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senators are chosen at this election to serve for six years as vacancies occur.
Twenty-five days before the November election, the secretary of state must send to each county clerk a certificate giving the names of all candidates for the office of United States senator, the office of presidential elector, the office of congressman, and for such state offices as are to be voted for in the county. From this certificate and from the list of candidates for county and township offices on file in his office, the clerk prints a sufficient number of ballots to be used at the election. The names of all candidates to be voted for in any precinct are printed on the same ballot, the candidates for each office being arranged alphabetically, or in accordance with a general plan of rotation, as on the primary election ballot. After the name of each candidate who secured his nomination through some political party, the name of the party is indicated.
Each county is divided into election precincts by the board of supervisors, and both primary and general elections are conducted at the polling places in the various precincts, by election officers chosen by the supervisors. Two inspectors, two judges, and two clerks comprise the election officers at each polling place. They constitute an election board to decide disputed points. The polls are open from 6 A.m. to 7 P.M.
After the polls are closed, the votes are counted and are sent, together with the tally sheets, to the office of the county clerk. Here they are canvassed by the board of supervisors. Successful candidates for county and township offices are notified of their election by the county clerk,
1 One inspector, one judge, and two clerks may be appointed for any precinct having less than seventy-five voters.
and the result of the vote for state and national officers is sent to the secretary of state.
The expense of conducting the election in each county, even though state and national officers, as well as county and township officers, are elected, is paid from the county treasury,' except that the paper used in printing the ballots is furnished by the secretary of state.
Municipal elections are held in each city at the time specified in the charter. They are conducted in all respects like general state and county elections, except that the city clerk and city council are substituted for the county clerk and county supervisors. All election expenses are paid from the city treasury,' except that the ballot paper is furnished by the secretary of state.
It should not be thought that general state and county elections are conducted in the various cities by the city officials. They are conducted throughout each county by county officials, irrespective of city boundary lines.
12. Pre-primary Conventions. — Although political conventions have been deprived of the power to nominate candidates for office, there is nothing in the law which forbids them to suggest candidates to the voters. Any party or any faction of a party, may hold a convention before a primary election for the purpose of agreeing upon a list of candidates.
Since the law makes no provision for such conventions, there is no special method according to which their delegates must be chosen. This means that they are chosen as party committees or other leaders may direct. The Lincoln-Roosevelt League was an organized faction of the Republican party, which in the spring of 1910 nominated a complete state ticket, and at the primary election completely defeated the "regular" Republican organization. After that the
1 This, of course, does not include the campaign expenses of candidates.
League, as such, took no prominent part in politics, because its former leaders had come into control of the Republican party organization. The candidates selected by the Democratic party at the primary election in 1910 were suggested by a pre-primary convention held in the spring.
Pre-primary conventions seem to be a necessity. The average voter cannot give sufficient time to politics to prepare himself to vote intelligently at primary elections ; and, because of the number of candidates to be nominated, he would be helpless without the aid of political leaders. The leaders of any party or any faction cannot give this advice until they have agreed among themselves, and in order to reach an agreement they must get together. The meeting may be a party convention of several hundred delegates, or an informal gathering of a few men who agree in their political views; and the confidence which they are able to inspire in the voters will determine the measure of support which their candidates will receive.
13. The Short Ballot. - At the regular state and county election (November, 1910, 1914, etc.), a voter is called upon to vote for about forty candidates for office. These he must select from a list of something like two hundred names printed on the election ballot.
At the preceding primary he was confronted with a ballot on which about one hundred and twenty names were printed. It is evident that no one could vote intelligently at either election without a great deal of previous preparation. A majority of voters cannot make this preparation. The result is that incompetent and even corrupt men are frequently elected to office.
The “short ballot” is suggested as a remedy for the difficulty. The advocates of the “short ballot” believe
Edward Ul. Hulme
that only the most important of our state, county, and city officers should be elected, and that all others should be appointed. Many officers are chosen to do work of a specialized or technical character and could be more intelligently selected by one man, or a small group of men, than by the mass of the voters. This is true of school superintendents, engineers, surveyors, assessors, public attorneys, and possibly others. It will be remembered that we select our national officers by the “short ballot" method, as only the President, Vice President, and the members of Congress are elected, -- all others, numbering into the
, thousands, being appointed. Political bosses and professional politicians do not believe in the principle of the “short ballot,” because much of their influence depends upon the helplessness of the voters at the polls when confronted with a ballot containing a bewildering number of names.
14. National Conventions. — Candidates for the offices of President and Vice President of the United States are nominated by national conventions. Each political party holds one of these conventions in the spring of each presidential election year. The call for a convention is issued by the national committee of each party some six months before the convention is to meet, and is sent to the various state and territorial committees of the party. It names the time and place for the meeting, specifies the number of delegates that each state and territory ? may send, and gives general instructions as to how they shall be chosen.
1 Although territories have no part in electing the President, they are permitted by the various political parties, as a matter of courtesy, to have a voice in the nomination of candidates. The District of Columbia, Alaska, Hawaii, Porto Rico, and the Philippine Islands were all invited to send delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions in 1912.
There is no law governing national conventions, and each committee, in arranging for a convention, is controlled only by custom and the resolutions of previous conventions. It is customary for each state to be directed to send twice as many delegates as it has senators and representatives in Congress; and for each territory and island possession to send two, four, or six delegates according as the committee directs. The call usually requires that four of the delegates from each state shall be chosen from the state at large, and that two shall be chosen from each congressional district. In most of the states they are chosen by state and congressional district conventions, but in a few states, including California, they are chosen by the voters at primary elections.
On the first Tuesday in May, every four years, beginning in 1912, a presidential primary election is to be held throughout California, for the purpose of choosing delegates to national conventions, and for the purpose of giving the voters of every political party in the state an opportunity to express their choice as to a party candidate for the presidency. This primary is conducted in substantially the same manner as the August primary:
Not later than the tenth day of March, the secretary of state must notify the county clerk, or registrar of voters, of each county as to the number of delegates that each party in the state will send to its respective national convention. This information is obtained from the calls issued by the various national committees.
2. County clerks prepare separate ballots for each political party. Names of candidates for the presidency, and of those who wish to
i California, Oregon, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Nebraska, North Dakota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. They are chosen by conventions in the territories and in the island possessions.
2 Statutes of 1911, Extra Session, page 85 seq. This law was amended in 1913 in certain respects,