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In compiling a new volume of “ Contested Elections," as a continuation of the volume published in 1834, it has been found necessary to eliminate all irrelevant matter, and adhere closely to the facts and the law. When the first volume was published, the debates in Congress as reported were exceedingly brief. To publish all the speeches made in Congress upon contested election cases since 1834 would require several volumes; hence only brief extracts have been taken, which seemed to be necessary for the full explanation of the law and the facts in the case. A reference is made in each case to the debate so that it can be readily found.
The majority report is always given, and the minority report whenever the resolutions reported by the majority were overruled; as well as in some of the more important cases. The chief points in each case are stated by way of
prefix, and its history in Congress is appended to the report. The index will enable the reader to readily find not only every case, but every point raised and discussed in it.
The references to documentary evidence in the reports have not been omitted, (following the example of the Massachusetts election reports and similar works, though that evidence is not published herewith. The references may be convenient in some cases.
The Senate cases were generally debated at great length, and, with two or three exceptions, no extracts have been made from the arguments. Where the reports failed to give a clear statement of the law and the facts, however, they have been extracted from the Senate debates.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, February 11, 1865 On motion of Mr. Dawes, from the Committee of Elections,
Resoloed, That there be printed, for the use of the members of the House, the usual number of copies of the Digest of Election Laws made, under the order of the House, by the clerk of the Committee of Elections, together with a full index to the same, to be prepared by the said clerk, for which, and for the necessary revision and superintendence connected there. with, he shall be paid by the Clerk of the House a per diem for the days actually employed herein, not exceeding that paid to clorks of committees during the session of Congress.
FEBRUARY 17, 1865. On motion of Mr. A. W. CLARK, from the Committee on Printing,
Resolved, That there be printed one thousand extra copies of the Digest of Election cases, including the cases which have occurred during the present gress, for the use of this House.
CONTESTED ELECTIONS IN CONGRESS.
TWENTY-FOURTH CONGRESS, FIRST SESSION.
Committee of Elections.
Mr. KILGORE, Ohio.
A. Buchanan, Pennsylvania.
NEWLAND vs. GRAHAM, of North Carolina.
The judges of elections having ascertained that certain votes had been, by mistake, put into the legislative box," when they were intended for members of Congress, transferred the votes to the “congrossional" box. The committee left it to the House to decide whether the vote should stand.
The seat was vacated.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
FEBRUARY 24, 1836. Mr. Boyd, from the Committee of Elections, to whom the subject had been re
ferred, submitted the following report: That the late election for a member of the House of Representatives of the United States, for the 12th congressional district of the State of North Carolina, took place on the 13th day of August last. That the law of North Carolina, in cases of contested elections, requires thirty days' notice previous to the meeting of the general assembly of an intention to dispute the election, with the ground on which the same will be disputed, to be given by the person objecting to the individual declared elected ; and that the same notice of time and place now required in taking depositions at law shall also be required and proven on such investigation.—(2 vol. Revised Code, 827, chap. 466, 1796.)
That notice was served on the sitting member on the second day of October last by the petitioner that he intended to contest his election, on the ground that illegal and unqualified votes had been given for him, and that legal and qualified votes offered for the petitioner had been rejected; that a notice was afterwards served on the sitting member, on the 18th day of October last, by the petitioner, stating that on the 29th day of October thereafter he should proceed to take the depositions of Jas. D. Justice and others at Asheville, which
depositions were to be used and read as evidence before the House of Representatives of the United States in the case in which he contested his election. Various other similar notices were subsequently served on the sitting member for taking depositions at other times and places, and similar notices were also served on the petitioner by the sitting member for taking depositions in his behalf. At the times and places thus notified the parties or their agents respectively met, and the depositions thus taken have been sent on to the Speaker of the House, and have been delivered over to the committee.
The petitioner and sitting member appeared before the committee on the 15th day of December last, and an objection having been made by the sitting member to the said depositions as inadmissible evidence of the facts stated in them, that question was taken up and considered by the committee, after hearing the arguments of the sitting member and the petitioner thereon. The committee was of opinion that the depositions had been taken conformably to the laws of North Carolina
upon the subject of contested elections; and there being no law of Congress on the subject, and the usage being well established to allow depositions to be read which had been taken and sworn to according to the laws of the State where the election had been held, and it appearing reasonable that depositions thus taken on similar notices from both parties, and in the presence (with one exception) of both parties or their agents, ought to be held sufficient, decided that they should be received.
This decision of the committee was made known to the parties in the controversy on the 14th day of January last, and on the day following the sitting member made an application to be allowed further time, to the last day of February then next, to take additional testimony on his part. See papers marked J. G. This was objected to by the petitioner, on the grounds stated in the paper, dated 15th January, marked D. N.
The committee, after hearing the arguments of the sitting member and the petitioner, rejected this application. They could find no precedent in which an application of a similar kind, even if made at an earlier period, had been granted, but several in which, notwithstanding the existence of more favorable circumstances, such applications had been rejected, both by Committees of Election and by the House. Without very strong reasons to show the necessity of further proof, (which the committee did not see in this case,) they considered that the right of contesting a seat in Congress would be useless and nugatory, if such postponements and protracted appointments for taking additional evidence after the meeting of Congress should be allowed, when the parties had already had the same time to take their depositions, and, as appeared to the committee, a sufficient time. After this determination, the committee proceeded to examine the testimony, to hear the objections and statements of the petitioner and sitting member, and to determine from the evidence what votes should be taken from or added to their polls, as returned respectively. Several legal questions, as to the competency of certain parts of the evidence, arose in this investigation.
The sitting member objected to a number of the petitioner's depositions which contained declarations proved by the witnesses to have been made after the election by the voters therein named, of their having voted at the same election for the sitting member. He contended that these, being the declarations of persons not on oath, were inadmissible. It was contended by the petitioner that, as the law of North Carolina (Revised Code, 922, 1800, ch. 557) requires voting by ballot, and enacts that the voters shall not be compellable to give evidence for whom they voted, there could be no better evidence, and no other evidence in most cases, than the voter's declarations ; that the voter's testimony being excluded, he ought to be allowed to produce the next best evidence in his power. The petitioner claimed, under this species of evidence, to deduct from the poll of the sitting member thirty-five votes which were thus proved to have