. Political Parties. — From the beginning of our govern(-ments men have held different opinions on matters of govern

ment; so they have formed themselves into political groups, - known as political parties, for the purpose of electing officers who will carry on the governments in accordance with their views.

The national party organization performs a useful purpose by organizing the people who hold similar views to support candidates who promise to carry out these views if elected. But the county and State committees of the national parties also work for the election of members of their parties to the county and State offices, and this practice is harmful.

By means of clubs, parades, bands of music, and speakers who play upon the prejudices of the people, politicians induce weak-minded persons to work for a Democrat“ right or wrong," or a Republican “right or wrong." It makes no difference whether a member of a county board of commissioners is a Democrat or a Republican, or whether a State legislator is a

Democrat or a Republican. It does matter whether the county f commissioner believes in good roads and good schools or

whether the State legislator believes in a good State university or whether he is a man of high ideals. G An intelligent man should not be fooled into supporting a candidate for a local or State office because he is a Democrat or a Republican.

235. — Nominating Methods. - Very soon after the establishment of the United States it became customary for political parties to nominate a candidate for their support at the election. In the United States there are at present five different methods of nominating candidates for elective offices.

1. Self-announcement.
2. Caucus or primary.
3. Delegate convention.
4. Direct primary election.

5. Petition. [ Self-announcement, or self-nomination, is very rare, and indicates either little competition within the party or a dissatisfied candidate whom the party has refused to indorse as its regular candidate. Some Southern and Western States provide for printing the names of self-announced candidates upon the ballots. The caucus1 is the New England name for a local massmeeting of party voters, and “primary"? is the name applied f to the same in the Middle or Western States. The caucus,

or primary, selects candidates for town, ward, or precinct offices, and members of the town, ward, or precinct party committee. It also selects delegates to county and other nominating conventions.

The caucus has generally proved unsatisfactory because it is easily manipulated by machine politicians, especially in cities, and it is there that half the American population live. The unregulated caucus has often been called on short notice to meet in an inadequate hall at an inconvenient time, and then “packed" with foreigners or “repeaters” hired by the “ring." As this uninviting caucus frequently ended in a “free for all” it is not strange that good citizens have considered it not only useless but even dangerous to attend.

The delegate convention has been in common use since 1840 for selecting county, State, and National candidates. The delegate convention for a county or city is a meeting of delegates from the various election districts of the county or wards of the city. These are chosen by mass-m

-meetings, called caucuses or primaries, held in each district or ward.

The delegate convention for the State is a meeting of delegates from the counties and cities, commonly chosen at the county or city conventions. The National Convention has been described at some length in Chapter XVII. As the delegates have been selected directly or indirectly by caucuses, the evils of the caucus have also been the evils of the convention. For

1 The term “ caucus used in this sense must not be confused with the legislative caucus, which is a secret meeting of legislators of a particular party to decide upon united action against the opposing party on the floor of the legislative hall.

2 The term “primary" as here used must not be confused with the term “ direct primary,” or direct primary elections,” which is a recent substitution for the delegate convention.

8 By controlling the primary-caucuses the machine politicians had the following candidates selected as delegates for a Cook County convention which was held in Chicago in 1896: keepers of houses of ill fame, 2; ex-prizefighters, 11; had been on trial for murder, 17; had served sentences in the penitentiary, 46; had been in jail, 84; no occupation, 71; political employees, 148; saloon keepers, 265. The total number of delegates was 723.

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this reason conventions rapidly gave way to direct primary

elections. 6 The direct primary election is conducted with some of the

safeguards accompanying a regular election, such as registration, secret voting, and penalties against bribery. Each party prints upon its ballot the members of its party who desire to be party candidates at the regular election, and the person receiving the greatest number of the party votes is nominated.

Nomination by petition means that candidates are placed in nomination by petitions signed by a certain number of voters and filed with some specified officer. This entitles the candidate to have his name printed upon the official ballot. This method practically eliminates national politics from local elections and is well suited to cities, where national political parties should play no part.

236. The Direct Primary. - In forty-odd States the direct primary method is used to nominate local, county, and State officers, and representatives to Congress; and in some States it is used for senators. The direct primary systems generally have the following points in common:

1 In the following States the direct primary has been adopted either by law or by party rules: Alabama Kentucky Nevada

South Dakota
Arizona
Louisiana

New Hampshire Tennessee
Arkansas
Maine

New Jersey Texas
California

cryland
New York

Vermont
Colorado

Massachusetts North Carolina Virginia
Florida
Michigan

North Dakota Washington
Georgia
Minnesota
Ohio

West Virginia
Illinois
Mississippi
Oklahoma

Wisconsin
Indiana
Missouri
Oregon

Wyoming
Iowa
Montana

Pennsylvania
Kansas
Nebraska

South Carolina

1. Different parties hold primaries at the same time and place.

2. Australian secret ballot is used.
3. Ballots are printed at public expense.

4. Names are presented by petitions and are printed in alphabetical order.

5. Regular election officials preside and are paid from public funds.

6. Polls are open during specified hours. 7. Plurality vote nominates. 8. Corrupt practices acts for elections apply to primaries. 9. Members of party committees are selected at the primary. 10. Party membership is determined (a) by an intention to support generally at the next election the nominees of such a party; or (b) by the party the voter supported at the last election; or (e) by answering any questions the party prescribes, as is done in the South in order to keep negroes from participating in Democratic primaries.

When party membership is determined by test a, b, or c, in number 10 above, the primary is called a “closed primary" because it is closed against any persons who will not announce their party preference. In most States primaries are closed, but they are objectionable because there the voters must make known their party preference, which thus defeats the principle of the secret ballot. It also works against independent voting.

Wisconsin has the “open primary,” which is open to all voters without registering their party preference. The voter is given a separate primary ballot for each party. He votes one and deposits the others in a box for unmarked ballots. The open primary is less objectionable than the closed, but it has one objection - it allows the leaders of the majority party, especially in large cities, to direct a number of their dishonest followers to vote the ballot of the opposite party and on it to support candidates for nomination who will be friendly to the majority's interests, and thus rob the minority party of its real leader.

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