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Questions 'Bungled' Election

THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

Since you have opened your columns to unsigned charges against a number of persons, including myself, in connection with the 1950 Class Committee election, I trust you will open them to this (signed) reply. I speak only for myself in this, but it may help illustrate how preposterous all the charges are.

I was, to be sure, "in Phillips Brooks House" on the night of the election. It is erroneous to assume that ballot-stealing is the only activity that can take place in PBH. I arrived there on business in no way connected with the balloting when the first count was about two-thirds complete. It was only after being informed of my elimination in the count that I took any part in the procedure. My own candidacy being at an end, I was drafted into the various checks and recounts necessary to assure the final accuracy of the count, which consumed the rest of the evening and most of the next day. During these recounts, only six names were in question for the last four places on the Class Committee--these were the only "candidates" at the time. I felt quite free to take part in these recounts, first because so few experienced counters were on hand; second because I felt I might be able to assist Mr. Hall, who despite the imputations of your anonymous letter-writers is the leading expert on ballot procedure at Harvard; third, because I was in no way a partisan of any of the six men being considered; and fourth, because it had not occurred to me that under the circumstances, where I had no direct interest involved in the outcome, to do so would arouse any comment whatsoever among my classmates, let alone imputations of fraud.

We are not given the names of our accusers, so I cannot tell whether they took part in the labor of counting the ballots. I take leave to doubt it, however. Theirs is not to do the work, theirs is but to sit back, criticize, and underhandedly impugn the honesty of those who do--all under the cover of anonymity. I trust the Harvard student body is adult enough to treat this form of irresponsible and cowardly characer assassination with the contempt it deserves. Frederic D. Houghteling '50

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