AMERICAN POLITICAL ISSUES ; UNITED STATES BEGINNINGS OF PARTY ORGANIZATION ; UNITED STATES - THE NEW DEMOCRACY AND THE SPOILS SYSTEM.
The Popular Vote.— In the United States the expression (popular vote) is subject to several interpretations but is commonly used to denote the expression of the public will by the voters of the land as distinguished from the votes of legislative bodies or of the elec toral college (q.v.). The term is a misnomer, however, since millions of women have riot yet secured full suffrage and nowhere can any election be complete since various classes of the population (prisoners, mental defectives, nrinors, in some States paupers and vagrants, etc.) are denied the elective franchise. (See ELEcroitia. QUALIFICATIONS). Under the Con stitution members of the lower House of Con gress are elected by popular vote but the Con stitution provided indirect elections for two other classes of national officers. (1) Senators were to be elected by the various State legisla tures but owing to the defects of this system of indirect election a widespread demand arose for popular vote for senators which resulted in the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution (q.v.) in 1913. Now senators may be designated in only one of two ways—either by popular vote of the whole State or by a temporary appointment by the governor to fill a vacancy in such States where the statutes permit such appointments. (2) The Presidential electors were to be chosen in whatever way the States might designate and in some States for many years the legislatures chose these electors. Whether chosen by popular vote or by.the legislature, the electors were interrnediary in the election of the Presi dent and thus no votes were ever cast direct for Presidential or Vice-Presidential candi dates. See also PRIMARY, DDtECT; PRIMARY, PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE.
Preferential Voting.—The prevalence of the direct primary idea .(q.v.) has resulted in the enacfment of legislation which practically elim inates nominations by bare pluralities when there are a ntunber of candidates. Five States and a few cities have adopted what is called preferential voting, the voter being allowed to designate one or more choices for each office. In Idaho, candidates must receive a majority to be nominated and the voters may indicate one choice only or first and second choices. If
a majority of the first choice votes for any office are not cast for one person, both the first and second choices are counted for that office. In the Washington direct primary system, the voter indicates only one choice for an office if his party has less than four candidates, but if there be four or more candidates the voter may designate both first and second choices. If a party has four or more candidates and no one obtains 40 per cent of the first choice votes, the second choice votes are added to the first. In Minnesota and Wisconsin the designation of second choices is permitted, but should no one receive the first choice votes required for nomination, the one who receives the lowest number of first choice votes is eliminated and his votes are divided among the candidates whom the votes had indicated as their second choice. This process of elimination is con tinued until one candidate has the required num ber of votes. In Oregon, first, second, third and other choices for two State offices are permitted and if no one receives a majority of first choices, the second choices are added and third dioices also if this be necessary to give one candidate a majority. In 1917 Newark, N. J., adopted the commission form of gov ernment, with five commissioners. In the elec tion of November 1917, the Republicans and Democrats each put forward five candidates, besides which 70 others entered the contest for the commissionerships. Each voter cast his ballot for any five candidates; he was permitted to vote for one or more of the men bracketed together and then to vote for the remaining numbers of his five outside the brackets; but to vote in the brackets for all five party choices he must vote for each man separately. After expressing his preference for the first two, the voter might express a second choice for five others; then for five others as hi.s third choice; and then for five others as his "other choice,' which in reality was his fourth choice. The process of elimination then took place as above indicated. See also PRIMARY, PRESI DENTIAL PREFERENCE ; ELECTIONS.