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to two years; the common rule is one year. Some States also require residence in the county and voting precinct, as twelve days in the one and thirty in the other.
706. Race.—The word “white" is still found as a qualification for voting in a few constitutions, but it is overridden by Amendment XV. Indians not taxed are commonly excluded ; and so are Chinamen, or persons of the Mongolian race, in most or all of the States on the Pacific Slope.
707. Education.-Connecticut and Wyoming make ability to read the State constitution an electoral qualification. Massachusetts demands ability both to read the constitution in the English language and to write one's name. The present constitution of Mississippi, adopted in 1890, imposes as a qualification on the elector, in addition to the other and usual specified qualifications, the ability to read any section of the constitution of the State, or ability to understand the same when read to him, or give a reasonable interpretation thereof.
708. Registration.-To prevent fraudulent voting and secure honest elections, a majority of the States require a registration of the voters to be made in the precinct where they reside, sometimes throughout the State and sometimes in towns and cities having more than a prescribed population. Some States require a registration in all precincts; one State requires it in cities only; three forbid it altogether. New York and New Jersey require registration in all towns and cities having a population of 10,000 and upward.
709. Religion.-The constitution of Idaho denies the ballot to all bigamists, polygamists, or persons living in patriarchal, plural, or celestial marriage, or who teach, or in any way countenance, such practices. No other constitution now contains anything that can be termed a religious qualification for suffrage; and here it is more formal than practical.
710. Various Disqualifications.-Certain classes of persons are disfranchised for mental or moral reasons. Mention may be made of idiots, lunatics, and persons convicted of infamous crimes, unless civil rights are restored to them ; paupers, duelists, and persons bribing or attempting to bribe electors, are also sometimes disfranchised. 711.
Woman's Suffrage.--The Territories of Wyoming, Washington, and Utah gave the ballot to women on the same terms as men. Wyoming, on becoming a State, in 1890, inserted this clause in her constitution, being the first State to take such a step: “The rights of citizens of the State of Wyoming to vote and hold office shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.” In 1893 Colorado adopted an amendment to her constitution putting women on the same footing as men in respect to suffrage and holding office. Utah, in her Constitution, has also accorded the ballot to women. North Dakota authorized her Legislature to give women otherwise qualified the right to vote, provided the people at a general election when the question was regularly submitted should give their approval. Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Ohio, Michigan, and probably still other States, allow women to vote for school officers, and some of them on other questions relating to schools, and North Dakota and Washington have authorized their Legislatures to enact laws conferring such right. Montana allows women who are tax-payers, of prescribed age and character, to vote equally with men upon all questions submitted to the vote of the tax-payers, as such, of the State, or any litical division thereof.
712. Cumulative Voting.–The constitution of Illinois gives each district three representatives, and allows each elector to distribute his three votes as he sees fit, giving them all to one candidate, two to one candidate and one to another, or one to each of three candidates. That of Pennsylvania provides that when two or more judges of the Supreme Court, or two or more designated county officers, are to be chosen, each elector shall vote for only one or two of three candidates. The object of this method of voting is to secure the representation of minorities by enabling them to mass their votes on one or more candidates.
713. Modes of Voting.-In all the States voting is row done by ballot. Formerly the viva voce method prevailed in many States, the elector declaring his choice to the judges of the election, who recorded it in the poll-book. Kentucky continued to elect State officers in this manner until 1895
Within the last few years most of the States, with a view to protect the voter against intimidation or undue influence in casting his ballot, have taken measures to render voting absolutely secret. Many States have adopted the so-called Australian System, or modifications of that system. Ballot reform has made its impress upon two or more of the constitutions last adopted. Idaho provides : “An absolutely secret ballot is hereby guaranteed, and it shall be the duty of the Legislature to enact such laws as shall carry this section into effect.' And Wyoming: “All voters shall be guaranteed absolute privacy in the preparation of their ballots, and the secrecy of their ballot.” In West Virginia the voter is “left free to vote by either open, sealed or secret ballot, as he elect.
714. Holding Office.—The general rule may be stated thus :
Persons entitled to vote may also hold office, provided they are of a certain prescribed age and have lived within the State a certain prescribed time.
The Indiana rule is that the Governor must be thirty years of age, must have been a citizen of the United States five years, and have resided in the State for the five years next preceding his election. And this rule may be taken as a fair example. Several States, as Pennsylvania and Kansas, allow women to hold school offices, and Wyoming allows them to hold any office whatever.
715. Religious Tests. Most of the constitutions declare that no religious test shall be required for the enjoyment of any civil or political right, and that no preference shall be given by law to any religious sect. But several constitutions declare persons disqualified for office who deny the existence of the Supreme Being; a smaller num
ber require a belief in God; while Tennessee insists on a belief in a future state of rewards and punishments. Idaho declares persons who are disfranchised as bigamists or polygamists ineligible to office and also disqualified to sit as jurors.
Formerly office-holding was often limited by property qualifications. The only remaining vestige of this usage is in Delaware, where a senator must be the owner of a freehold of 200 acres of land, or a personal or real estate of not less than £1,000 value ; but it was as late as 1892 that Massachusetts struck from her constitution the provision that no person should be eligible to election as Governor unless, at the time of his election, he should be seized, in his own right, of a freehold within the Commonwealth of the value of one thousand pounds.
The best historical work on this subject is Howard, An Introduction to the Local Constitutional History of the United States, Vol. I. Development of the Township, Hundred, and Shire, (Vol. II., Municipal Government, has not been published). Johns Hopkins University, Studies in the Historical and Political Sciences, edited by H. B. Adams, Vol. I., Local Institutions. (Additional matter relating to the same subject is found in Vols. II., III.; there are also papers on municipal government in Vols. IV., V., VII.) Fiske, Civil Government in the United States Considered with Reference to its Origins; Galpin, Statistical Atlas of the United States, with Maps, the Seventh Census; Conkling, City Government in the United States; Shaw, Municipal Government in England; Jenks, An Outline of English Local Government.
Attention has been drawn to the fact that the National Constitution and laws form but one-half of the American Government, and that we must resort to the State constitutions and laws for the other half. But the State governments, properly so-called, by no means exercise all the remaining powers that are necessary to the peace and good order of society. A multitude of legislative and executive acts can be named that the General Assembly and the State Executive never touch. Besides, these are the very acts in which the average citizen is most interested. The State constitutions and laws do indeed provide for their performance, but only in an indirect way. These facts bring before us some of the most characteristic political ideas and institutions of the English-speaking race.
These ideas and institutions relate to local government. Their origin in England was dealt with in Chapter II. of this work; also the three types of local government that, in obedience to English influence and American conditions,