Huntingdon journal. (Huntingdon, Pa.) 1843-1859, March 09, 1859, Image 1

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    i ,[it Hunt‘:,ll . Tiratililt.
In the Court of Qnarter Sessions of
Cambria County.
In the matter of the Contested Election for County
Commissioner, at the General Elecuon, held on
the Second Tuesday of October, 1858.
On the 16th of October last, the petition
wf Lewis Cossiday, 5, P. Scott and twenty
others, representing themselves to be qual
ified electors of the comity of Cumbria,
formally verified by two of their number,
was presented to this court, complaining of
an undue election for county commissioner
at the last general election ; and setting
forth "that Abel Lloyd and Lewis Fisher,
both citizens and electors of said county,
were severally voted for at the said election
in connection with said office, and os it ap
pears by the return of the return judges of
said county of I lambria filed of record "in"
this "court, on the 15th day of October,
A. D.. 1858, the said Lewis Fisher recei-1
wed two thousand and six votes, and the '
said Abel Lloyd received eighteen hurt& d
and ninetylour votes, and the said Lewis
Fisher thereby having a majority of one
hundred and twelve (112) votes, over the
said Abel Lloyd, was thereupon declared
duly elected to the said office of county
commissioner ;" and further complaining'
and setting forth "that the said election was
fraudulently and unduly held and conduc- I
ted in the township of Washington in the !
said county of Cambria, and that a large
number of illegal and fraudulent votes
were polled thereat for the said Leads
Fisher; and further, that the return of the
said election, so as nforesuid held in the I
said township of Washington, was falsely
and fraudulently made to the said return
judges, and that thereby the will abet
Lloyd was unlawfully deleuted of the said !,
office of county cointnissioner ;" and fur.
ther "that the officers who conducted said j
election in the said township of Washing- I
ton, as well by acts of omission as coininis-
Ilion, violated the several duties imposed '
upon them in that behalf by the !awe t he
commonwealth of Peroisylvania ;" and
specifying, under this general allegation,
amongst other things, 1. Cross irregulart
ties and frauds in the organization of the
board of officers and in the manner of con
ducting the election of Washington town
ship; 2. That a large number of illegal
votes were polled at the said Ildection, nod
that they were polled with the knowledge
era connivance of the officers who conduc
ted the said election. And, under this last
general allegation, it was specified among
other things, that legal voters in said town
ship •Woted more than once;" that "a
large nu tuber of non.residents,' , and "a
large number of imnaturalized foreigners
voted ;" and that their votes were received
counted and returned ; that ..there were
votes returned and unities on the list of
voters of persons dead, and who have re
moved from the township;'' and , that
there are names on the list of voters of per
sons who da not reside, end never have re
sided hi Washington townsuip or anywhere
Incredible as it seemed that there could !
be persons in Washington township, !
only sufficiently depraved, but silly enough
to undertake to concoct unu carry rut a
scheme of fraud so gloss and starling, in
a rural district, too, where might easily,
and would certainly, be detected, the peti
tion was signed by more than the number
of electcrs required by the act of assembly,
many of them known to the court, and
known to be the most respectable citizens
of the county, and verified by two of them,
and it was un imperative duty to institute
an investigation, and appoint n time for the
hearing. We accordingly fixed the first
day of the present term for such hearing ,
and, es we deemed it utterly impraeticable
to hear the witnesses at the bar oldie court
since ,t would probably occupy the great
er portion of the whole term, when we
would have issues to try in the Oyer au d
Terininer '
Quarter Sessions, and Common
Pleas, and other business belonging to the
term which could not be deferred, end as
we had no doubt whatever of our right and
power to do eo, we appointed Philip S.
Noon, Esq., n member of this bar, in whose
capacity and integrity we reposed entire
confidence, a commissioner ta take charge
of the ballot-boxes, end to take and report
the evidence and all the facts in the case.
lie w•is sworn in open court at the time of
his ppointment ; was clothed with a'l the
Power we were Authoried to confer upon
hun to compel the attendance of witnesses,
the production of papers,
&c., at such !nue
and place as he should fix, and of which
ho should give due notice, and to report to
the court at the time fixed for hearing, the
'testimony taken, and all lads ehcited by
him to' ching said complaint Ills report,
the reading of which occupied four hours
of our time, affords ample evidence of the
industry, ability, and fidelity whit which
he executed our co:nnussion ; and this we
are happy to be able to say is justly near' ,
ded to him by the counsel, on both sides,
who have argued the case. And now. al•
ter this statement and history of it, end af
ter listening patiently an entire day to the
argument of it by counsel, we proceed to
pronounce the unanimous opinion of the
Judges. and the judgment of the court, up.
on the merits of the complaint.
The evidence taken and reported by the
commissioner, after due notice, and the
fullest and fairest opporiunity to both par
ties to adduce their evidence, and have it
embodied in the report, and upon a careful
examination and cross-examination of wit.
nessee by counsel, establishes clearly in
the first place, the most gross irregularities
(to call them by no harsher term) in the
organization of the board, and to the man
ner of conducting the election.
One of the officere. A. F. Cantwell, the
judge, was n Postmwder, who, as he
swears before the commiss:oner, resigned
the day before the election, ar.d mailed his
resignation the morning of the election, (al- I
though it nppears never to have reached
the General Post Office, and must either
have been untnailed before it started or !
miscarried); but who, however this was,
undertaking to act as n judge before his re
signation could have reached Washing-
ton, or have been accepted• and when he
has since been acting as Postmaster as his
own testimony shows, was incapacitated to
sit and act as one of the officers in the elec.
Lion board, Charles Geieman, who was I
deputy Postmaster, and also ineligible, was
one of the clerks nt the election. The two
inspectors, one of whom was appointed by
Mr. Cantwell in the place of Al ichnel Moy
ers, who had been elected at the spring
election, and who appeared to have been
at the election on thet day and voted, are
Germans. who can neither read nor write I
English, and, of, course' were utterly in.
competent to discharge the duties enjoined
by the law. Both of them were examined
by the commissioner through en interpre•
ter. One of the Germans on site board,
moreover, no It appears in evidence, was
uniettiiralized. In addition to ill ibis, the
':card were sworn by F. M. George, whose
commission, though hi, had once teen a
Justice of the Peace, had expired, and he
had no authority whatever to administer I
the oath. Such was the board of officers I
end tie organization ! Its mode of proce
dure showed a still wider deviation from
the requirements of the law. No natural- I
izttion papers. as it appears by the evi.
deuce, were inquired for ur produced that
day ; no one who presented himself as a I
voter, though more than one•half of those
who apparently voted could legaby do so
without such examination, was sworn or
examined as to his right to vote; no list
was kept, or if kept, preserved, as required
by the law, to show who voted , on age,"
or upon proof of the payment of a , tax,"
the votes were neither received, called out,
or counted, in the manner enjoined by law
The Assessor, whose duty it is made by the I
law to at.end arid be present with the
beard through the day. when he appeared
there to discharge that duty, was ordered
cut of the room ny one of the officers, and
yet when the time conic to count off the
votes, Richard White, A. M White, Fran•
cis McConnell, and F. Al. George. the non•
commissioned Justice who had sworn I
them, were all, contrary to the practice
everywhere else, and to the impression all
everybody no to what is right and proper,
admitted into the moat. And when all was
over, the explicit and Important require
ment of the law,--designed as a safeguard
aga:nst fraud Ly providing evidence for its
detevion,—that the ballots, list of taxables,
&c.. should be put into the boxes and seal.
ed, end preserved in the specific manner
directed, was utterly disregarded ; and the
tickets for the office in controversy were
produced to the commissioner by the afore.
said F. M. George, its an old segar box,
wi hoot even a lid upon it. All these
things appear in the evidence. In it word
if Squire George had sworn these officers
to disregard every requisite of ihe late, in•
stead of swearing them to observe it, they
would merit more commendation for their
fidelity to their oath, if riot to the law It
is to he observed, also, that none of the
officers can or will give any account of the
list of taxablus which they had before
them ; nod that neither of the clerks cou:d
be found or procured to testify before the
commissioner, and that one of them, Geis
man, in the opinion of the officer, and it is
evident from what the officer states, evaded
the process of the law.
These deviations frOm the requirements r
of the law are clearly proven and not de
nied ; but they are defended or attempted
to bo excused, on the ground that the seve
ral provisions of the act of atisesnbij viola
ted, or not complied with. are tnerely di
tectory, and that whilst departures from
them 'nay be censurable, and even subject
the officer.: to penalties, the result, if it ap•
peat• to be right, should not, on that ground
be disturbed. As to some things, and
when there is no allegation or proof of
(rued, and only those who had a right to
vote appear to have been received and re
turned, this is undoultedly correct, Hon
est citizens should not be deprived of their
suffrages on eccount of a noire slip, or on
merely technical groynds, or for unsubstan
tial reasons. A failure on the pert of elec
tion offieera to comply with what is merely
formal in the directions of the law, where
nothing more is charged or proven, should
not be seized upon as ground or occasion
to cast away legal votes. But to this there
must be son.e limit. 'rhere are provisions
of the law which must be regarded nct as
matter of forts merely, but of substance.
Those which fix tune and place of holding
an election ; or define the number and
qualifications of officers ; or how votes
shell be cast, by ballot or otherwise; or
prescribe the mode in which ballots shall
be received, counted and returned, and the
tests which shall be applied to persons pre
' sentinfi themselves as voters. are the means
established and fixed by the law of ascer
taining, and constitute the criterion, and
• the only criterion of determining, what are'
legal rotes. No votes except by ballot.
and no bahots, except those received at the
time and place and in the manner and by
the officers appointed or chosen and quali
fied as required by law, cuts be legally re
cognized as such ; and, unless thus aver
; tained to be legal, must he rejected as it
: legal.
In the present cave, it cannot surely be
said that no substantial requirement of the
law was disregarded in the organtzation of
the board of offic •rs, and in the mode and
manner of conducting the election, Some
things complained of and proven we might
view and treat as irregularities merely.—
We might, for instance, overlook the fact
that the oath. was administered to the offi
cers by one who hod no more right to od
minister it than any other citizen of the
township, if there was re tans to suppose
they believed et the time he had, and there
fore assumed the moral if not the legal ob
ligation of an oath. But two of them, at
least, were disqualihed to net; ono of them
not ignorant or forgetful of the fact. but as
his own testimony shows, wilfully intru
ding himself into the place; and every-re
quired test of the qualification of voters,
and of the legality of the votes recei-'ed,
or returned, was disregarded. In fact there
was scarcely a direction of the low strictly
and in all things complied with, except
that which required the voting to be by. bal
lot and that fining the time and place of
holding the election. And if this were
the whole case, we do not see how we could
avoid the conclusion that the election in
that township was undue and illegal, and
to be treated as null and void.
But it is not at all necessary to rest
our decision on that ground. In addi
tion to the numerous and gross irregu•
larities noticed, which, thbugh they might
anti we think would be sufficient to in
validate the elec lon, might riot crimi
nate the officers, if nothing, appearod
which disclosed a motive to wilful law
lessness and fraud, we have before us
the most conclusive evidence that rnor , z,
than one-hull of the namea of V4ters on
the list were fictitious, and the correspon
ding Totes ireturatA fraudulent.
l'he first prominent foci going to prove
,is, which 'arrests the utiantio - n, is the
discrepancy between the list of tit/cables
and the list of voters. It is well known
that every Pot of taxables comprises the
names of females, aliens and non.resi.
deli . % property holders who have no right
to vote. It is well known, moreover,
that ail who have a light •o vote ore nee
ver at any election. These together sel
dom foil to outnumber largely thew' whose
names are put on Mint is called the "ten
day list" And those who vote on age;"
so that it very rarely happens that the
Let of voters equals the list of taxables.
Generally, it fails far short of it. And
of this, every one can be convinced by
instituting a comparison with respect to
all of the other election districts in the
county. Here, however, there are 311
taxables ; while on the list of voters we
have 437 ; showing an excess of 120 ;
or more than 40 per rcpt.! This fact
uo, Apl.lllloll. to COll VIIICI rig proof
of thtmething foul and fraudulent.
But further—of these 437 sallies on
the rot of voters we find in the assess
ment or het of taxables only 158; show.
Mg that no less than :279 if they voted
at all must have done so on a residence
of ten days and it proof of the payment
of 'tax' or on see; and if so it was the
duty of the officers to scrutinize, re•
quire the specified proof, end preserve
the evidence of their right to vote.
t•No prison" tile net of astmbly express•
ly declares, "shall be admitted to vote
whose name is not contained in the list
of taxable inhabitants furnished by the
commissioners;' hui,:is he make proof of
his honing psid a state or county tax with
in two years. or the required proof of his
right to vote by being on elector between
the age of twenty-ono and twenty•two
years:—' , Where upon," it is further ex
pressly required and provided, "the name
of the person so admitted to vote shall be
inserted to the alphabetical liet by the in
spectors, and a note made opposite thereto
by using the word titan," if he shall be
admitted to vote by reason of having paid
a tax, or the word "age," if 11.1 shall be
admitted to vote on account of his age; and
in either case the name of such voter shall
be called out to the clerks, who shrill !sake
the like notes on the list of voters kept by
'bent." By another section of the set, it
is made the duty of each inspector who
shall receive the ticket an elector; to rail
out aloud the name of such elector which
shell be inserted by the clerks in separate
lists, and the moue shall be repeated by
each of them, and the inspector shall in•
sett the letter V in the margin of the
alphabetical list opposite the minty of such
voter; and, if surh elector shall have been'
a tvorn or ajirnid, or produced a certifieate
or other erieleucc ens before provided ol
having been naturalizeddhe inspector
the inspector shall also note the same on
the magin of such list, and when proof
of resi•ience is made shall also ?tole the
name of the person. making suck proof."
While, therefore, the law explicitly de
elan s that "no person shall be admitted to
vote whose name is not contained in the
list of taxable inhabitants," without ma•
king the specified proof of his right to
vote, and without winch his vote would be
illegal, it provides the evidence of compli
ance with this indespensible requisition of
the law, viz; the adjoined twangs of the
rfficers upon the lists. And it explicitly
proviles for the careful preservation of this
evidence for the purpose of settling any
dispute or controversy respecting the legal
sty of such votes;—"As soon as the elec
tion shall bo finished. the tickets, list of
toxablea, one of the list of voters, and one
of the certificates of the oath, or aflirtnation
taken and subsribed by the inspectors,
judge and clerks, shall be carefully collec
ted and deposited in one or mor• of the
ballot bows, and such box or boxes beitio•
closely bound round with tape, shall be
sealed by the inspectors and judge of the
election, and -together with the remaining
ballot•boxes, shall within one day after•
wards be delivered by one of toe inepector
to the nearest justice of the peace who
shall keep such boxes containing the tick
ets and other docutnents. to answer the
o/ any person or tribunal authorized to
try the merits of such election; and the
other list of voters, tally papers, and cer-
;Meatus, shall lie enclosed by the said in•
spector and judge in a sealed cover and
directed to the prothonotary of the court
of common pleas of the county, and shall
by one of them be delivered into his of.
lice within three days thereafter when the
same shall be filed."
These lists, then, should contain the
evidence of the right of the 279 whose
names nro not on the litA of taxablas, to
vote. They are the eutiener which the
law requires, and their preser-noon was a
positively enjoined . duty for the very pur
pose for which we here want them.—But
the list of Irrxxbdcs which should have
been, was not thus preserved. It cannot
be foiled; and toe officers con or will give
no account d it, And the other lists con
tain no noting., by the officers which show
that any of these persons were examined,
or pranced any proof of their right to
vote. On the cot/miry, it appears iu the
testimony taken and reporter) that no one
loos MO it and examined upon oath, and
that rut naturalization papers were de.
mantled or produced. The conclusion is
ainivollutitc. that the 158 whose mimes
are loved nn the assessment list, were the
only qualified .lectors these. And this,
by the way, ~:^ords with the testimony of
some of the wimeses who estimated the
num i ner.of persons voting that day, at a
bout that number; ns well as with other
evidence, to the same paint, yet to be no
deed. We have no evidence of the qual
ification of any others; nhy, the evidence
which the law requires as to the 2'D whos
names are not on the assegsinent, has no
existance, nod we are tvarranted in the
conclusion that, of they . were there, and
did vote, there votes were illegal.
The ruling and relisri4lng of the court
ofQuarter Sessions of INilittlelphia, in !he
District Attorney case, 140 so presi..ely in
point here, that we extend our own by quo
ting at leneth that part of their pinion.
wrior alphabetical lists, prOluced in this
case," soya that court hi relation to that
cant', "for the divisions enumerated, show
ed that, ns far as these lists were concern
ed, the inspectors had utterly neglected or
evaded the duty which the law requires
tii,mo to icrforin, No one in marked nib
witted because he had pain n tax, or voted
on age, and n 3 oath appears to have been
oilinineatered to any on.. nr any other
proof required es to qualification. If this
oiniiiiision or deglect extended ton few
votes only, it might he retarded as a Mere
atiimeig• no- neaten to inlet
I that the election officers acted in bad faith.
as said in Boileau's case. Bin when
! the nminission extended to hundreds of
names, in noise cases to nearly ono half"
(.nore than one half here) "of all the votes
received, the conduct of the officers can
only he regarded as an intentional he glect
it sworn duly; such a neglect, to
call it by no harsher name. as appears to
he utterly inconsistant with that good faith
and irate/rite which is required to rendtr
the proceedings of election officers Telt*
hie, and without the appearane of which
the eridence made by them is utterly sin.
worthy of credit. For these reasons,
which nre entireiy consistent with die rule
applied in all former cases, that the evi
dence offered 'roust be free from circum.
stances savouring of fraud or co..trivencio,
we fed bound to disregard entirely the
evidence of the lists of votes returned in
each of the eight divisions named, an tar
as every name is concerned which does
not appear in the list of taxables."—And
all such votes (over 1700) were according
ly thrown nut.
We rrrive at the same conclusion upon
different ground; whilst the reasons which
influenced the Philadelphia court, has
more force in this case, than in that. For
both reasons, therefore, the names on the
li- , t of voters not contained in 'he assessinen
list must bi rejected RS spurious. Anti
here we might rest this case. But suppose
we merely treat this as affording a reason
able presum psion that no other vote. were
legally polled, then evidenced by the offi
cial list; end that, which is the most fa
vorable view of the case for the respondent
which can possible be takes, would cast
upon him, and those who would &fend or
stand forth as the apoligists of that day's
work, the oasis of showing that these 279
names, are the names of persons who were
at the polls, qualified to vote, and did vote,
on that dey:—at last to show, that they
were living men. resident at that time with
in township of Washington. Nor, in this
do we exact of them what is either nitro'
ennoble or difficult.
If these 279 names are this names of men
who were in the township on that day,
lacier rcumstances which gave them any
pretext to claim the right of voting there,
omit ii,g would he easier than to show it by
affirmative evidence. Of this, any one
can really convince himself by rrcurrirg
to the list of voters at the same election in
his own borough or township. Let hint
take it up, and enquire how long it would
take hint to find witnesses who know all
about it that he does not knost himself.
Let any one try it. It might not be so
easy, we admit, to find persons who were
not there ! Bot any one can readily see
bow very easy it is to find out any and eve
ry actual resident in a township contnin
ing only 811 taxable inhabitants. While,
morro'r, it was an easy task to oho v it, if
these 279 ' were actually resieent , of %Vasil
legion township on that day, there existed
the strongest motive ro do so, if it could be
done. A fraud of such character and
magnitude ns here charged if established,
insist fix and fasten npon'all implicated in
it. the blackest stigma. To' practice u de
liberate fraud Olson the right of. suffrage,
cheat hottest citizens out of their votes,
and poison and pathos the very fountain of
government, is moral treason. No one
surely who has any regard for social duty
any self-respect, or any appreciation of the
respect of others, would be willing to in
cur the odium of being suspected even of
complicity in such a crime, if he could
possibly avert it. Nor is he exposed a
lone to the denunciation of public opinion.
The law expresses its condemnation, and
threatens its penalty. In addition to the
specific penalties fur the vi elation of par
ticular provisions of the act of nssenibly, it
is enacted, that .if nay inspector, judge, or
clerk of an election shell be convicted of
any wilful fraud in the discharge of his du
ties, he shall undergo on imprisonmen for
any term not less tban three nor more than
twelve months, and be fined in any sum
not less than one hundred dollars. nor morn
than five hundred dollars, and shall be for
seven years thereafter disiiblca from hold
ing any office of honor trust or profit in
this Commonwealth, and shall moreover.
be disabled for the time aforesaid, from
giving his vote nt nay general or special
election within this commonwealth•
Here. indeed, eve suggested powerful
meow. for the production of evidence; if
within the reach or power of the parties'
implicated, to repel any prestimp tine, or'.
even suspicion of lraud. And as we have
seen, it was easy to do on, if there was
no fraud. And yet we have not one word
of owlet., produced or offered to show
that these 2711 names returned as legal
voters, were in the township at the time
of the election. We !earn from the report
of the commissioner that he proclaimed
his readiness, to take on their part, any
evidence they might offer; and yet none
is produced. Nor when the time for hear
ing this complaint arrived, were we coked
for (tither time to procure such evidence.
We have heard no allegation even, that
such evidence extsts. It is a rule of law,
and of rests., , that if on the su pposition a
charge ol claim is unfounded, the party
against whom it is made has evidence
within his reach by which he may repel
that offered to his prejudice, his omission
to do so, supplies a strong presumptioc
that the charge or claim is well founded;
as it would be contrary to every principle
of rind to all experience of human
conduct, to form nay other conclusion.
flow, then, are we to regard this, but as
a tacit admission of what it cannot he
doubted is the truth, that these 279 names
are fictitious and the corresponding votes
• returned g.frausli •
But this is not all. The evidence does
not 'slop here although' we might have
paused nod disposed of the case long ere
this. The witnesses, several of them in
number whose attention inns culled to this
subject are unable to give any account of
these 279 persons, except that it is stated
by a witness of one, that some six or seven
years ego, lie was at his funeral; or, that,
of a few otgers it is said, they once lived
in the township ' but have left it: or that
they live el,cwliere. This is all the idol'.
Inatrit obtained of 275 of these 27d, after
diligent inquiry. and actual search. by
those who would ba likely to know arid
could easily find them if there.
Arthur §tnrm, who as he ieslirles, has
residedin Washington township fourteen
years, and who has been constable, asses.
nor and collector, and who hos ample moons
and opportunity of knowing the people of
that township, ttith this long list before
him, and when his attention is particularly
called to every name upon it, one after an.
other, knows none of them, except three.
as residents of Washington township, or
as in Washington township at the tim e of
the election. A faw are recognised as
persons who resided there once, but who
live in other places note. Of most of them,
—ot all of them. indeed but a very few—
be hos no knowledge whatever.
James Conrad two has been a resident
of Washington township for nine years,—
who was collector of school tax for 1852
and 1851, collector of county poor, and
State tax for 1850, and a.sessor the same
year, and who made the assesinent in 1857
is examinined upon oath,and as ho passes
from name to name on the long lint, can
give no information respecting them than
Mr. Storm. Of all of them, except a few he
has no knowledge.
. . .
Matthew M. Adams, too another intel
ligent witness, who was born within the
limits of the township, and hos lived there
all his life, over forty years, examines this
list of names in the same manner, and
with the same result. His testimony cor
roborates that of Mr. Storm and Mr. Con
rad. ith the exception of a small num.
her whom he recognises no having resided
it the township at'it former period, or as
now r!siding elsewhere, he has no knowl
edge of any of the noises upon the long
list- The mass of them, he does no know
at all.
Jacob Purgoon' too, an old and veritable
citivn of the township—who. as he swears
has lived there twenty.ttvo years, who has
been snpervisor nix years. and overseer of
poor six years, and hos been a collector of
tax;who swears that he has n general cc.
quaintance of the land holders in the town-
ship; and who swears. as well he might,
that tit would be a mystery to him if all
these names could be voters it the town-
ship with him knowing it'—and that he
'could not coins to the belief that they
were there unbeknown to him"—when
the list is submitted to his examination,
can only recognizes nfne of the names
upon it.
After a subpaana for all those persons,
or wita all the names on the list inserted
;n it. was issued by the commissioner, and
put into the hands of constable M. S. Harr
to be ser 'ed. In his effort to serve it, he
travelled every day through the whole town
ship. and every part of it, accompanied
by Arthur Storm, an old citizen and well
acquainted in the township, andiwith its
citizene,- as xe have seen :—and he testi.
hes that , and after the most diligent
search he gni) found four persons answer
ing to the names on the list !
We h
lave then, all this additional eved
dence,—(and, if this were all, who, could
entertain a doubt to the question ?—) that
275f01 the 279 on the lid of voters, which
are net found on the assesnzent list, or
list of taxable,, ere not in township, and •
were not there on the day of the election.
This is called -negative testimony" by
the respondents counsel, because it is in-
troduced to show; that these alleged vo•
tern, were not and are not in the town
chip. It would be affirmative testimony,
if adduced to show that they were and are
in the township. The force of ii, is the
same in either case, the result depending'
on the fact as it exists. The proposition
is embrused in the inquiry. WERE and
An they Truing ? No one can dmhl for
a moment that the knowledge of Storm,
Conrad, Adnins and Burgoon, of the town
ship and its citizens, would have discov
ered, and the diligent search of Harr and
Storm have found if not all, at least the
greeter poitton at this large umber of al
lodged voters,i/ in the township, and to
be/ound there. I lad they been there, the
testimony would have shown it, and would
be nifirtnative. Had they been there.'
this evidence would have proven it, in-1
stead of proving, as it does, they were not.
What ever you choose to cull, it has there
fore, the force of positive or affirmative tes•
Oniony. The existence of 275 voters in
a tow-nship consuming 311 taxable inhab
itants, we have already noticed, and as
every one feels and knows, is very easily
shown. An appeal to the knowledge of
old citizens, and diligent search, must and
will discover them, if there, as it must fail
to do it, if they are NOT there. The truth
is, it is imposible, in a district like this, to
practice a fraud upon the ballot-box like
this fraud—by introducing 275 unreal or
fictitious voters—and hide it. The et-
tempt is ns silly ns that of the ostrich to
conceal its hugh body by thrusting its
head into the sand.
But it is unnesessary, as it is sickening,
to dwell upon the evidence of this case.
%rho large and suipiceous discrepancy be.;
tweed the list oftavables and the list or
voters— the fact that only 158 of the 437
names retured ns voters are to be found on
the assesment list, and that conseluently,
278 of them had - no right to vote without
being sworn or cxemincli by tile tioard--
ihe uhsence, if not the suppression of the
evidence rctoired by law that this was
done—nay, the fact, affirmatively proven,
(so to speak) that it was not done,— the to- ,
tal nbsence of any evidence. or of any at-
tempt or offer, on the part of the respon
dent, although incumbent upon him and ,
them who would sustain or defend a re
Jhusimpeached—when, if it had been
the tru!h. it was so easily shown, and so,
much depending udon it,—cleat these :179
names represented perswis in the toted•
ship at that lime;•—the fact, on the con.
trary, that old citizens of the towrship, I
with the most ample means of knowledge,
know nothing of taern, nod that the slant
diligent search cannot find them:--these
promieent facts and features of this eds. , . ,
we say impress visibly and indelibly upon
it the impress of fraud. We treat it as a j
fact, brought out by the evidence into ,
clear day light, so clearly established as I
not to admit of a moment's doubt, that 275 I ,
of these names on the lists of voters, are
fabricated or ficticious, and the correspon•
ding number of ballots that kind of trautl.l
ulent votes. This and this only, accounts I
satisfactorily for the very suspicious irreg
ulnritiee and departures from the require
ments of the law in organizing the board,
and conducting the election, which, though
so numerous and glaring that it would be
hard to impute them to ignorenco and
negligence, might possibly, it the result
appeared to be right, be ascribed to some
other than an intentional corrupt or fraud
ulent motive. It is plain, however. that
they:were "means' odanted to the attain•
tarot of this "end;" and prrt and parcel
of one frutlulent transaction.
It requires, therefore, very little calcu.
lotion to dispose of this complaint upon its
"merits." In any view of the evidence,
we would be bound to treat the names on
the ass , ssment,-158,—0n the legal votes
rust. It is contended on the port of the
complainants, upon the evidence adduced,
ihnt 70 votes were actually cast for Abel
Lloyd. It is shown, at nil eyenls, beyond
doubt or cavil, that he did rereive the num
her returned for him-44. This would
'cave 114, instead of 838 returned for Lew
is Fisher. This would elect Mr Lloyd by
over 150 votes. But the facts in our judge
tarot, disclose such fruud as renders the
whole poll undue and void, Throwing
nwny, therefore, the whole vote of Wash.
ington township, the result stands thus :
E A ,e bel is L F lo i y sh d e ,
Lloyd's majority
To the case thus made nut by the com
plainant, by more than sufficient evidence,
the only answer by the respondent, and
those who are behind him, is a motion to
ogetaxli the petition and proceedings, for
three reasons assigned in a paper filed
since the case came on fur argument; and
which, reserving the order in Ivnich they
appear in the paper filed, we shall now
take up and consider.
1. One of the reason is, "that the peti
tion does not send forth the existence of
facts whict , if true, would change the re
sult of the election.
No court we Igree, should entertain a
complaint, and subject parties to the trouble
and eltpense of an investigation, and the
result upon tho face of the complaint,
would be (milk.. This reason, however
is filed and'urgEd upon the attention of the
court after the labor has beet undergone,
VOL. XXIV. NO. 10.
and when there is evidence before us which
proves beyond a doubt what does change
the result as it respects the vote for coun
ty commissioner. Whatever considera
tion ue might have felt inclined to give
this had it been urged in an earlier stage
of the proceedings, we would hesitate to
arrest them for that reason, if true. But
is it true? The complaint, already quo
ted, osiers" that oa large number of ille
gal and fradulent votes were polled for.
Lewis l'isher, and that the return of said
electinn so as nforsaid held in the said
township of Washington, was falsely and
fraudulently made to the said return
judges, and that therefore the said Abel
Lloyd was usdaufully defeated for the
said (Vice of county commissioner."—
This we think sufficiently explicit; par-
ticularly at this stage of the case, when
we have before us a superbundance of
proof to substantiate the complaint.
2. Another of the reasons is, 'that the
allegations of fraud irregularities, &c„ in
the petition. are vague and general iu
terms, uncertain as to persons, and there•
fore should be quashed by the court."
They are not, we admit, ns specifially
set forth in the complaint os they are made
out by the evidence; but it was not re
quails that they should be. The different
kinds of fraud and fradulent votes proven,
were complained of, to general terms. It
is impracticable, generally, to be specific.
It bus been admitted in the argument that
it it es not pc,eticable, or requisite, to the
names of illegal voters; although it hus
been very earnestly insisted, that, as an
exception or what should be an exception,
to the rul,t, the names of dead men alleg
ed to have voted, should have been set out.
as. however, the votes of not more than
two or three dead, if we recollect-the evi.
dence correctly, appear to have returned,
that was quite no imtnnterial averment,
and might have been at any time hereto
fore, or might now be, stricken out, with
out at all affecting the result. The mass
of spurious voters voters were happily ex
erupt from liability to death' and every
other MI that FLESH is heir to." They
ap2ear to have been paper men merely.
3, A third reason,and one which has
been and argued and urged with more
earnestness than the where, is"that the
petition is not verified as required by
the act nr L
to by two qualfied voters of the township
er county." _
It is niinful to fad it so fully verified by this
evidence in the case. Still, difficult as it is to
treat seriously a mere technical objection inter.
posed to the judgment of a court in a case
clearly made out upon its merits, tho party cas
hing such oi.jectimi, especially when it is his all,
and lie rests his ease upon it, is entitled to o
fair considers Lion of his plea in arrest of judg•
Thu petition is signed by twenty•two who
represent themselves ns qualified voters of the
county of Cambria ; and verified by two of them.
The evidence shows that one of these two J . , P.
Scott, a young man about twenty-three years of
age, was not legally entitled to vote ou that day.
because, and only because, he bad not paid".
stale or county tax within two years; although,
as it appears, he did vote in Washington town
ship on that day. As it was his first veto de
pending on the previous payment of a tax, and
as Iris lather owned property in the township,
it is not difficult to suppose that he may halm
voted thoughtlessly; and the officers of the
election whose sworn duty it was to inquire and
see to it, are more ceusurable than he. 13ut
the question is not, whether he did vole or had
a right to vole, on that day. Otte who was not
at the election at all, if he had a right to vote
there, it cannot be doubted, might sign or veri
fy such a petition. This young man possessed
all the general and inherent qualifications of a
voter. Lie was not minor, an alien, or a non •
resident. Ile labored only under the casual or
occidental disqualification arising from not ha
ving paid a tax. It; however, any citizen of the
township who was not at the election on that
day, whether he had paid tax within two years
or not, if otherwise in all respects entitled to
vote, and who might qualify himself to vote be
fore another election, or at any thee, by the
payment of his tax, had verified the petition,
whose deliberatejudgement would conclude that
, he was not "a qualified elector" within the
meaning of the act of assembly, upon a reason•
able construction of it I—or that a petition
; on that ground, and especially after the truth
I of the complaint is fully established, should be
if the objections to this election suggested
mere irregularities, or what might be consider.
ed undesigned departures from what is merely
directory in the election law,
and no fraud were
proven, and no one appeared to have voted but
those who had a right to vote, we would feel in
clined to require the utmost strictness in a pro
ceeding which aimed at overthrowing an elec.
lion on technical a d unsubstantial grounds.
But when gross and flagrant frauds are clear.
ly established, to require this would ho little
lass than to make ourselvesparaceps criminia,
and render this emit, instead of being what
every court should be, "a place where justice
is judicially administered, a refuge and sanctu
ary of fraud and crime.
We have been told in this case, that this pro
ceeding was got up by disappointed office-seek
e*s. and should not, therefore, be encouraged.
If this were so, it would but illustrate the ad-
age. "when rogues fall out honest men get their
duos;" str.d, in the aspect in which it is before
us, it would still be one duty to deal with the
case as made out by the proof. Au we have al.
rend remarked, however, we recognize to this
petition the names of some of the most teepee
table citizens of the county. and we doubt not
they have been -stunted by the purest and moat
patriotic motives. The necessity of requiring
great stroness and formality in such complaints
has almi been very strenuously urged upon our
attention, as of all.absorbing and paramount
importance. -To give undue consideration to
tech meal strictness here, when the act of as
tunably requires us to decide iiwni merits, tho'
the effect might only be to stifle wholesome
investigation, would be to "tithe the mint, cum
min, and anise." and neglect "the weightier
'timers of the law." But to hesitate In the
consideration of any reasons here presented and
urged for quashing this petition, when the et
feet would be to sanction and sustain the most
appling fraud upon the ballet box and with
plenary proof of it staring us in tho face, would
be to - strain at a gnat. and swallow a mask"
eeetettrolei ott Awes feta)