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Governor's election, in particular districts. They who have these large sums depending, may bring in voters, and maintain them in the district for a short period, in order to obtain votes enough to enable them to win their money. He knew there were some who said this could not be prevented. Is it so? Do gentlemen, who call themselves republicans, when they say they have the best Government in the world, acknowledge that it cannot be maintained without fraud—without introducing false votes ? This charge has been made against us in foreign countries, that our Government is led by demagogues, and ruled by fraudulent voters. He trusted that some remedy could be found for this evil, and that it would be found and applied. Why should any objection be made ? But, it is said that some persons may lose their votes. If they should, the number will be very small, and they should not complain if it preserves the elections from fraud. Last fall, one thousand voters in Union did not vote at the general election—they lost their votes in consequence of the inconvenience of leaving their business in seed sowing. They did not complain that they lost their votes, and demand to give their votes on another day. They might have complained, and claimed as a right to have had the polls kept open. Did they ask it? Did any one pretend that it should be done ?No one.
The polls ought to be open to receive every lawful vote, then if voters do not attend, you cannot compel them. It is not the fault of the institutions, but their own. Must there not be a rule of universal application. No other could be made to suit all districts. Are we to make plans to suit the convenience of individuals ? Our business is to make provisions, which will enable all to vote who choose to avail themselves of their right to vote. If they will not, they must remain aloof and submit, as did the forty thousand voters who did not vote on the call of the Convention. It had been asserted that we represent these forty thousand; and, so every man who does not vote must abide by the result.Frequently, elections have been contested by those who have no right to interfere. Did any gentleman desire that this state of things should continue. Ought we not to secure the interests of the people of Pennsylvania against the encroachments of persons who have no right to interfere ? He trusted we should have the power and the disposition to prevent frauds of this character. If no proposition could be introduced to effect that object, he would go for the old Constitution. He would move to fill the blank in the section with the word “ thirty”. If any gentlemen thought thirty days too long a period, they could submit any other number. He did not think it was too long. The time ought to be sufficiently long to prevent persons from keeping votes in pay to influence the polls. It ought to be long enough also for the people to know that an individual is actually a resident. Would thirty days be too long for their purposes ? He would leave it to the committee to determine. He had no desire to shut out any legal voters. He would have the polls open for every man who has a right, and, let those who would not go to the elections abide by the result.
Mr. Porter, of Northampton, moved to fill the blank with the words one day”. Mr. CLARKE, of Indiana, moved to fill the blank with the word “ten”.
Mr. MANN, of Montgomery, moved to fill the blank with the word " three".
was to extend the right of suffrage, and to do this, many gentlemen whom he was surprised to see so voting, voted to sustain the amendment of the gentleman from Columbia (Mr. HAYHURST.) He had the misfortune to differ from these gentlemen : he thought the amendment was going too far, and he voted against it. And what was now proposed by a gentleman who voted for opening the door to such a liberal extent ? We have the hardest proposition, a restriction which will operate with the greatest severity, more severely than any proposition which had ever been offered, and more so than the old Constitution, and why? Because, as we are told, the agents to carry out the election laws are unfaithful, and fraudulent votes are received. There was no other reason offered. If a party take a false oath, it is to the common law that recourse should be had. But whence are these frauds in the importation of voters ? Whence do they come? It was not in Chester that such things occured. There the inspectors and judges did their duty. We had been told here of places where, if you go to the polls, a very slight examination suffices. With us there is a severe examination, and if a doubt exists, the voter is confronted with the oldest citizens. The judges do not rely on the oath of the party, but, as they ought to do, go properly to the officers ; and, if they find perjury has been committed, it is not unlikely that the perjured individual is sent to the penitentiary, at Easton, as had been the case with one man who falsely swore that he had paid his taxes. If the inspectors and judges perform their duty, and carry the provisions of the law into effect, it is sufficient to prevent frauds. Would any one tell him it was the practice any where to import voters, and that these voters will meet the judges in the face of truth and light, and swear that they are residents, when they are not? He had been told by a gentleman from one of the largest counties in the State, that he knew no instance of any such frauds, and that he had heard of no instance where the punishment did not immediately follow. If any frauds had been commited, ihey were so few, and produced so little inconvenience, and were always followed by such speedy detection and punishment, that they were scarcely worth being refered to here.
Mr. PORTER, of Northampton, said, that for twenty-eight years, with the exception of seven or eight, he had been an active politician. For five years, or more, he had resided in the city of Philadelphia, and was as regularly set to watch one of the windows as election day came. Afterwards, he acted as a judge of elections, and might have served in that capacity some ten or twelve years, and he could safely say he had never known an instance in which a vote was fraudulently given. Sometimes, there might have been mistaken judgments in reference to the law and the facts, but srauds he had known none. He believed these fraudulent practices existed more in imagination than in fact. He would speak of facts. We (said Mr. P.) were five or six thousand inhabitants in that part of the city near New Jersey, where we were as liable as any to importaljons from Jersey. But he had never seen an instance of such. He had seen no single instance, therefore, his own experience would not justify him in saying there were fraudulent practices.
His own experience, he said, did not justify the assertion, that there was fraud in carrying on the elections in Pennsylvania, or that they were tainted with fraud. Every citizen of Pennsylvania ought to have the