Fraudulent Registration Is Treason In The Highest Form 1893

 There are several thousand illegal votes registered. The location of them is indicated wherever there is an abnormal increase of the registration of 1893 over that of other years there. In the old world any assault on the person of the monarch or on any member of his family, whether it result fatally or not, is punishable by death. In this republic the people are the government, suffrage is the king, the ballot is every free man's scepter and the voted will of the majority is the supreme law.

Fraudulent registration signifies fraudulent suffrage. Fraudulent suffrage is an attack on the only sovereign or king which Americans acknowledge. It would not be over punished, if it was punished with death. The Eagle would be entirely willing to have the law condemn to death those who register illegally and vote illegally and those who get them to do so. The Eagle would be entirely willing to have this law carried out to the letter. Murder is the slaughter only of an individual. Fraudulent registration and fraudulent voting involve the murder of the government. Murderers of individuals are certainly not more criminal than murderers of the government.

The Democratic party is in power here. All the judiciary belong to that party. The district attorney and his assistants are Democrats. On officials rests the execution of the laws. Among the laws whose execution rests on them are the election laws. Those laws provide for a truthful registration, a truthful vote and a truthful count. The violation of those laws or the omission to enforce them is the highest kind of moral treason and should be regarded as the highest form of legal treason. It also involves the greatest possible perfidy to democracy, which means government by the people and the highest possible danger, peril and disgrace to the city, the nation and the state.

On the Democratic machine here rests the suspicion of permitting, if not of procuring, this fraudulent registration. This suspicion is due to the refusal of Democratic justices and, it is said, of the Democratic prosecutors, to issue warrants for the arrest of persons charged with or suspected of fraudulent registration, with the intention of fraudulent voting. The complaints have been made by representatives of the opposition who are men of substance, seriousness, responsibility and legal knowledge. They have been refused warrants which would deprive no man of his vote who is entitled to cast it, but which would subject to examination the right of justly suspected parties to vote and which would prevent many unlawfully registered persons from trying to commit the crime of fraudulent voting. The justices have taken their attitude, by refusing to move until and unless the district attorney's office has done so.

This is a travesty on justice. This is an outrage on right. This is a blot on the Democratic party. This is a defiance of public sentiment. This is an insult and an injury to every honest citizen. Of course, there is redress. The higher courts have been appealed to. These higher courts have not yet been machined into obedience to lawlessness or into disregard of the claims of decency, equity and public security. The appeal to them, we believe, will not be in vain. The argument which the necessity of an appeal to them furnishes for the preservation of the judiciary from machine influence can be let unfold itself upon the minds of voters, in passing.

There are other signs of a movement for an honest election noticeable. A respectable and responsible non-partisan committee offers a reward today for evidence that will lead to the arrest and conviction of fraudulent voters, and the offer is printed in this paper. It will be a shame if this offer is not supplemented in good faith by the machine organization of the Democratic party. That organization should lose no time in taking the initiative against fraudulent votes. The laws are in their hands. The election board is in their hands. Two of the four men on it belong to them by appointment and affinity. At least one more, Jacob Worth, belongs to them just as absolutely for other causes. The three are a majority of the four. They control the appointment or assignment of the election officials in each voting district. No fraudulent registration has taken place without the active procurement or the connivance of election district officers under the control of the board, which is under the control of the Democratic machine.

At the basis of this fraudulent registration must be the kind of naturalization which has been going on here. The Eagle has been told that Italians have been naturalized directly from off shipboard here. This is an exaggeration. Some of them appear to have been on shore at least two or three days. The illustration, however, shows the rawness, illiteracy and rottenness of the stuff injected by legal machinery into the body politic. Much of it is stuff that can neither read, nor write nor speak the English language, which knows nothing of our country, its laws or constitution, and which is sworn into citizenship in blocks of five or ten without knowing the value or significance of the oath itself, let alone of the trust which it implies. The shame and danger of this are manifest. The ability of the people to cope with it is not so plain. In trying to cope with it they should certainly find the officers of the law with them, and not against them. So far, however, the contrary has been the case.

Look at the situation down at Gravesend, commonly called Coney island. In summer it is populous. In chill autumn or winter the numbers there are few. The census credits Gravesend with a population of 8,418. Supposing each sex should be equally represented, that would mean 4,209 males and 4,209 females, children, aliens, disfranchised criminals and all classes included. There are, however, registered in Gravesend 6,215 persons claiming to be voters, or 2,009 more persons than there are males in the town. This is simply villainy. The boast is that it will be successful villainy, and that it will be sustained all the way from District Attorney Ridgway up to Governor Roswell P. Flower, on the ground that they have a political interest in it which will overbear their public duty. This may do them an injustice, but the injustice is done to them by their political associates.

The Eagle warns officials, high or low, against frauds in this election. The people are terribly aroused. Whether they elect Boody or whether they elect Schieren, the man who is chosen will go in by fair election and by a fair count and not by the false declaration of an unfair count. Fraud can well be abandoned, for it will not be submitted to. The law here preserves the ballots and the poll lists intact for a year after election. A false result can be attacked by a repoll of citizens in any affected district in the courts under oath. No man can afford to be fraudulently seated and no candidate defeated by fraud will submit to the result. Neither will his party. They say "it will be worth a man's life to go down to Gravesend, to stand at the voting places and to take down the numbers of those who vote there, for the purpose of seeing that no more votes are counted than are actually cast." Report has it that the habit there is to put in nearly as many machine ballots as there are names on the criminal registration list, irrespective of whether they are cast by persons or not, and to declare the result of the stuffing and not of the voting. Well, if it is worth a man's life to go down there and stop this villainy, men should be willing to pay the price of their lives, if necessary, and to go down there and stop it. If the murder of people desirous of honest elections be there added to the murder of government by fraudulent suffrage and fraudulent counting, let the criminals add to their crime and lay on the law and on the people the challenge of the consequences, if they dare.

The Eagle is no alarmist, but neither is the Eagle blind. When it sees facts, it tells them. When it perceives intentions, it announces them. When it notes delinquent officials, it excoriates them. The threats which such a performance of duty elicit are disregarded. Duty alone is perceived and is mandatory. We unhesitatingly appeal to the honest men of all parties, Democrats, Republicans and independents, to untie for a pure ballot, a true election and a fair count. At the polls or elsewhere these results will be secured. The will of the people, whichever way it tends, cannot and shall not be defeated. The conspirators, banding to defeat it by corruption, intimidation or the forgery of returns, will do well to be wary, for behind them stalks the headsman of public anger and of public purpose.

Website: The History
Article Name: Fraudulent Registration Is Treason In The Highest Form 1893
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


Brooklyn Daily Eagle October 30, 1893
Time & Date Stamp: