George Crane Morehouse.

The supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe online

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Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 19 of 96)
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The board of county canvassers of the county of Oneida having met at the
office of the clerk of said county, on the 10th day of November, 1885, to canvass
and estimate the number of votes given in the several election districts of said
county, at the general election held on the 3d day of November in the year
aforesaid, do certify as follows, to-wit :

That it appears on such estimate and canvass that the whole number of votes
given for the office of governor was twenty-five thousand six hundred and
ninety-mne, of which

Ira Davenport received twelve thousand five hundred and ninety-six.

David B. Hill received eleven thousand six hundred and ninety-three.

H. Clay Bascom received thirteen hundred and fifty-one. i

George 0. Jones received fifty.

Hill received one.

Blank received six.

And so on with each one.

Certificate.

We certify this statement to be correct, and have caused the same to be attested
by the signatures of the chairman and secretary of this board, this 12th day of
November, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty-five.

FRANCIS A. WILLABD,

Chaikman,
M. JESSE BRAYTON,
Deputy County Clerk and Secbbtaet.

§ 340. Statement.

Statement of the board of county canvassers of the county of Oneida, in rela-
tion to the votes given for the offices of sheriff, county clerk, superintendent of
the poor, coroner and justice for sessions.

The board of county canvassers of the county of Oneida having met at the
office of the clerk of said county on the 10th day of November, 1885, to canvass
and estimate the votes given in the several election districts of said county, at the
general election held on the 3d day of November, in the year aforesaid, do certify
as follows:

That it appears on such estimate and canvass that the whole number of votes
given for the office of sheriff, was twenty-five thousand six hundred and eighty-
fpur, of which

John Batchelor received thirteen thousand two hundred and sixty-four.

Robert A. Jones received eleven thousand one hundred and eighty-one

Joshua E. Davies received twelve hundred and twenty-one.

Blank received fourteea

Defective received three

And so on vnth each one.

{Add certificate as above.)
32



ir^Q SUPEEVISOKS' MANUAL.

§ 241. Statement.

statement of the board of county canvassers of the county of Oneida, in rela-
tion to votes given for members of assembly.

The board of county canvassers of the county of Oneida having met at the
ofSce of the clerk of said county, on the 10th day of November, 1885, to canvass
and estimate the votes given in the several election districts in each of the several
assembly districts of the said county, at a general election held on the 3d day of
November, 1885, do hereby certify as follows, to-wit:

That it appears on such estimate and canvass that the number of votes given
for the office of member of assembly in the first assembly district of said county
was eight thousand five hundred and sixty-nine, of which

Benjamin Hall received two thousand nine hundred and eighty-eight.

Charles K. Qrannis received two thousand seven hundred and thirty-four.

Henry A. Steber received two thousand four hundred and seventy.

Herbert S. Stoddard received three hundred and silty-five.

Blank received seven.

And so on with each one,

(Add certificate as alxme.)

All the above statements, except the certificate, are read through by the clerk,
whereupon the following resolution, in writing, should be moved and adopted.

Jtesohed, That the statement of the result of the general election held in this
county on the 3d day of November, 1885, as read by the secretary, be, and the
same is, hereby declared the official canvass thereof, and that the chairman and
secretary be, and they are, hereby authorized and directed to sign and certify the
same for record.

Also the following resolution in writing should be moved and adopted.

Besolved, That John Batchelor, by the greatest number of votes cast at said elec-
tion for the office of sheriff was, and hereby is, declared duly elected to said office;
that M. Jesse Brayton, by the greatest number of votes cast at said election for
the office of county clerk, was, and hereby is, declared duly elected to said office;
that {and so on with each county officer or mernher of assembly).

The chairman and secretary should then sign the " Certificates " to the " State-
ments " above.

They should also sign and certify as foUows:

§242.

CEETIFICATE OF THE ELECTION OF COTJNTT OFFICERS.

The board of county canvassers of the county of Oneida, having canvassed and
estimated the votes given in the several election districts of the said county, at a
general election held on the 3d day of November, 1885, hereby certify, deter-
mine and declare

That John Batchelor, by the greatest number of votes, was duly elected sheriff
within and for said county.

That M. Jesse Brayton, by the greatest number of votes, was duly elected
county clerk within and for said county.

That Theodore S. Comstock, by the greatest number of votes, was duly elected
superintendent of the poor within and for said county.

That Richard R. Jones and James E. Secor, by the greatest number of votes,
were duly elected justices for sessions within and for said county.

That Willis E. Millington, by the greatest number of votes, was duly elected
coroner within and for said county.



Elrctioks. 171

We certify this statement to be correct, and have caused the same to be attested
by the signatures of the chairman and secretary of this board, this 13th day of
November, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and eighty-five.

FRANCIS A. WILLARD,

Chairman.
M. JESSE BRAYTON,

Deputy County Clbrk and Secretabt.

§243.

CERTIFICATE OP THE ELECTION OP MEMBERS OF ASSEMBLY.

The board of county canvassers of the county of Oneida, having canvassed and
estimated the votes given in the several election districts in each of the assembly
districts of the said county, at a general election held on the 3d day of November,
1885, do hereby certify, determine and declare

That Benjamin Hall, by the greatest number of votes, was duly elected mem-
ber of assembly in and for the first assembly district in said county.

That Robert W. Evans, by the greatest number of votes, was duly elected mem-
ber of assembly in and for the second assembly distri,c1> in said county.

That Israel J. White, by the greatest number of votes, was duly elected mem-
ber of assembly in and for the third assembly district in. said county.

We certify this statement to be correct, and have caused the same to be attested
by the signatures of the chairman and secretary of thi^ board, this 12th day of
November, A. D. one thousand eight hundred and. eighty-five.

FRANCIS A. WILLARD,

Chairman.
M. JESSE BRAYTON,

DBPurr County Clerk and Secretary.

A similar certificate for school commissioners, if any elected, should be made.
These certificates are to be recorded in the county .clerk's office.
A certified copy is to be delivered by the county clerk to each person elected.
These certificates are evidence of the election of the persons therein declared to
have been elected.

1 R. S. 366, S W.

They are conclusive evidence thereof in every form in which the question could
arise, except that of a direct proceeding in the nature of quo warranto to try the
right to office.

People T. Jones, 17 Wend. 81 ; People v. Tail, 20 id. 12 ; People y. Van Slyck, 4
Cowen, 297; People T. Ferguson, 8 id^ 102; People v Cook, 8 X. T. 67; People
T. Livingston, 80 id. 66 ; People v. 'Willlaiu M. Thornton, IS N. Y. W. Dig. 280.

and give the officers named therein, the right prima facie to take the office, exer-
cise its powers and perform its duties and receive the emoluments thereof, until
the certificate has been corrected or shown to be false by a judicial determination.

People v. Livingston, 80 N. Y. 66-69.

In such judicial determination, the court may go behind the certificate of the
canvassers and even behind the ballot-box for testimony as to the intention of the
voters.

See cases cited above.

§ 244. When to Order Special Zllection.— When

any county officer, proper to be chosen at any general election,
shall not have been chosen by reason of a tie vote, it is the duty of
the board of county canvassers to order a special election for the



172 Supervisors' Makual.

election of such officers omitted to be cliosen. They shall, ■without
delay, direct and cause to be delivered to the sheriff, clerk or county
judge of the county in which such election is to be held, a notice
specifying the officer to be chosen ; the time for which he is to be
chosen, and the day on which snch election is to be held; which
day shall not be less than twenty nor more than forty days from the
date of such notice. Such notice is to be signed by the chairman,
and clerk of the board.

Laws of 1842, chap. 130, titles 2 and 3; 1 R. S. 879.

§ 245. Notice for Special Election.

To THE Sheriff op the CoDNTr of Eenssklaek:

Whereas, At the last general election held in said county of Rensselaer on the
day of November, there was a failure to elect a person to fill the office
of , by reason of a tie vote, and the board of county canvassers having duly

ordered a special election for the purpose of filling the vacancy in such office, —
Now, therefore, you are hereby notified, that a special election will be held in
the county of Rensselaer on the day of November nezt, for the purpose of

electing a person to fill the said vacancy in the office of , and t'' at said offi-

cer will be chosen for years and till the 1st of January, 18

Datedj ete.

A. B.,

Chairman, Board of County Canyabsebs.
CD.,
Clerk, Board op County Canvassers.



DIGEST OF DECISIONS.
1. As TO Inspectors of Election.

^ §246. Writing' on Printed Ballots.— The writing
of a name upon a printed ballot in connection with the title of an
office is a designation for that office of the name so written, al-
though the printed name for which it is intended as a substitute be
not erased.

The writing prevails over the printed letters as the highest evi-
dence of the voter's intention.

People V. Saxton, 22 N. T. 809.

§ 247. As to Rejection ofVote by Inspectors,
for Crime Committed by Voter.— Where a person
offering to vote was challenged as a deserter, and after taking the
preliminary oath, refused to answer questions upon that subject, and
thereupon his vote was rejected, held that the inspectors acted without
authority. Such rejection can only be upon proof by a duly authen-
ticated record of the conviction.

Goetchens t. Matthewson et al., 61 N. Y. 420.



Elections. I73

The jurisdiction of inspectors of election, in questioning a person
challenged, is limited to inquiries in reforcnce to his place of resi-
dence and qualifications as an elector as prescribed by the Constitu-
tion.

Id.

A board of election officers have no power to question the right
to citizenship of one who has been naturalized as a citizen by a court
of competent jurisdiction.

9 Abb. N. C. i65.

§ 248. Defective Ballots. All ballots which are so ir-
regular, ambiguous or informal that they cannot be canvassed, are
denominated " defective ballots."

These must he preserved and attached to the statements of results,
though they must not be counted in.

Ballots may be defective in various ways, for example :

If under the designation " For Governor," two or more names
should be written or printed, or if under the designation of any
office, more names than there are officers of the kind to be elected,
should be placed on the ticket, then the ballot would be defective, or
if several designations of office are united, as " For County Clerk and
Coroners," the names attached to or in connection with sucb
blended designations cannot be canvassed, and the ballot is de-
fective.

If the Christian or surname, or part of a name, only, is given, the
' ballot is defective. But v^^-Tcnown and established abbreviations,
by which the meaning is as clearly conveyed as though the names
had been written at full length, as Wm. for William, Jno. for John,
Abm. for Abraham, etc., may be allowed, counted and returned as if
written in full.

"Where the name is misspelled, as Jacvh for Jacob, Jonson for
Johnson, but so that the pronunciation is not varied, the ballot should
be counted and returned as if spelled aright.

Where there is a change or the omission or addition of a middle
letter, or of Jr., or Junior, to a name, the vote, if. regular in other
respects, should not be regarded as defective, but must be counted,
and return thereof made separately from the others.

Where tbere is reasonable doubt, that is, where two confficting
constructions can be fairly given to the ballot, it is defective.

A ballot may be defective as to one or more names or designations
of office upon it, and, so far, not counted, while the remainder may



174 Supervisors' Manual.

be regular and counted. The wTioU ballot should, in such case, be
attached to the statement.

Klection Code, p. 327; People t. Ferguson, 8 Cowen, 106; People v. Stevens, 6
Hill, €17; People V Cook, 8 N. Y. 80.

Where votes are cast for "Henry F. Yates," for "H. F. Yates"
and for "Frey. Yates" they cannot properly count for Henry
F. Yates the votes cast for " H. F. Yates " or " Frey. Yates." Each
should be returned separately.

People V. Ferguson, 8 Cowen, 106.

So votes cast for " Benjamin Welch, Jr.," " Benjamin C. Welch"
and for " Benjamin Welch " must be returned separately, they can-
not all be counted for " Benjamin Welch, Jr."

People V. Cook, 8 N. Y. 67.

So votes for " Andrew C. Getty " add ^' Andrew H. Getty " must
be returned separately, not all counted for Andrew C. Getty or
Andrew H. Getty.

Kortz V. Board of Canvassers of Green Co., 12 Abb. N. C. 84.

The original returns should be given to the supervisors.
The inspectors of election should deposit the original election re-
turns, not copies, with the supervisor.

People V. Wise, 2 How. Pr (N. S.) 92.

§ 249. True Statement Must be Made.— It is the

duty of the inspectors to make, in their return, a true statement of
the result of the election in their district ; and, until they have done
so, their duty is not discharged. It is not discharged by making a
false or erroneous return.

Their Duty Trhen Returns are Returned
for Correction. — Where a return is remitted to a board of
inspectors of election for correction, it is their duty to hold a con-
sultation free from the interruptions and suggestions of others.
Their action should not be influenced by outside pressure from
friends of interested candidates. "When they deliberate, they should
exclude spectators ; and, after a quiet conversation and consultation,
they should affix their names to a statement showing the result of
the poll.

People, ex rel. Sanderson, v. Payne, 12 Abb. N. C. 108; 8. C, 2 Civ. Free. R. 452.

They cannot Alter any Decision Made by
Them. — The corrections to be made are only the corrections of
derical mistakes, not to alter any decision before made by them.

People V. Cook, 8 N. T. 85.



Elections. 175

§ 250. Returns Valid as to Facts Required
to be Set Forth. — The returns are valid only so far as they
are confined to the facts which the inspectors are required to set
forth ; and if they go beyond these, and state other facts, such state-
ments will be treated as mere surplusage.

£x parte Heath and others, 3 Hill, i2.

When but one person can be elected to an office and three persons
are named on the same ballot, the ballot is void.

People, earel. Hovey, v. Ames, 19 How. 551.

An inspector of election is not bound to accept the decision of the
poll-clerks and sign the returns as prepared by them. It is his duty
and he has authority to examine, investigate and correct them.

Boland v. People, 25 Hun, 423.

An inmate of the Soldiers' Home at Bath is an inmate of an " asy-
lum" within the meaning of the provision of the Constitution de-
claring that for the purpose of voting no person shall be deemed to
have gained or lost a residence * * * while kept at any alms-house
or other asylum at public expense. Prior to coming to the Home,
plaintiff was a resident and voter in New York city. Held, that he
was not entitled to vote in the town of Bath.

Silvey v. Lindsay, 107 N. Y. 55.
See cases under §§ 351-255, post.

2. As TO Board of County Canvassers.

§ 251. Poorer of Canvassers. — The duties of the
canvassers are mainly ministerial. They are to make their canvass
from the certificate of the district inspectors, provided it is regular
on its face, and delivered to the proper office within the time allowed
by law. They cannot reject such certificate, nor ascertain the intent
•of the voters by examining witnesses, or testimony of any descrip-
tion except that which is in the certificate itself. Thus, when a re-
turn of an election district, regular upon its face, signed by three
persons as inspectors of election, who in fact had acted as such upon
mistaken information, had been rejected by the county canvassers,
on the evidence of a certificate of the town clerk that the persons
acting were not inspectors, it was held that the canvassers had ex-
ceeded their power in receiving such evidence, and that the return
of the inspectors should have been admitted.

People V. Cook, 8 N. Y. 67; People v. Jones, 17 W. 81 ; People v. Vail, 20 id. 12;
People V. Van Slyck, 4 Cowen, 297; People t. Ferguson, 8 id. 102; People v.
LiTingston, 80 N. Y. 66.



176 SuPEEvisoKs' Manual.

They are to count what appear, on their face, to be the original
returns, and which are apparently regular.

People V. Board of Canvassers of Wayne Co., 12 Abb. N. C. 77; S. C, 04 How
334.

See ante, "Defective Ballots."

§ 252. Cannot Correct Errors in Returns. —

Section 15 of the statute above cited, which authorizes the county
board to depute one of their number to return the certificates of the
district inspectors to those oflSeers, to supply omissions and correct
clerical mistakes, if any exist, and to adjourn in the meantime to
allow the correction to be made, is all the correcting or revising
power which the county board has over the district board. The cor-
rections are to be made by the latter board, and are only to be cor-
rections of clerical mistakes and not to alter any decision before
made by them.

8 N. Y. 85.
See ante, " Defective Ballots."

The rejection by a board of county canvassers of an original return of an elec-
tion district, upon aflBdavits that the duplicate or copy which had been filed with
the clerk had been changed by the inspectors after filing and upon observing
the original, as presented by the supervisor, contains a like change, is in excess of
their powers and will be corrected by mandamus, although the majority of the
board did not consider it to be the original.

People V. Board of Canvassers of Wayne Co., 12 Abb. N. C. 77 ; S. C, 64 How. 834.

§ 253. Loss of Ballots.— The accidental loss of ballots in
a single election district, even though it prevent a return from tiiat
district, will not prevent the board of canvassers from completing
their canvass or making their return on the votes cast in districts
regularly returned.

Heath's Case, 8 Hill, 42.

§ 254. When Po-wer Exhausted.— When the board
of canvassers have completed their canvass and made their certificate
their power is exhausted, and they cannot afterward reverse their
decision and make a different determination.

Hadley v. Mayor of Albany, 33 N. T. 603; People, ex rel. Gaige, v. Reardon, 9
Hun, 425.

See next section.

Where there is reasonable ground to believe that the return of a
board of inspectors of an election district is not accurate, a man-
damus will issue requiring the board of county canvassers to remit
such return to the board of inspectors for such correction as they
may see fit to make.

People V. Board of Canvassers of Greene Co., 12 Abb. N. C. 95.



Elections. 177

Such mandcmius will issue although the canvass has been com-
pleted and a certificate of election granted to one who has already
qualified for the office in dispute.

Id.

It is the duty of inspectors to make in their return a true state-
ment of the result of an election in their district, and until they
have done so their duty is undischarged. Their duty is not dis-
charged by making a false return, nor do they thereby become
functus officio.

Id.

The duplicate return of the inspectors of an election district, re-
quired by Laws 1880, chap. 56, § 14, to be filed in the county
clerk's office in the absence of an original return made by such in-
spectors at the close of the election, is the return which the board
of county canvassers are required to canvass.

People V. Canvassers of Albany Co., 20 Abb. N. C. 19; S. C, 46 Hun, 390.

Such duplicate being in the possession of the county clerk, who is
ex-officio secretary of the board of county canvassers, is practically in
the possession of the board ; and, in the absence of a proper origi-
nal produced by the supervisor, should be canvassed as the original,
under its control. And the board will be compelled to do so by
mandamus.
Id.

After the inspectors have, on the day of election, made two proper
statements, and have separated, and have filed one in the county
clerk's office and one in the town clerk's office, a second return six
days thereafter by two of the three inspectors and signed and de-
Hvered to the supervisor, is not an original return, and the board of
county canvassers will, after a reasonable time to make a proper can-
vass of the duplicate in the county clerk's office, be restrained from
acting upon or canvassing such second return.

Id.
See cases, §§ 246-354, 255.

POWER OF COURT TO CORRECT ERRORS.

§ 255. Board of County Canvassers may be
Compelled by Supreme Court to Correct Er-
rors in Determination. — Whenever it shall appear by
affidavit that errors have occurred in the determination of the board
of county canvassers in any county in this State, the supreme court
23



178 SuPEEVisoBs' Manual.

may, by order, require said board to correct such errors, or show
cause why such correction should not be made, and in the event of
the failure of said board to make such correction, or show cause as
aforesaid, the said court may compel said board by writ of ma/iidamus
to correct such errors; and if such board of county canvassers shall
have made its determination and dissolved, such court may compel
it to reconvene for the purpose of making such corrections. For
the purpose of making such corrections as the court shall order, the
meeting of the board of county canvassers shall be deemed a con-
tinuation of its regular session, and the statement and certificates
shall be made and filed as the court shall direct ; and so far as the
same shall vary from the original certificates and statements, the
statements and certificates made under the order of the court shall
stand in lieu thereof, and shall in all places be treated with the same
effect as if such corrected statement had been a part of the original
required by law.

§1, chap. 460, Laws of 1880: People v. Board of Canvassers of Wayne Co., 12
Abb. N. C. 11.

At the close of an election held in the eleventh district of the town
of Watervliet, the inspectors of election made and signed, in dupli-
cate, two statements of the result of the election in that district, re-
specting the votes cast for the office of senator, and delivered one of
these statements to the town clerk and one to the county clerk to be
filed, instead of delivering one of these statements to the supervisor
of the town, and having a copy filed in the town clerk's office, as
required by law. Six days thereafter, two of the inspectors made
and signed what purported to be a copy of the original statements,
but differing from them in that it was stated therein that Henry
Russell received forty-five votes less, and Norton Chase forty-five
votes more, for the office of senator, than was certified and deter-
mined by the inspectors and set forth in the two original statements.

Upon the hearing of an application, made under the provisions of
chapter 460 of 1880, for a writ of mandamus to compel the board
of canvassers of Albany county to canvass the statement of votes
filed with the county clerk, and disregard the one filed with the su-
pervisor, it appeared that the board of canvassers had laid the state-
ment delivered to the supervisor before a committee of their body
charged with making a preliminary statement of the votes cast at
the election, and that the facts contained in the second statement



Online LibraryGeorge Crane MorehouseThe supervisors' manual : a practical treatise on the law applicable to the duties of supervisors from the date of their election to the end of their official term; also, the law relative to town bonds, railroad aid bonds, defective roads and bridges, town meetings, assessment and collection of taxe → online text (page 19 of 96)