U.S. Marine Corps - Small Wars Manual (1940 Edition)
Chapter XIV. SUPERVISION OF ELECTIONS.
REGISTRATION AND VOTING
Par. Registration 14-34 Voting 14-35 Final reports 14-36
14-34. Registration.-a. The National Board of Elections designates the day or days on which voters may register. The rules covering the process of registration are issued by the proper authority. Three successive Sundays and two intervening Wednesdays will generally be found sufficient for registration days. The designation of five registration days will encourage the greatest possible number of voters to register and will pernlit them to do so with the least inconvenience to themselves.
b. Cantonal (District) Boards of Election are organized some time prior to the first date set for registration. The registration of voters is conducted by these Cantonal (District) Boards. In order that the Cantonal (District) Boards of Elections may hear or dispose of any challenges made during registration of voters, a day is set aside for this purpose. It will generally be found convenient to designate a date about a week after the last registration date for the hearing and disposition of challenges.
c. The average voter will judge the efficiency and fairness of the election supervision by the procedure and methods employed during the registration period. The impressions received by the average citizen at this time will determine, in a large measure, the amount and kind of criticism that the Electoral Mission will receive. The creation of a favorable impression of fairness and impartiality will assist the Electoral Mission in carrying out its mission of holding a "free and fair" election, by encouraging a larger proportion of the electorate to vote.
14-35. Voting.-a. A study of the registration reports by Departmental Boards of Elections will indicate whether any changes are necessary in the designation of Cantons (Districts). It may be found desirable to combine some voting booths, ancl others may be moved or closed entirely. In some instances, additional voting booths may be needed in sections having poor roads or trails, and in sections where there has been a large increase in population since the last elections.
b. The ballots are prepared and supplied in a form in keeping with the nature of the election and the intellectual attainments of the inhabitants. In some countries, the political parties have a distinguishing color. For example, the color of one political party may be green, and the other red. By the employment of a green or red circle on the ballot, a voter who cannot read, and is also not color blind, is enabled to place an (X) in the colored circle representing the party of his political belief. In some countries, the political parties are identified by certain symbols. For example, in one country, one political party may have for its symbol a rooster and the other may use a bull. The exact form of ballot to be employed should be determined by a study of the customs and methods followed in the country concerned, after consultation with the best local counsel available.
c. In order to prevent multiple voting, it is generally convenient to require each voter to dip one finger in a fluid stain of a secret formula immediately after depositing his ballot. The fluid should be of a type that cannot be removed by ordinary processes available to the inhabitants, and should wear off after the elapse of several days. The color should be such that it will show clearly in contrast with the color of the individual. The formula of the fluid is kept secret to prevent the distribution of neutralizing formulas by persons bent on illegal practices. Since some opposition to the use of marking fluid may be encountered, it is well to have the Chief Executive of the country, leading candidates, and other prominent citizens photographed while dipping their fingers into the fluid. Wide publicity is given the demonstrations, together with the favorable comments from such prominent citizens concerning the requirement.
d. If the registration has been carefully conducted, and disposition has been made of all challenges prior to the day of election, the voting will be expedited, and the work of the Cantonial (District) Boards, subsequent to the day of election, will also be lessened. When all the business pertaining to electoral procedure has been completed by the Cantonal (District) Boards of Election, the members of the Cantonal (District) Boards of Election proceed to the departmental capital with the ballots and records. Each Departmental Board of Elections hears all challenges and complaints of each Cantonal (District) Board in its department. When the Departmental Board has heard and settled all challenges and complaints, the members of the Cantonal (District) Boards of Elections are released from further electoral duty. The Chairmen of the Departmental Boards of Election then report in person with their complete electoral reports to the National Board of Elections. Serious reports and challenges from any department are heard by the National Board of Elections in the presence of the Chairman of the Departmental Board of Elections concerned. The ruling of the National Board of Elections is final in each case.
14-36. Final reports.-a. The National Board of Elections submits a complete report of the elections to the Chief Executive of the foreign country after receiving the reports of all the Departmental Boards of Election. After the Chief Executive has received this report, the Electoral Mission is released of its electoral duty by proper United States authority.
b. Upon completion of their duties, the personnel of the Electoral Mission may be required to submit reports of their particular activities. Cantonal (District) Chairmen maybe required to describe their cantons (districts), the living conditions encountered, and other matters of interest. Departmental Chairmen may be required to describe the operation of the electoral law as they observecl its operation in their departments, together with any recommendations they may wish to make for the conduct of future elections.
c. The Chairman of the Electoral Mission submits a detailed and comprehensive report to the State Department covering the history of the Electoral Mission. The report includes criticisms and recommendations of a constructive nature, and all information likely to be of assistance to future electoral missions.
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