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[63] ballot of about twenty votes. On what was this expectation grounded?

In all the Southern States in which the negroes had a majority, an expedient was devised for perpetuating this power, which made all elections a mockery and a nullity. In this State it was a Board of Canvassers, consisting of the principal officers of the State, to whom the returns of the elections were made, who canvassed the returns and determined the result. They were authorized to throw out votes which they deemed illegal or improper; in fine, to do anything to keep the power in their own hands. No man could be sure of his election, even though he had received a unanimous vote; for this omnipotent board, for reasons satisfactory to themselves, might decide that the whole election was irregular and consequently void. A board of such enormous power, composed of men of principles, more than doubtful, required watching, and General Conner, and other eminent lawyers, went to Columbia to watch their proceedings and take care of the interests of the Democrats.

The first point made was, that as a majority of this Board, the treasurer, the secretary of State, and another, were candidates for election, they could not sit in judgment on their own cases, and consequently the board was incompetent to act. It must be remembered that by law every ballot contained on a single piece of paper the names of all, the persons balloted for, so that it was impossible to canvass any one name on the paper without canvassing all. To this reasonable objection the facile Stone, Attorney-General, admitted that the objection was well taken, and that each member of the board, who was a candidate, must retire when his name was under discussion. This was an expedient that, under the circumstances, could proceed only from a knave or a fool.

The next point was, that as the Constitution makes each House the sole judge of the validity of the election of its members, the board has no right to do more than count the votes and certify them to the Secretary of State, leaving to each House the subsequent duty of determining the validity of the elections. As the Board did not concur in this view, General Conner applied to the Supreme Court for an injunction against further proceedings by the Board until the matter could be examined by the court.

(I fear, lest if I attempt to follow the details of this case, I should fall into technical errors. I shall therefore, briefly as possible, tell what did happen.)

The court ordered the Board to examine the election returns and

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