Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Civil War Law Doesn’t Allow Tar Heel Troops to Vote in This Election, 1916

“Tar Heel Troops Can’t Vote on Border,” from the Hickory Daily Record, Sept. 26, 1916
Raleigh, Sept. 25—Chief Justice Walter Clark of the Supreme Court, in a statement answered numerous inquiries, expressed the view that there is no law under which the North Carolina guardsmen now being transported from this state to the Mexican border can vote in the November election.
A state statute under which the Civil War North Carolina troops voted out of the state was limited as to being in force simply to the time peace was decided between the Confederacy and the United States. The chief justice says numbers of other states of the Union have special statutes permitting troops to vote wherever on duty, and some even allowing traveling men to vote by mail from other states.

He advised that the legislature should provide for future voting of North Carolina troops, but this will not cure impending disenfranchisement of about 3,200 guardsmen now leaving the state for the Mexican border in the event they are not returned to the state before election day.

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