Resolved: That Political Corruption and intimidation would be greatly lessened if the ballots at elections were printed and distributed by the State. Brief for the affirmative, Walter Coulson, H. W. Hervey. Best short reference: Allen Thorndike Rice in N. A. Rev. 143: 628.
I. The present system of voting is inadequate: some change is necessary to prevent corruption and intimidation. N. A. Rev. 143: 628; Labor's Encyclopedia Art "Ballot"; Reports of contested election cases for past ten years in U. S. Documents; Public Opinion, December 10, 1887.
II. By giving the state complete control over the printing and the distribution of ballots, there will be less opportunity for corruption and intimidation.- (a) it will be impossible to counterfeit ballots; (b), The excessive power of political organizations will be lessened;- (c), The expense of printing and distributing the ballots will no longer be an inducement for bribery;- (d), Trading will become difficult;- (e), Absolute secrecy in voting can be enforced.
References: Richard H. Dana's ballot act; opinions of HOn. Henry Cabot Lodge, Hon. James A. McGeough, Hon. Wm. E. Russell, Mr. John Boyle O'Reilly, and others in Boston Globe, Feb. 23, 1888; English statutes VII Chap. 33 (1872). North Am. Rev. 145, pp. 570, 685 and 457.
BRIEF FOR THE NEGATIVE.F. H. Battum and H. S. Sanford.
I. The printing and distribution of ballots by the state has been only a minor feature of acts designed for the prevention of, (1), bribery; (2), intimidation; (3), fraudulent return of elections. N. Am. Rev., CXLIH, 528.
H. It will not decrease the number of persons connected with elections, but will increase their power by giving them an official position.
III. There will be more candidates. This will increase the expense and confuse elections.
IV. The true remedy for the abuses of the existing system is not legislation but the education of public opinion.- Internat. Rev. VIII, 534 Mill's Representative Government, pp. 205-228.