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the Presidential election," have had the subject of the Memorial under consideration, and beg leave to report:
That the Constitution of the United States, article 2, section 1, among other provisions has the following: “Each State shall ap
point in such manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a “ number of electors equal to the whole number of Senators and
Representatives to which the State may be entitled in Congress; “ but no Senator or Representative or person holding an office of “ trust or profit under the United States, shall be appointed an “ Elector.” That "article XII," of the amendments to said Constitution in the first section has the following provisions : “The « electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by ballot « for President and Vice President, one of whom, at least, shall « not be an inhabitant of the same State with themselves; they « shall name in their ballots the person voted for as President, and « in distinct ballots the person voted for as Vice President, and “they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as Presi
dent, and, of all persons voted for as Vice President, and of the “ number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify. " and transmit sealed to the seat of Government of the United “ States, directed to the President of the Senate.”
In the Revised Statutes 1819, page 77, sections 3 and 4 treating of the election of electors of President and Vice President and their duties, the fourth section provides that “The electors of “ President and Vice President shall convene at the Capitol of « this State on the first Wednesday of December next after their “ election, at the hour of 12 o'clock at noon of that day; and if “there shall be any vacancy in the office of an elector, occasion“ed by death, refusal to act, neglect to attend or other cause, the “ electors present shall immediately proceed to fill by ballot, and “ by plurality of votes such vacancy in the electoral college; and " when all the electors shall appear, or the vacancies shall have ~ been filled as above provided, they shall proceed to perform the
“ duties required of such electors, by the Constitution and laws of “ the United States."
The third section referred to provides the time and mode of the election of electors, and section sixth of the same chapter, page 78, provides a compensation to the electors, of two dollars and fifty cents per day, to each, and mileage to each of ten cents per mile, for every mile traveled on the most usual route, in going to and returning from the Capitol.
Your committee have presented the constitutional provisions, and the provisions of law,passed in view of these constitutional provisions on the subject of electors of President and Vice President,to satisfy the Senate that the further legislation contemplated in the Memorial, is not at all necessary or expedient.
The duties performed by electors of President and Vice President, though of the highest National importance, are still to be discharged in the spirit of republican simplicity, without any pomp, display or ceremony, being thrown around their honest, open, candid act of casting the vote they were chosen to cast. To perform their duty in the spirit of the constitution and law, there seems to be no necessity of choosing a president of the college, appointing a secretary out of the college, and having a long address from the president informing the electors of the object of their meeting, and possibly delivering a beautiful eulogy on the death of some distinguished American patriot and statesman.If the electors confine themselves to the legitimate object of their meeting, the compensation allowed by law will more than cover all expenses, and we presume it is not the object of any elector, to make money out of a few days honorable employment in the service of his country.
Your committee would suggest, that the record of the acts of every electoral college can be found in the archives of the United States Senate. Your committee therefore respectfully ask to be discharged from
the further consideration of the subject, and recommend that the memorialist have leave to withdraw his memorial.
Mr. Blair, from the same committee, submitted the following Minority Report :
The undersigued a minority of the committee on the Judiciary to whom was referred the communication of Philo White, in relation to the duties of the electors of President and Vice-President, begs leave to make the following
The undersigned believes it to be the imperious duty of every State of the American Republic, to provide by law, for the preservation of a record of its political history.
That no important officer should be elected to office without a record of the votes which elects him, and the manner in which the votes are given.
That so far as one State acts in connection with another, to produce a joint result, each State should have within its own borders and its own archives, a perfect and careful record of its doings.
In the election of a President and Vice-President, of the United States, the action of the different States is several and independent, though the result is common and joint.
The national government has provided that "each State shall appoint a number of Electors equal to the whole number of Senators and representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress," “has also determined the time of choosing the Electors, and the day on which they shall give their votes,” but the manner of choosing the Electors is left to the States themselves.
The national government has also provided, “that the Electors shall vote by ballot for President and Vice-President, that they shall certify the number of ballots given for each person in distinct lists, and transmit the same, scaled, up to the seat of Government."
The regulations of the States upon the subject of the duties of their Electors, are different in different States.
Our own has provided for the election of Presidential Electors by general ticket, has prescribed the time of their meeting, how they may fill vacancies in their number, and their compensation, and then enacted, "that they shall proceed to perform the duties required of them by the Constitution and Laws of the United States.”
The undersigned believes there is further legislation necessary, clearly to define the duties of Electors of President and Vice-President, and that such legislation should prescribe the manner in which said Electors should resolve themselves into an organized body for the transaction of business, should determine the manner in which they should select and authorize one of their number, to take charge of, and deliver the result of their doings at the seat of the national government, and above all, provide by legal enactment, for the preservation of a permanent record of their proceedings.
They are State officers and act by State authority, and transmit to the national government, what the State has done in its sovregin capacity, acting in connection with its sister States. The political and official history of a State is imperfect without a history of the acts of its Presidential Electors.
The records of the national government are not the records of a State, and each State should have a perfect history, in and of, itself, in its individuality.
The undersigned would therefore, recommend the passage of the accompanying Bill. All which is respectfully submitted.
A. M. BLAIR. On motion of Mr. Weil, said majority report was then adopted.
Mr. Sharpstein moved that 500 copies of the majority report be printed for the use of the Senate,
Which was agreed to.
Mr. Briggs, from the committee on Printing, reported,
No. 94 S, a bill to appropriate to Beriah and John A. Brown the sums therein named,
Which was read the first and second times, and the printing thereof dispensed with.
Mr. Smith, from the committee on claims, reported the following bills, which were severally read the first and second times, and the printing thereof dispensed with.
No. 95 S, a bill to appropriate to Joseph A. Seibhaber the sum therein named.
No. 96 S, a bill to appropriate to Patrick Walsh the sum therein named.
No. 97 $, a bill to appropriate to S. W. Martin the sum therein named.
Mr. Blair, from the committee on Engrossed Bills, reported the following bills as correctly engrossed :
No. 33 S, a bill to appropriate to Donaldson and Tredway the sum therein named.
No. 8 S, a bill to authorize the town of Beloit to aid in the construction of a certain railroad.
No. 14 S, a bill to authorize the city of Milwaukee to construct a canal from the Milwaukee River to River Street in the Fifth Ward of said city, and to levy a special tax to pay for the same.
No. 35 S, a bill to incorporate the Plymouth and Charleston Plank road Company.
Mr. Sharpstein, from the committee on Incorporations, to whom had been referred,
No. 64 A, a bill to amend an act entitled “an act to incorporate the Winnebago Lake and Fox River Railroad Company,
Reported the same back to the Senate without amendment.
Mr. Hunter from the Committee on Internal Improvements, to whom had been referred,
No. 13 S. A Bill to declare Big Plover river a Public Ilighway.