838.00Electoral Law/13: Telegram

The Chargé in Haiti ( Gross ) to the Secretary of State

119. Department’s 74. No steamboat to New York before September 22. Text of President’s amendment to the existing electoral law could not reach Department before September 29. Hence this telegram.

The law referred to in my 115, September 12, noon,23 is a law modifying articles numbers 18, 25, 26, 51 and 62 only, of the electoral law of 1919 as follows:

Article number 18 amended to provide that a registry of voters be kept open at Communal Building four hours daily until December 31. No mention is made of the day from which registry should remain open although existing article number 13 mentions October 1st.

Article number 25, as modified, defines primary assemblies as consisting of all citizens duly registered in the electoral list of any election district who carry with them their electors cards.

Article 26 as modified, provides that primary assemblies elect Senators and Deputies only when occasion arises. Modification also adds authority to amend Constitution which was omitted in the article of the old law.

Under present article 51, the election board in each district is composed of dean of the court of first instance, local states attorney and the local inspector of schools. The new proposal substitutes prefect and office of the état civil (vital statistics) for the dean and the school inspector respectively.

Article 62 is amended to read

“Every individual who shall have committed or attempted to commit acts of violence, provoked or attempted to provoke a tumult capable of prejudicing election proceedings shall be, on the written order of the justice of the peace or of the prosecuting attorney, detained in the prison of the locality for 24 hours.

Those who with the aid of false news, of subversive conversation or other maneuvers, shall have influenced or attempted to influence voters, shall have convinced or attempted to convince one or more electors to abstain from voting, shall be punished by imprisonment of from 6 months to 1 year and by a fine of from 500 to 1,000 gourdes.”

[Page 79]

The old article 62 provided that a person imprisoned upon written order was deprived of his vote at the election in process. As the Department will note above, the text of the article now proposed omits this provision.

I have communicated to the President the substance of the first part of the Department’s telegram 74; he hopes for an early expression of opinion.

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