Hide Articles List

7 articles on this Page




THE ALLEGED TAMPERING WITH VOTING PAPERS. The statement we published last week re- specting the tampering with voting papers at the last election of Commissioners has caused considerable excitement in town. The quid nones shook their heads, and said it was a ter- rible charge for the Advertiser to bring against public officials. As a matter of policy we re- frained from then publishingi all the inform- ation in our possession that, indeed, would have been a false step to take. But there are in all communities individuals who prate and chatter,who deny and condemn, and pronounce fearful anathemas on all things of the details of which they are in ignorance. So it is in the present case. Several attempts have been made to force us to disclose our hand. We abide our time and if these people will only exercise a little patience their curiosity will be satisfied. All things come to those who wait." When the proper time arrives, par- ticulars in substantiation of the charges will be made public. In the meantime we reiterate the assertion that a voting paper was tampered with-i.e., altered in favour of a certain candidate-after it had passed the Returning Officer. The evidence in our possession warrants us in making the charge and justifies us in drawing the con- clusion that if this was done in one case, it might be done in others. At the next Petty Sessions, Mr WHo DAVIES, one of the defeated candidates, will make an application to the Bench for leave to inspect the voting papers. The application will be made in his own name, and also on behalf of Mr WK. WILLIAMS, the other unsuccessful candidate; and, we under- stand, the applicants will be represented by Counsel. While the matter stands thus—in a manner sub-judice—we will not at present discuss further this phase of it. The subject naturally cropped up at the special meeting of the Commissioners held on Monday. Mr KEATINOB asked the Returning Officer to declare whether anything illegal bad been done in connection with the election. The weakness of the question is apparent on the face of it and, as Mr ELLIS pointed out, such a request was altogether premature, and he very properly declined to answer it. After a Mwrogian display of disjointed oratory, Mr KENT unburdened his soul on the subject, and at the outset charged the person who caused the charge to be published" with want of manliness. Mr KENT, at the last monthly meeting, himself laid it down with autho- rity that" manliness is a quality upon which opinion is divided. However, be that as it may, the assertions referred to were made by us, solely on our own responsibility; and we, without reservation, accept the consequence. Mr KENT'S grotesque and feeble attempt to fasteu the charge upon the Town Clerk would be simply ridiculous, were it not for the gravity of the offence alleged. His forced definition of paid official showed that he hadjnot given the question much consideration. Length or continuity of service is not neces- sarily the qualification of an official." A regular hand" employed by Mr KENT would be as much a draper's paid assistant as a casual sale hand. Besides, all the persons en- gaged at the election-the Town Clerk and be as much a draper's paid assistant as a casual sale hand. Besides, all the persons en- gaged at the election—the Town Clerk and Town Surveyor inoluded—were there as paid assistants to the Returning Officer, who had aDsoiute control over the appointments. So, in that sense, every one of the clerks who re- ceived pay for their services were paid offi- cials, and we used the term official as applying to the election, and not to the Com- missioners. And for that reason one at least of the permanent officials of the Board re- B?FCIAL FEE FOR services on the day of the election; and consequently all the other Paid assistants were on a par with him. Mr KENT'S deductions are utterly unjustifiable, and we cannot understand why he should have taken so much trouble to implicate either the Town Clerk or the Town Surveyor. As regards the Chairman's threat, that un- less the parties who made the charge would come forward to substantiate the misme, it would be his (the Returning Omcefl) duty to take the matter in hand," we can only say that both he and the Board are powerless to take any proceedings against us, nor can they move in the matter at all. After he had delivered his certificate, his part in the election, and in the conduct of it, was absol- utely finished. And Mr CLEWS very neatly expressed this, when he said that the Board- room was not the proper place to discuss the matter. Events will be moved on" in the course of a few days and if, after a thor- ough inquiry, our assertions are not upheld, we will not fail to make the fullest and frankest apology to the Returning Officer and his assistants.



[No title]