Слике страница

office? Why should a Governor not succeed himself? How is a convict pardoned ? reprieved ? What kind of papers are kept on file by the Secretary of the Commonwealth? What is said of the salary of this office? What are the duties of the Attorney-General? of the Auditor-General? of the State Treasurer? How did the office of Secretary of Internal Affairs originate? What are its departments now? What important financial duty is attached to the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction? What officials does he commission? Explain the National Guard. Size of the State Library? How are the State's public documents exchanged with those of other States ? What are the duties of the Superintendent of Public Grounds and Buildings? of Public Printing and Binding? of Banking? of the Factory Inspector? of the Insurance Commissioner? What departments are included under the office of Secretary of Agriculture? In what courts is the judicial power of the State vested? Which are the appellate courts? How is a criminal suit appealed? a civil suit? How is the trial conducted before the superior or the supreme court? Why are the reports of these courts important? What cases must be appealed to the superior court? to the supreme court? From the superior to the supreme court ? How are the superior and the supreme court constituted? Where do they hold their sessions?




Nominations.—The original method of electing officers in this country was for the voters to go to the polls on election day and cast their ballots for whomsoever they regarded as best fitted for the various offices to be filled. Of course, there was some understanding as to who was running for office; but the men to be voted for had not been decided on before the election as they are now. With the division of the people into political parties, came the system of nominations now so generally in use. In order to be voted for, a man must be on the ticket of his party; in other words, he must be nominated by a party. However, the right to vote for a candidate of his own choice, is not denied to the voter ; but such a candidate stands little chance of election.

Conventions. — Nominations are generally made in conventions held by the various parties. There are State, county, township, borough and city conventions; though in townships and small boroughs they are simply meetings of the leading voters of the parties.

The State convention nominates the candidates for State offices and Presidential electors, and selects delegates-at-large to the Presidential convention. Its delegates are elected by the county convention, unless county has some other way of nominating its officers. The parties hold their State conventions from three to


five months before the election, so as to give the people ample time to choose among the candidates. Besides making nominations, the State convention adopts a platform of party principles that are to be carried out if the candidates nominated are elected.

The county convention nominates the candidates for county officers and selects delegates to the State convention. County delegates are selected by those voters who belong to the party about to hold a convention. The latter meet for that purpose in their respective voting precincts at a time fixed by the rules of their party. At this delegate or primary election, as it is called, the delegates are frequently instructed for whom they shall vote in the convention.

Direct Nominations.-In some counties, nominations are not made by conventions, but by a direct method known as the “Crawford County System,” named after the county in which it was originated. By this system the voters who attend the “primaries,” vote directly for the candidates of their choice; the ones receiving the highest number of votes in the whole county, are nominated. This is a favorite method with the people ; for the delegates to a convention cannot always be relied on to do the will of those that send them.

The Campaign.-A very interesting and exciting feature preliminary to an election, is the campaign. Its purpose is to interest the people in the issues before them and to explain to them the platforms of the parties. To carry on this work, committees are appointed by the different parties. There are State committees, county, city, and even township committees. The first of these is an important organization, composed of one member from each county and appointed by the State convention. The

chairman of the State committee is selected by the candi. dates nominated for the State offices. These campaign committees also fix the time and place of holding conventions.

The Election. There are two anpual elections held in Pennsylvania; one on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November, the other on the third Tuesday of February. The former is held for National, State and county officers; and the latter, for township, borough and city officers. The polls open at 7 A. M. and close at 7 P. M.

The manner of conducting elections in this State is prescribed by what is known as the “Baker Ballot Law,” a modification of the “Australian Ballot Law.” The ballots used must be only those prescribed by this law; for the November election, they are furnished by the county ; for the February election, by the township, borough or city. To have its candidates printed on these ballots, a party must, at the previous election, have polled at least two per cent. of the highest number of votes cast for any State office. Independent candidates may also have their names printed on the ticket, provided they present nomination papers signed in the case of a State office) by at least one-half of one per cent. of the highest number of votes cast for any State office; and (in the case of any other office) by at least two per cent. of the highest number of votes cast for any office in the district for which the independent nomination is made. There are also blank spaces on the ballots wherein a voter may write the names of candidates of his own choice.

Any person desiring to vote must give his name and residence to the election officers. If such name is found on the assessor's list, the person is allowed to enter the

space enclosed by the guard rail, where a ballot is handed to him. He then retires to one of the voting shelves and prepares his ballot by marking a cross (x) opposite the party name, or opposite the name of the candidate of his choice for each office to be filled, or by inserting in the blank space provided therefor any name not already on the ballot, and in case of a question submitted to the vote of the people, by marking a cross (x) against the answer which he desires to give. Before leaving the voting shelf, the voter folds his ballot without displaying the marks thereon in the same way it was folded when received by him, gives his ballot to the election officer in charge of the ballot box, who, without unfolding the ballot, numbers it as required by the Constitution to pre vent fraud, placing the said number in the right hand upper corner of the back of the ballot immediately to the left of the folding line printed thereon. The election officer then at once folds the corner and fastens it securely down with the adhesive paste to cover the number on the ballot that it cannot be seen without unfastening or cutting open the part fastened down.

part fastened down. He then deposits the ballot in the box. The number written on the ballot is also written opposite the voter's name on a list made out as the votes are cast.

Every party or group of citizens making nominations, has a right to have three watchers appointed for each district. These must be commissioned by the county commissioners, and only one from each party shall be allowed in the election room at the same time. The watchers have a right to remain in the election room, but outside the guard rail, from the opening of the polls in the morning until after the votes have been counted, and the returns made out and signed by the election officers.

« ПретходнаНастави »