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LEGISLATIVE NOTES AND BEVIEWS 335 

The first fact in conclusion that seems self-evident is that the idea 
of centralizing or consolidating the administrative side of state institu- 
tions is now in great favor and is increasing in popularity. Since 1900 
out of twenty-two boards created, fourteen were administrative; only 
nine supervisory boards being established in that time. The figures are 
much more striking if we consider the period within the past five or 
six years. Since 1908 only two supervisory boards have been estab- 
lished in what is strictly the field of charitable institutions. During 
the same period nine administrative boards have been created in that 
field. (Some of these administrative boards being in the dual system, 
of course.) Again, in the governors' messages for 1915 the governors 
of four States definitely urge the creation of an administrative board 
to have full control over state institutions. In only one State did the 
governor recommend the creation of a supervisory board, although the 
governor of Missouri in his message opposed the board of control idea. 
Hence there is clearly a very definite and positive tendency at present 
towards the centralization of the control of state institutions. 

Frederick H. Guild. 

University of Illinois. 

Mechanical Registration of Legislative Votes. Among the nu- 
merous devices developed and perfected for the regulation of legis- 
lative procedure, none is deserving of more thoughtful consideration 
than the installation of mechanical devises for the registration of the 
votes of the members of the legislative assembly. State constitutions 
invariably provide that an aye and noe vote must be taken on the 
final passage of every measure. The time consumed in calling the roll , 
even by an energetic roll clerk, to ascertain whether a quorum is pre- 
sent, to suspend a constitutional rule, and on the passage of acts and 
resolutions, amounts in the aggregate to several days for each session. 
This traditional method is not only monotonous, burdensome and de- 
pressing, but it consumes time to no useful purpose and is particularly 
unsatisfactory in those States where the sessions are fixed by the con- 
stitution and where they have proved to be far too short to dispose 
the necessary business which the growth of modern industry has 
imposed upon legislative bodies. Wisconsin has taken one of the first 
steps to eliminate the traditional time-consuming practice of roll-calls. 
By an act approved July 29, 1915, the capitol building commission is 
required to purchase and install " an electrical and mechanical system 
for the instantaneous registration of the votes of the members of the 



336 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW 

assembly on all questions requiring a roll call." The commission is 
authorized to expend as much as $12,000 in the installation of this sys- 
tem, and the contractor is required to execute a suitable bond to keep 
the system in complete repair for a period of 5 years. The ultimate 
economy of a device capable of an instantaneous mechanical vote regis- 
tration is undoubted, and the speedy introduction of similar systems in 
other States depends upon the accuracy which these machines are capa- 
ble of attaining. 

Charles Kettleborough. 

Secret Ballot in Argentine. An interesting and fundamental 
political event of outstanding importance of the present year is the 
employment of the secret ballot for the first time in the Argentine 
Republic, for the election of president. The secret ballot system was 
established in 1910, at the instance of the late President Saenz Pena. 
The president of Argentine is elected for a term of six years and is in- 
capable of succeeding himself. It has been the custom of a president 
to name his successor; thus a close and unbroken coalition has been 
established between succeeding presidents and political traditions are 
thus perpetuated. 

The voters are divided into two parties, the Conservatives and the 
Radicals. The chief dividing issue is the agrarian question; at the 
present time, the land is held by a few wealthy holders, members of the 
Conservative party; the Radicals demand a sub-division of these hold- 
ings and their distribution among numerous holders. The influence of 
well-distributed patronage, the efficient working of an effective ma- 
chine, and in some cases the employment of the militia have stifled the 
expression of public sentiment and continued the Conservatives in 
power. The presence of a preponderating Radical sentiment has 
abundantly manifested itself in elections held under the new system. 
In Buenos Aires, a year ago, all of the deputies elected, to which the 
district is entitled, were Radicals. In the Province of Santa Fe, the 
second largest province in the republic, a Radical government was re- 
cently elected. 

The system of counting votes in the Argentine is interesting; the 
ballots are all counted by a central committee and hence the results 
are not usually known until a month or six weeks after the election. 
Argentine also has a law which imposes a fine of $10 on an elector who 
fails to exercise the right of suffrage. It frequently happens that a 
sufficient numb er of qualified electors fail to exercise the right of suf-