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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.
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
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-
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-