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137. Citizenship in State and Nation.—As a rule, every citizen in the Union is clothed with a double citizenship, çitizenship of the United States and citizenship of the State in which he resides. We cannot conceive of a citizenship of a State unconnected with citizenship of the United States, nor, where a person resides in a State, of his federal citizenship unconnected with his State citizenship. When a person resides in a Territory, however, his citizenship of the United States is unconnected with that of a State.
Naturalization can only be conferred by the United States, and not by a State.
§ 2. Suffrage. 138. Meaning of Suffrage.-Suffrage is the right to vote; that is, to participate in the government by taking part in the choice of public officers. It is a privilege that is conferred by the people themselves, through the Constitution, on such classes of persons as they think wisest to intrust with this sacred and responsible duty. It is the highest privilege of citizenship. But citizenship may exist without the right of suffrage. And this privilege, too, may be conferred on those who are not citizens. In fact, a number of the States do admit aliens to vote, when they have merely declared their intention of becoming citizens. We cannot regard such action on the part of a State as other than a degradation of this high privilege and as a menace to our American institutions.*
The power to confer the right of suffrage lies with the States, and not with the federal government.
* The different words, "right," "privilege,” and “duty,” are used here advisedly. Suffrage is a “privilege,” inasmuch as it may be conferred or withheld by the Constitution of the State (subject to the limitations of the fifteenth amendment of the U. S. Constitution); when it has been conferred, it becomes a “right,” which can be enforced by the individual invested with it; and it is also a moral “duty” for the person invested with this right to exercise it.
139. Qualifications of Electors.-The qualifications of voters or electors are usually prescribed by the Constitution of the State. These qualifications vary in the different States. The California Constitution contains the following provision: “Every native male citizen of the United States, every male person who shall have acquired the rights of citizenship under or by virtue of the treaty of Querétaro, and every male naturalized citizen thereof, who shall become such ninety days prior to any election, of the age of twenty-one years, who shall have been a resident of the State one year next preceding the election, and of the county in which he claims his vote ninety days, and in the election precinct thirty days, shall be entitled to vote at all elections which are now or may hereafter be authorized by law.”ı
140. Persons Excluded from Voting.--As a rule, suffrage is conferred, as above, on men only, women not being admitted to the privilege. In California it is expressly declared that “no native of China, no idiot, insane person, or person convicted of any infamous crime, and no person hereafter convicted of the embezzlement or misappropriation of public money, shall ever exercise the privilege of an elector in this State."2
141. Conditions Which Shall not be Imposed.The California Constitution prohibits the requiring of a property qualification for the right of voting.
The fifteenth amendment of the Constitution of the United States provides that "the rights of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” This provision gave to the freedmen and other colored persons
1 Cal. Const., Art. II., Sect. 1. 2 Cal. Const., Art. II., Sect. 1.
3 Cal. Const., Art. I., Sect. 24. 4 U. S. Const., Amend. XV.
an equal right with the whites to be considered in the bestowal of the rights of suffrage.
This provision applies only to persons who are declared by the Constitution to be “citizens;" it does not prohibit Congress from refusing naturalization, and thus citizenship, to foreigners on account of race or color or for any other reason.
And, as a matter of fact, the naturalization laws of the United States as they now stand extend the right of aliens to become citizens to whites and to persons of African descent alone.
§ 3. Elections. 142. Political Parties. - It seems indispensable to the presence of an active political spirit in a free and selfgoverning nation that there should exist political parties. In our country there have always been two or more great national parties. These parties represent different views as to methods of governing or as to questions of public policy. They are organized, primarily, for the purpose of electing the President and Vice-President and the members of Congress. Inasmuch as these national elections are held within the States and within the local divisions of the States, this organization of the national parties is carried into the smallest of these local divisions. For many reasons, therefore, the tendency is for national parties to make the nominees for State, county, and city officers. There may, of course, be local parties, representing local questions or demanding local reforms, but the influence of the national parties is nearly always present, unless it be in the local elections of smaller towns.
143. Caucus, Primary, and Convention.--The object of the political parties is to name persons who are to be voted for for the various public offices at elections provided by law. The persons thus named are known as the nominees or candidates of the party naming them. These candidates are usually nominated by a convention of party delegates. The delegates to such a convention may be appointed by a standing executive committee of the party, or by a party caucus, or at a primary election.
Ordinarily the executive committee, which was appointed at the preceding convention, has no authority to appoint delegates to a nominating convention. But when an election is approaching, the committee issues a call to the members of its political party to meet at a specified time and place in order to choose delegates for a convention. Such a meeting would be known as a caucus. Sometimes the caucus itself, instead of appointing delegates to a convention, nominates the party candidates directly. Sometimes the executive committee appoints a time when the qualified voters of the party may themselves vote for delegates to a convention. Then different factions of the party may each hold a caucus and nominate sets of delegates. Upon the day appointed the qualified electors of the party vote for the delegates of their choice. Such an election is called a primary.
Each party goes through some such process in selecting its candidates.
144. Campaign.-After the nominations have been made by the several parties, there begins what is known as the political campaign. This continues until the day of the election, and is an organized movement whereby the leaders of the several parties put forth every effort to advance the interests of their own candidates and to discredit the candidates of the other party or parties. The “issues” upon which each party claims the favors of the people for its candidates are industriously agitated.
145. Evils of Party Methods.-The existence of political parties seems to be a sign and a condition
on the part of the people of a healthy interest in the government. Organization is evidently necessary for the practical and efficient working of parties. But there are evils attending the caucus and convention and campaign which call for the most earnest thought from every intelligent citizen. Such evils are the influence and corruption practiced by political “bosses,” the buying of votes, and "treating” to liquor. They are especially prevalent in larger cities.
146. The Election.—The preliminary proceedings which have been described are devised and arranged by the political parties, and are not a part of the machinery provided by law. The law provides for the registration of voters, for the times, places, and manner of holding elections, and for the means of canvassing the returns, or the mode of determining the result. It is by general and uniform laws of the State that these questions are regulated.
147. Registration.-In California it is required that before any person, otherwise qualified to vote, may cast his ballot on election day, he shall have appeared before the proper officer-a county clerk or his deputy, or a registrar of voters—and be registered. This means that he shall have enrolled his name, and stated such facts as his age, place of birth, occupation, time of residence in the precinct, county, and State, his naturalization if a foreign born citizen, and so forth. Whoever neglects to register himself, although otherwise qualified, is not allowed to vote on election day.
148. Balloting or Voting.—When the day appointed by law has come around for the election, the voters proceed to the balloting places, or polls, assigned for their election precinct. These polls are under the charge of officers