U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)
Chapter XIV. SUPERVISION OF ELECTIONS.
Par. Chairman 14-16 Vicechairman 14-17 Executive officer 14-18 Secretary 14-19 inspector 14-20 Intelligence and press relations officer 14-21 Law officer 14-22 communications officer 14-23 Disbursing and supply officer 14-24 Medical officer 14-25 Aicies 14-26 Departmental board personnel 14-27 (2antonal board personnel 14-28
14-16. Chairman.-a. After his designation by the President of the United States, the Chairman of the Electoral Mission visits the State Departmen tin Washington, D. C, and acquaints himself with the history and the existing status of the situation in the foreign country concerned. He is also informed of the policy of the Government of the United States relative to the responsibility of the Electoral Mission, and the doctrine and procedure to be followed. He receives definite assurances from the State Department defining his authority, particularly in relation to other diplomatic representatives of the Government of the United States who may be present in the foreign country.
b. The Chairman then visits the foreign country, accompanied by such expert advisors as may be deemed appropriate, in order to make a personal survey of the situation including the legal, personnel, financial, and material requirements of the Electoral Mission. He assures himself that all necessary preparations are made, by personal contact with the appropriate authorities. The preparation and adoption of an electoral law to meet the requirements may be involved. It will probably be necessary to secure agreements establishing the legal status of the United States electoral personnel and the obligations of the foreign government concerned in relation thereto, particularly those obligations having to do with salaries, allowances, expenees, shelter, supplies, and theright of ''free entry"
c. The Chairman issues instructions to United States naval, military, and civil authorities in the country concerned, directing their full cooperation in the successful accomplishment of his mission. Such instructions may involve questions having to do with reassignment of personnel, shelter, rationing, transportation, protection, disciplinary procedure, and replacements. Plans are prepared for instituting necessary military and police protection to maintain order during the registration and electoral period. If available, the native constabulary or similar organization is generally charged with the principal effort with relation to military and police problems arising during the electoral period. This force may fail to cooperate fully with the Electoral Mission and may even attempt to defeat the purpose of the Electoral Mission, of left under the command or control of an officer of the country concerned. For its proper control, it is obvious that such military force should be placed under the authority, if not the actual control, of the Chairman of the Electoral Mission during the electoral period. The Chairman of the Electoral Mission need have no administrative authority over the United States forces in the country. He does, however, expect full support from such forces. The military protection required for the Electoral Mission will include guards at polling places and in the towns where polling places are situated. It may be necessary to increase the number of combat patrols during the period, particularly in sensitive areas. Escorts may be required to convoy groups of citizens to and from places of registration ancl voting. A general redistriblltion of military forces may be required to support the Electoral Mission during the critical period.
d. Upon his arrival in the country concernecl, the Chairman of the Electoral Mission should have absolute local United States authority on all questions pertaining to the election. He communicates with the State Department, direct, concerning all electoral matters. The State Department representative regularly assigned to represent the Government of the United States in the foreign country concerned forwards reports or other correspondence concerning or affecting the election through the Chairman of the Electoral Mission. The absence of a definite delineation of authority may lead to confusion and disagreement.
e. Direct contact with the Chief Executive of the country places the Chairman of the Electoral Mission in a position to exert a favorable influence, most important in its effect, toward the successful accomplishment of his mission. The political party in power may attempt to adopt unethical measures that are tolerated by local civil law and accepted by customary usage. Such unethical measures may affect the conduct of a free, fair, and impartial election. Control over such matters generally rests with the Chief Executive of the country. Insofar as practicable, such unethical practices should be controlled by restrictive measures in the election laws themselves. An understanding concerning these practices should be reached by the Government of the United States and the Chief Executive of the country concerned prior to the assumption of responsibility by the Government of the United States for the proper conduct of the elections. In the event problems arise that are beyond his control, the Chairman of the Electoral Mission communicates the circumstances to the State Department. When the counsel or instructions of the latter have been received, he visits the Chief Executive of the foreign country and, with his cooperation, makes definite arrangements to remedy a situation which may become intolerable if permitted to continue. The Chairman makes an estimate of the funds that will be required to cover the expenses of the Electoral Mission, submits such estimate to the proper authority of the country concerned, and arranges for its appropriation. He arranges for the United States funds necessary for salaries, allowances, and travel expenses to and from the country concerned.
f. The Chairman selects his staff and organizes the Electoral Mission. Through his Vice Chairman, he arranges to have the staff undertake studies and the preparation of detailed plans.
g. Prior to the departure of the other members of the Electoral Mission from the United States, the Chairman assists in drawing up a definite agreement between the two governments on the following matters:
(1) The portion of the expenses of the Electoral Mission to be borne by the foreign government concerned, including the appropriation and the deposit of such funds to the credit of the Electoral Mission.
(2) The strength of the constabulary or other military organization of the country concerned, and the police force estimated to be necessary to insure peace and order in the country during the electoral period, and during the 30 days immediately preceding that period. He receives definite assurances that the military and police forces will be maintained at the estimated required strength.
(3) The laws and decrees of the government concerned that are considered necessary in order that the Electoral Mission may accomplish its task. Such laws and decrees should be passed and promulgated prior to the assumption of its functions by the Electoral Mission in order that the appearance of pressure on the part of the Electoral Mission may be avoided.
h. The Chairman of the Electoral Mission should be installed in a properly furnished residence by the foreign government concerned. He arranges for the government concerned to provide the Electoral Mission with sufficient office space where complete privacy is assured.
i. After his appointment as President of the National Board of Elections, the Chairman of the Electoral Mission organizes that Board and trains the personnel necessary for its proper functioning. He calls meetings of the National Board of Elections to discuss the electoral law and its procedure, and to make such decisions as are required for the proper interpretation and execution of that law. In some instances, the candidates for office, their followers, and even the political parties themselves may require emphatic instruction to guide them in their conduct. Political parties and their leaders are required to assume certain definite responsibilities, and are charged with maintaining discipline within their respective organizations.
14--17. Vice chairman.-The Vice Chairman of the Electoral Mission is the assistant to the Chairman of the Electoral Mission. He is also Vice President of the National Board of Elections. In general, his duties are comparable to those performed by a chief of staff. As Vice President of the National Board of Elections, he attends all meetings of that Board and is prepared to assume the office of the President in the event of the latter's inability to serve.
14--18. Executive officer.-a. The duties of the Executive Officer include the administration, training, and supervision of United States electoral personnel in their activities of a nonpolitical nature. He controls the expenditure of United States funds, and arranges for the procurement of necessary United States supplies. He is the liaison officer between the Electoral Mission and United States forces. The activities of the Executive Officer are confined to Electoral Mission duty only, as differentiated from duties pertaining to the National Board of Elections. This tends to keep the administration of the Electoral Mission and the training of its personnel separated from the electoral functions of the Electoral Mission.
b. The Executive Officer may be assisted in the administration of the personnel of the Electoral Mission by the assignment of one or more officers as commanding officers of units of the electoral detachment. When the administration of their detachments does not require their full time, and when there is a need for their services, the latter may be assigned duty as assistants to the staff officers of the Electoral Mission.
14--19. Secretary.-a. The duties of the Secretary include the operation, direction, and supervision of the office personnel of the Electoral Mission. He records the assignments of personnel, including transfers and other items of importance. He is charged with the safeguarding and filing of all correspondence of the Electoral Mission. He keeps the daily history of tha Mission. The Secretary arranges for the reception of officials and other visitors. The information and reception desks operate under his supervision. He supervises the work of the nonclerical civilian employees of the Electoral Mission. He is not assigned the dual function as Secretary of the National Board of Elections. An additional officer is required for that duty.
b. The Chief Clerk operates under the supervision of the Secretary. His duties include the management of the clerical force attached to the Executive Officer's office, and the proper handling of incoming and outgoing correspondence, files, and orders issued by the Executive officer. He is charged with the duty of posting guards to safeguard the office and correspondence therein. The Electoral Mission bulletin board is under his direct supervision.
14--20. Inspector.-The Inspector of the Electoral Mission should be thoroughly familiar with the electoral law and all interpretations, decisions, and instructions of the, National Board of Elections. He should be qualified to conduct investigations and interviews in the language of the country. His duties include the investigation of complaints of a serious nature. He keeps the President of the National Board of Elections informed of the operations of the electoral law and procedure by observation of their operation throughout the country. He visits the various outlying departments, and studies conditions which may have a direct and important bearing on the elections.
14--21. Intelligence and press relations officer.-a. The Intelligence and Press Relations Oflicer collects, evaluates, and distributes all intelligence information of interest to the Electoral Mission. He is in constant touch with the military, econonic, social, and political situations and developments insofar as they may affect the elections. A periodic intelligence, report, covering the political, economic, and military situation, is made regularly. The period covered may be biweekly or monthly. He prepares and submits to the Chairman of the Electoral Mission, periodically or upon call, general estimates covering the military or political situation, and may be directed to prepare special studies of particular localities or activities. A personnel file of all important characters in the country is kept up to date. This file has a complete history of each individual, including his military and political affiliations. The Intelligence and Press Relations Officer is the liaison officer of the Electoral Mission with intelligence sections of United States military forces, native military and police forces, and with the local and foreign press. He prepares and releases information to the press. A clipping bureau is maintained and brief resumes are prepared of all articles appearing in the press concerning the Electoral Mission or the National Board of Elections. The latter are prepared daily and submitted to the Chairman of the Electoral Mission. If deemed advisable, a resume of such information may be mimeographed and distributed to personnel of the Electoral Mission. Prior to leaving the United States and after arrival in the country concerned, the Intelligence and Press Relations Officer collects books, texts, and articles of a nonfictional nature pertaining to the country or region concerned, and maintains such material for the use of the personnel of the Electoral Mission. Photographs are taken of various subjects having to do with the activities of the Electoral Mission and are later included in the final report made to the United States State Department.
b. Assistants to the Intelligence and Press Relations Officer are assigned to relieve him of the details of compiling briefs of articles appearing in the press, and to assist in the preparation of press releases. These assistants also make special investigations and reports, and assist in the instruction of Electoral Mission personnel during the period immediately preceding the registration of voters.
c. The office force will generally require a minimum of three proficient stenographers and typists, at least one of whom should be thoroughly conversant with the language of the country concerned. It will often be convenient to employ one or more native interpreters to assist the Intelligence Officer. They should be men of education, good bearing, and neutrality in politics. If it is impossible to find nonpartisan interpreters, they should be selected equally from among partisans of both political parties.
14--22, Law officer.-a. The Law Officer furnishes information to the President of the National Board of Elections on legal matters relating to that Board. In the discharge of such duties, he takes into consideration the current electoral law, the constitution of the country concerned, various local laws and decrees, and, as a matter of precedent, the rulings and decisions of former Electoral Missions and National Boards of Elections. When required, he renders opinions on complaints submitted to the National Board of Elections for a ruling. He prepares the initial draft of the electoral law, during the period of survey by the Chairman of the Electoral Mission, provided such a document has not already been furnished through the United States State Department. Upon the completion of its duties by the Electoral Mission, the Law Officer prepares a report showing any weaknesses in the legal features of the electoral law or procedure that have been disclosed in the election just completed. This report is prepared in the form of proposals for laws, decrees, and instructions, and is delivered to officials of the country concerned as a suggestion for the improvement of the electoral law and procedure.
b. The Law Officer may be assigned one or more assistants, including United States civilian experts in electoral law. Such clerical assistance as may be necessary is provided. Two stenographers and typists may be considered the minimum requirement for this office. If practicable, they should have had prior experience in legal research and reports.
14-23. Communications officer.-a. The Communications Officer prepares plans and recommendations for the maintenance of efficient communications for the Electoral Mission and National Board of Elections, by the utilization of existing means of communication, and through the supply of such additional channels as are necessary and practicable. Methods of communication will generally include telegraph, radio, telephone, airplane panel and pick-up, and messenger. The Communications Officer is responsible for the coding, decoding, routing, and filing of dispatches. He maintains a record of communication facilities throughout the country.
b. All the usual agencies of communication in the country should be available to the Electoral Mission and the National Board of Elections. In addition, the communication facilities of United States military and naval forces may be placed at the disposal of the Electoral Mission, provided this can be done without interference with the normal communications of the latter. Such forces will often have only extremely limited facilities for communications, and these will be heavily burdened with necessary traffic. In order that these facilities may not be further burdened, the Electoral Mission should limit its requests for transmission of messages to cases of urgent necessity, or after the failure or proved inadequacy of other means of communication. Communication with detachments at polling places may sometimes be difficult and slow. It may be necessary to depend chiefly upon the airplane for communication with remote places lacking other communication facilities, and for communication with places with which other means of communication is unreliable. For short messages, advantage can be taken of planes that patrol remote registration and voting places.
14-24. Disbursing and supply officer.-The Disbursing and Supply Officer is responsible for the custody and expenditure of all funds of the country concerned, placed to the credit of the Electoral Mission. He prepares estimates for funds required by the Electoral Mission, and presents them to the chairman of the Electoral Mission for requisition on the foreign government concerned. He drafts all correspondence pertaining to funds of the Electoral Mission placed to its credit by the foreign government. When required, he submits vouchers and requisitions requiring expenditures to the Executive Officer for approval. He submits monthly itemized reports of receipts and expenditures, together with the necessary vouchers, to the Minister of Finance of the government concerned, via the Chairman of the Electoral Mission. The Disbursing and Supply Officer visits the Minister of Finance and secures his approval of the wording and arrangement of vouchers in order that the latter may conform to the current governmental practice. Electoral Mission funds are kept on deposit in an approved bank in the name of the Electoral Mission. The Disbursing and Supply Officer keeps the books, records, vouchers, and reports pertaining to such funds, according to approved methods. The transportation of personnel and freight by rail, airplane, motor, etc., and the coordination of the employment of such agencies is a function of the Disbursing and Supply Officer. Prior to the departure of the Electoral Mission from the United States, the Disbursing and Supply Officer prepares a budget estimate of the elections in considerable detail. To this estimate should be added the item, "Unestimated, Underestimated, and Unforeseen Items." Insofar as can be foreseen, the budget estimate should contain all contingent items, such as per diem allowances and rentals. Some items which are included in the budget estimate, may be found to be unnecessary later, but are included as a precautionary measure to insure an adequacy of funds. It is far easier to reach an agreement upon a definite sum initially, even though this sum is somewhat large, than it is to procure supplementary funds from time to time in order to make up for a budget estimate that was originally inadequate. A favorable impression is created when unexpended credits are turned back to the credit of the country concerned by the Electoral Mission. The funds appropriated by the country concerned should be placed to the credit of the Electoral Mission for its use immediately upon arrival at the beginning of the electoral period, in order to provide funds for expenses, supplies, and rents, that will be needed immediately. Before his departure from the United States, the Disbursing ancl Supply Officer should be furnished a statement by the State Department indicating the exact United States funds and funds of the country concerned that will be available for the conduct of the elections.
14-25. Medical officer.-The Medical Officer is charged with caring for the health of the personnel of the Electoral Mission. He instructs such personnel in hygiene, sanitation, and related subjects that are peculiar to the country concerned. When the bulk of the personnel of the Electoral Mission is distributed in outlying regions, the Medical Officer makes inspection trips to the various departments to investigate living conditions, health, hygiene, and sanitation.
14-26. Aides.-Aides are assigned to the Chairman of the Electoral Mission to perform such duties of an official, or personal nature as the Chairman may direct. It may be found practicable to assign one aide additional duty as morale officer. As such, he is responsible for the recreational activities and equipment of the Electoral Mission personnel.
14-27. Departmental board personnel.-a. The Chairmen of Departmental Boards are commissioned officers of the United States forces. They are directly responsible to the President of the National Board of Elections for the proper conduct and operation of the electoral procedure within their respective departments. The necessary facilities to carry out these duties are placed at their disposal. They are inducted into office by the National Board of Elections, and proceed to their respective departments about 6 or 8 weeks prior to the first day designated for registratio. Additional commissioned officers are designated as Vice Chairmen of Departmental Boards and serve as assistants to the Departmental Chairmen. Upon arrival at the capital of his department, the Chairman makes contact with the local civilian officials, and organizes the Department al Board of Elections. He surveys the departmental political organization and studies any changes recommended by the political members of his board. Armed with this information, he makes a personal reconnaissance of his department to establish contacts in the various cantons (districts) and to determine if any rearrangement of proposed polling places is advisable. He surveys the political and military situation throughout his department, ascertains the housing and rationing facilities available to the Electoral Mission personnel, and determines the number of guards necessary for their protection and for the maintenance of order at the polling places. The Chairman then returns to the capital of the country concerned, where he makes a detailed report to the President of the National Board of Elections. Included in this report are recommendations made as a result of a survey of the department.
b. The Departmental Board of Elections is organized in a manner similar to the National Board of Elections. The Board consists of the Chairman, who is a commissioned officer of the United States forces, and two political members, one representing each of the two political parties. The political members are appointed by the National Board of Elections after nomination by the representatives of their respective political parties, who are members of the National Board of Elections. Provision is made for the appointment of substitutes to act in case of incapacity of regular political members.
c. The Chairman in each department is authorized to appoint a secretary for the Departmental Board of Elections. It may be advisable to restrict such appointments to commissioned officers of the United States forces. The Secretary may be a United States civilian or a civilian of the country concerned. He takes no part in the deliberations or decisions of the Board.
d. The Departmental Board of Elections has general supervision of the electlon in its own department, and deals directly with Cantonal (District ) Boards of Election. The Departmental Chairman is frequently called upon to reconcile the opposing views of the political members of the Board. Every attempt is made to dispose of complaints, appeals, and petitions by action of the Departmental Board, permitting only the more important complaints, appeals, and petitions to go to the National Board of Elections for decision.
14-28. Cantonal board personnel.-a. The Cantonal (District) Boards of Election are similar in composition to the Departmental Boards of Election. Each Cantonal (District) Board of Elections has a Chairman, who is usually an enlisted man of the United States naval or military forces, and two political members, one from each of the two political parties. The political members of a Cantonal (District) Board of Elections are appointed by the Departmental Board of Elections in a manner similar to the appointment of the political members of the latter by the National Board of Elections. Provision is made for the appointment of substitutes to act in case of incapacity of regular political members. In some cases, the Chairman, as well as the other two members of the Board, is a citizen of the country concerned. Care should bo exercised that the number of Chairmen assigned from among citizens of the country concerned are drawn equally from both political parties, in order to avoid charges of partisanship.
b. The Cantonal (District) Board of Elections exercises direct supervision over the registration and voting of the individual voter. The Cantonal (District) Board is responsible for the enforcement of provisions of the electoral regulations to insure a "free and fair" election. This responsibility rests primarily upon the Chairman as the representative of the United States Government, who is in direct contact with the voters themselves. He is placed in a position of responsibility and authority, and his relations with the political members of the Board and the military guards will require a maximum of tact and good judgment. The Cantonal (District) Chairman and his guards should arrive at the location of their polling places at least one week prior to the first day designated for registration, in order that they may be established and ready for the transaction of official business on the opening day. In each case, circumstances will determine whether or not the Cantonal (District) Chairman and his guards will be withdrawn to the nearest garrison during the period between the close of the registration and the time it will be necessary to return to the polling places for the election. This decision will be influenced by the challenges, complaints, and other official business to be transacted, and by the travel time required to make the trip. The final decision is made by the Departmental Chairman or higher authority after consultation with the military commander concerned.
c. Many of the cantons (districts) may be situated in remote and outlying places where United States members may be forced to undergo some hardships. It may be necessary for them to live in uncomfortable and unhealthful surroundings without immediate medical aid. Airplane drop and pick-up may be the only method of communication in some cases.
d. When the Electoral Mission personnel available is limited in number, it may not be feasible to assign a Chairman to each Cantonal (District) Board. In such cases, it may be necessary to use supervisors. A sllpervisor is an enlisted member of the Electoral Mission who acts as Chairman of two or more Cantonal District Boards of Election.
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