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Page:Oregon Historical Quarterly volume 12.djvu/364

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356 L. B. SHIPPEE vision by law. The next summer, while he made his contest for the seat in the House of Representatives, Mr. Sheil could point out that there had been no specific authority to this effect given the Central Committee by the extraordinary convention held in Eugene City in September. '5. Moreover, had there been authority to act, on the part of the committee, those who met in Salem, at Bush's office, assumed the right to speak for eleven members who were absent. As the time for the Presidential election drew near it ap- pears that the scheme for a new Congressional election had not taken especially well. The Union, 16 now vigorously campaign- ing for Breckinridge and Lane, together with the platform on which they were nominated, intimated in broad terms that the Statesman was the only newspaper of the state that had anything to do with this "bantling of no parentage." Since there was no authority by which the judges and clerks, at the coming election, might receive votes for Representative, it was quite proper that polls, independent of the constituted election machinery, should be opened in every town and village. Why even this formality? Why not let a certificate state that Mr. Thayer had been elected by a majority of one ? Since the gov- ernor might be lacking in the sagacity requisite for him to see it his duty to certify to this election, why not save all the trouble and get a certificate from Bush? In the poll, a weapon, devised by the Bush faction and used by it with deadly effect in rooting out Know-nothingism from its lair, some four years before, was now turned against the hand that shaped it. This was the viva voce voting law, whereby each elector must either state his choice aloud, or hand to the judges a paper from which the choice was read and checked up. Bitterly the Statesman 1 ? complained that, in many portions of the state, election officials refused to receive votes for Thayer, altho scores and hundreds were anxious to cast a vote against a disunion and secessionist candidate. "What do 15 Cong. Globe, ist. Sess., 37th. Cong., 355. 16 3 Nov., 1860. 17 12 Nov., 1860.