ELECTIONS, Contested. Under the Constitution, when the electoral college fails to cast a majority vote, the election of Presi dent was referred to the House and of Vice President to the Senate. The former decided the election of Jefferson in 1801 and of J. Adams in 1829, and the latter elected R. M. Johnson Vice-President in 1837. But in 1876 a dispute arose over the validity of the elec tion of rival groups of electors in four States (see ELECTORAL COMMISSION) and in 1887 Congress enacted a law providing that each State under its own laws should designate a tribunal to determine the legality of its elec toral votes; but should no such tribunal have been appointed in case of double returns, the vote of the State is lost unless the two houses agree as to which electoral votes from the State are the legal votes. Under Art. I, Sec. 5, ¶ 1 of the Constitution, each branch of Congress is the judge of the election, returns and quali fications of its own members. Although the law may be disregarded, the House usually conducts its investigations of contested elec tions under sections 105 to 130 of the "Revised Statutes.° If an election is to be contested, notice must be given within 30 days after the result of the election has been determined; the same period is allowed for an answer; and the testimony must be taken within 90 days. In the House the task of investigating these con tests is assigned to three committees, but in the Senate this work is performed by the com mittee on elections. The investigating com mittee is always controlled by the party which has a majority in that branch of Congress and its report is seldom rejected. In most of the States each branch of the legislature judges the elections and qualifications of its own mem bers, and this power is granted also to the councils of many cities. As these bodies are supreme within their respective spheres of ac tion, courts are without jurisdiction to hear and determine contested elections of their members. In half the States, the legislature
is empowered to decide gubernatorial contests and contests over one or more of the other State offices, but in California, Delaware and Pennsylvania these contests are tried by a joint committee of both houses. In some States all elections are virtually decided by the legisla ture sitting as the supreme canvassing board. If a specific mode of contesting elections has been provided by statute, that method alone can be employed. In the absence of any statutory proceeding the only common-law remedy is quo warranto proceedings, under which the court demands proof of the authority by which a person exercises the functions of an office and ousts him if he cannot show proper and legal authority. Strictly speaking a quo warranto proceeding is not a contest between two per sons for the same office but merely determines if the person holding the office be or be not a usurper. If the incumbent be proved a usurper, the judgment is that he be ousted, whereupon the proper officials will execute the supposed will of the people by placing the candidate actu ally elected in possession of the vacated office. Consult Michael, W. H., 'Elections' (in 'Cy clopedia of Law and Procedure,' Vol. XV, p. 268-465, New York 1905) ; Mechem, F. R., 'Law of Public Offices and Officers> (Chicago 1890) ; McCrary G. W., 'American Law of Elections' (Chicago 1897) ; Rammelkamp, C. H.., 'Contested Congressional Elections' (in Political Science Quarterly, Vol. XX, pp. 421 442, Boston 1905) ; Reinsch, P. S., 'American Legislatures and Legislative Methods' (New York 1907) ; Rowell, C. H., 'Historical and Legal Digest of Contested Election Cases in the House of Representatives, 1789-1901' (Wash ington 1901) ; Taft, G. S., 'Senate Election Cases> (Washington 1903) ; 'Compilation of Senate Election Cases, 1789-1913' Document' 1036, 62d Congress, 3d session, 1913) ; and authorities cited in article ELEC TIONS.