Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Void Ballots in Court-Ordered Recount Change Election Result for Town Clerk of Pelham in 1905

In 1905, a hard-fought battle between the Republican and Democratic candidates for Town Clerk of Pelham led to litigation and a decision by a Supreme Court Justice that changed the results of the election. A brief, but interesting article about the dispute appeared in the November 28, 1905 issue of The Sun, published in New York City. The text of the article appears below.



Justice Dickey Issues an Order Which Changes Election Result in Pelham.

Supreme Court Justice Dickey in Brooklyn yesterday granted a writ of mandamus directing the inspectors of election for the town of Pelham, Westchester county, to reconvene and to remove from the ballot box forty-two void ballots that were discovered on the recount in the Supreme Court last week, and to correct the returns. In all there were 427 ballots found in the box when it was opened in the presence of Justice Dickey.

The order to open the box was granted by Justice Dickey on affidavits declaring that there were three or more void ballots in the box. Harry A. Anderson, the present town clerk and the Republican nominee for the office on the face of the returns, was defeated by one vote by his Democratic opponent, Eugene B. Sanger. The ballots were scrutinized carefully by counsel for both parties and when they could not agree the ballots were handed to Justice Dickey, who decided whether they were good or not. Forty-two ballots were thus declared void. This changed the result so that Mr. Anderson is elected by a majority of three."

Source: Must Remove Void Ballots, The Sun, Nov. 28, 1905, p. 2, col. 3.

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