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BosTon, FEBRUARY 12, 1903.


SIR,- In compliance with section 24 of chapter 3 of the Revised Ordinances, the Board of Election Commissioners respectfully submits its annual report for the year 1902.


At the city election in December, 1901, the number of male voters on the list was 110,131. The number of such voters on the list published by the Board in August, 1902, was 96,477. From that time to the close of registration for the city election there were added the names of 16,214 male voters. In revising the voting list, after the publication of the list in August, 874 names were dropped on account of death, removal or other causes. The number of male voters on the final list sent to the polls on the day of the city election was 111,817, an increase of 1,686 over the list of the preceding year.

In 1901 there were 15,592 female voters registered for the city election. In 1902 their number was 18,445, an increase of 2,853. The total increase of male and female voters over the preceding year was 4,539.



Section 108 of chapter 11 of Revised Laws, in lines 16–18, provides that no nomination paper offered for filing shall be received or be valid unless the written acceptance of every candidate thereby nominated shall be filed therewith. Where a nomination paper contains the names of a large number of candidates for delegates to a convention, say 23, and the acceptances in writing of but 22 such candidates appear, justices of the Supreme Court have held that the entire nomination paper is invalid. This is certainly a hardship. The section therefore should be amended so as to provide that failure of a candidate thereby nominated to file there with his written acceptance shall invalidate only the nomination of such candidate.


Chapter 56 of the Act of 1902 changed the name of the Democratic Social Party to the Socialist Party.

Chapter 157 of the Acts of 1902 abolished deputy election officers in Boston. Their abolition, which had been recommended by the Board in its last five annual reports, saved the city about $2,000. The change was a positive benefit, and caused no friction on election day.

Chapter 384 of the Acts of 1902 amended section 5 of chapter 11 of the Revised Laws so that it now reads as follows: “No person entitled to vote at an election shall, upon the day of such election, be employed in any manufacturing, mechanical or mercantile establishment, except such as may lawfully conduct its business on Sunday, during the period of two hours after the opening of the polls in the voting precinct or town in which he is entitled to vote.” Before the amendment this law applied to the State election alone, and then only when the person entitled to vote made application for leave of absence during such period. .

Chapter 537 of the Acts of 1902 provided that every nomination of a political party of a candidate for representative in the General Court or any elective city office, except members of the School Committee in Boston, to be voted for only in two or more wards of one city, shall be made in caucuses by direct plurality vote. This was already the method in Boston for nominating candidates for senators and for aldermen, all such candidates in Boston being voted for in two or more wards. The test of the principle of direct nomination extended to the nomination of candidates to be voted for in every ward in the city came in 1902 in the nomination of candidates for Street Commissioner. The extension was found satisfactory.


If the legislation proposed for primary elections is enacted, that part of section 105 of chapter 11 of the Revised Laws providing “If twenty-five voters of a ward or of a town shall request in writing at least twelve days before any caucus of the political party to which they belong, the aldermen or selectmen shall so arrange the polling place of such ward or town as to allow voting to proceed in two or more lines at the caucus’’ should be repealed. If such legislation is not enacted we recommend that the arrangement of such lines be left to the discretion of the Election Commissioners.


All the recounts were conducted in Faneuil Hall.

The results as announced by the caucus and election officers were changed in comparatively few instances. The counting of such officers on the whole was remarkably accurate. Recounts have become such a fixture, however, that in one or two wards, where the hour of closing the caucus was late and the vote heavy, no attempt was made to count all the votes but the returns were averaged. The interested parties had to depend therefore upon the recounts for the true result. This practice is unjust to candidates and others interested and is condemned by the Board.


According to the registration of the last city election, Precinct 7, of Ward 19 contained 1,001 male voters. Under section 162 of chapter 11 of the Revised Laws, the aldermen ~~~~ + A* or ksafare 4 k, a first AM are flaw: ; r. ssil or of +4.2 Asi-------4111 us u, U11 U1 UCLU1 U U Liv 111 Su 171 virua y 111. vuly U 1. Uli U U Uil 1 C 11 U. year, divide this precinct or make a new division of the ward so that no precinct shall contain more than one thousand

male voters.


After the publication of the list in August, 874 names were stricken from the voting list by the Board because of death, non-residence, removal or other ineligibility. During the year there were no complaints of illegal registration under the statute. This is the first year since the establishment of the Board that there have been no such complaints.


The Board, sitting with Chief Justice John F. Brown of the Municipal Court of the City of Boston, as the Boston Ballot Law Commission, passed upon six nomination papers that appeared defective by inspection and unanimously declared such papers invalid. '

The Commission also heard and rendered decisions in two disputed nomination cases. We deem it proper here to say that we do not consider it within the province of the Board to advise candidates in the matter of the preparation of nomination papers which may afterwards come before the Board or the Boston Ballot Law Commission for judicial decision.


In accordance with chapter 176 of the Revised Laws the Board has prepared a list of voters of Boston qualified to serve as jurors.

This branch of the work has been given the attention its importance demands. In the preparation of this list the Board has availed itself of all the information it could obtain from reliable sources. The Board has aimed to select impartially from each ward in the city and from all honorable callings those citizens who in its opinion are competent to serve as jurors.


The quarters of this department are entirely inadequate to carry on its constantly increasing work. We renew the recommendation of the Board in its last annual report that the quarters be enlarged and remodelled to meet the present exigency.


The Board, created by chapter 531 of the Acts of 1901 (Revised Laws, chapter 11, section 271), consisting of the Mayor of Boston and the Board of Election Commissioners, with power “to determine upon, purchase and order the use of voting and counting machines,” met June 27, 1902, and organized by the choice of John M. Minton as chairman and Melancthon W. Burlen as secretary. For the reasons set forth in the last report of this department no action was taken by said Board in the matter of voting and counting machines.


The term of Hon. Patrick J. Kennedy expired April 30, 1902. John M. Minton, Esq., appointed as his successor for the term of four years ending April 30, 1906, assumed the duties of his office May 1, 1902. On May 20, 1902, Hon. David B. Shaw was appointed as a member of the Board for the term ending April 30, 1904, in place of Mr. John J. Hogan, who had that day been removed. Mr. Shaw assumed the duties of his office June 25, 1902.


The expenses of the department for the year ending January 31, 1903 appear below in detail.

Salaries, Commissioners :

Charles R. Saunders (Chairman to
April 30, 1902), inclusive * $3,666 67

John M. Minton (Chairman from
May 1, 1902) . © to o 2,666 67
Melancthon W. Burlen te * 3,500 00
John J. Hogan, to May 20, 1902,

inclusive . wo o to o 1,361 12 Patrick J. Kennedy, to April 30,

1902, inclusive e to * > 1,167 00 David B. Shaw, from June 25,

1902 * so e to o 1,808 33

$14,169 79

Assistant Registrars . de © 40,776 00 $54,945 79

Printing voting-lists and ballots for caucuses and
elections, nomination papers, office blanks, etc. 23,836 15
Election officers . g e e so wo † 19,307 50
Repairs and fitting up polling places . * x o 14,189 22
Care of voting places . o to 3,445 76

Carriage hire and travelling expenses, caucuses and elections . e * > © C go © o 3,013 66

Rent of storehouse and lots for booths and land for location of polling places, caucuses and elec

tions e & & * o e so wo 2,705 00 Stationery . o to o e e e e 2,234 29 Advertising e so to to © * to 2,037 76 Posting voting lists, sample ballots, locations of

polling places and carting e * © to 1,656 67 Furniture and fixtures for booths and caucus-rooms, 846 32

Carried forward . e g $o © . $128,218 12

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