White v. McHughes

Decision Date09 January 1911
Citation133 S.W. 1026,97 Ark. 221
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Appeal from Pulaski Circuit Court, Second Division; F. Guy Fulk Judge; reversed.

Judgment reversed and cause remanded.

Bradshaw Rhoton & Helm, for appellants.

James H. Stevenson, for appellees.

KIRBY J. MCCULLOCH, C. J., did not sit in this case.



This suit is by appellants, under the usurpation-of-office statute, against appellees, to oust them from the offices of school directors of the Special District 18 of Owen Township, Pulaski County, created by act of the Legislature in 1907. It was alleged that appellants and appellees were the only candidates for the office of school director at the election held for three school directors in said district on May 21, 1910; that appellee W. A. McHughes received 84 votes, and appellees, J. A. Goodson and A. W. Hampton, received 81 votes each; that appellant J. M. White received 69 votes, and appellants, John Pressly and W. E. Grimmet, received 75 votes each at said election, and, upon the returns being filed with the county clerk, certificates of election were duly issued to appellees, who assumed and are exercising the duties of the office of school directors of said district; that 47 persons, naming them, voting for appellees were not qualified electors, not having poll-tax receipts for poll tax paid during the time for collecting taxes in the year 1909, and not qualified to vote at said election, and, deducting such illegal votes cast for appellees, appellants were the legally elected directors and entitled to the office. It was also alleged that A. W. Hampton was not a qualified elector, and not eligible to hold the office of school director, not having paid his poll tax and obtained a receipt therefor during the time for collecting taxes during the year 1909. The prayer of the complaint was that appellants be declared the legally elected directors, and that appellees be ousted from office.

Appellees demurred generally to the complaint, and for a second ground stated that it was not necessary that the persons whose votes were challenged as illegal should have receipts for poll taxes paid during the period from January to July, 1909, to entitle them to vote; and A. W. Hampton filed a like separate demurrer, and for a second ground alleged that it was not necessary, to render him a qualified elector and eligible to hold the office, that he should have paid his poll tax and obtained a receipt therefor during the tax-paying period from January to July, 1909. Demurrer was sustained, and judgment rendered against appellants, and they appealed.

The act creating the special school district, the election in which is involved in this case, provides that the qualified electors of said district shall from the electors of said district elect six directors. Acts 1907, page 1165.

The law provides that no person shall be eligible to office unless he is a qualified elector. Constitution, art. 19, § 3.

The only question in this case is whether persons possessing all these qualifications who failed to pay a poll tax, and obtain a receipt therefor at the time of collecting taxes for the year 1909 are entitled to vote, and are qualified electors eligible to hold office at an election held in the year 1910, before the first Monday in July thereof.

It is necessary in order to settle this question to determine the meaning of the provision in Amendment No. 9 to the Constitution relating to the payment of a poll tax by persons possessing the other required qualifications to vote.

The first Poll Tax Amendment (No. 2) was submitted in 1893, and found not to have been legally adopted, and the Legislature of 1907 resubmitted the question to the people in a proposed amendment, and the same was legally adopted as Amendment No. 9 to the Constitution. A statute was passed (Kirby's Digest, §§ 2769-2773) to carry out the provisions of the old amendment, and likewise the act approved May 31, 1909, was passed to enforce the provisions of the new amendment.

The language of the old and new Poll Tax Amendments is identical, and as follows:

"Every male citizen of the United States, or male person who has declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the same, of the age of 21 years, who has resided in the State 12 months in the county six months, and in the precinct or ward one month, next preceding any election at which he may propose to vote, except such persons as may for the commission of some felony be deprived of the right to vote by law passed by the General Assembly, and who shall exhibit a poll tax receipt or other evidence that he has paid his poll tax at the time of collecting taxes next preceding such election, shall be allowed to vote at any election in the State of Arkansas. Provided, etc." Amdt. No. 2, adopted ...

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9 cases
  • Cain v. Carllee
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • February 23, 1925
    ...tax within the time prescribed by law, he is a legal voter. That is the law, C. & M. Digest, § 3738 is merely directory in this respect. 97 Ark. 221; 92 Ark. 67; 129 185. Under the state of facts presented by this record, appellant presents nothing to consider. The burden is on him as the c......
  • Trussell v. Fish
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • October 13, 1941
    ... ... Digest) are to the Crawford & Moses sections ... [ 2 ] Pope's Digest, § 4745 ... [ 3 ] See Darmer v. White, 182 ... Ark. 638, 32 S.W.2d 625; Tucker v. Meroney, ... 182 Ark. 681, 32 S.W.2d 631; McLain v ... Fish, 159 Ark. 199, 251 S.W. 686; ... Fish, 198 ... Ark. 79, 127 S.W.2d 623 ... [ 4 ] Constitution, Art. VII, § 46. See ... White v. McHughes ... ...
  • Trussell v. Fish
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • October 13, 1941
    ...v. Luck, 201 Ark. 594, 146 S.W. 2d 696; Horne v. Fish, 198 Ark. 79, 127 S.W.2d 623. 4. Constitution, Art. VII, § 46. See White v. McHughes, 97 Ark. 221, 133 S.W. 1026; White v. Reagan, 25 Ark. 5. There were unimportant exceptions, not affecting the result. 6. But see Act 37, approved Februa......
  • Jones v. Floyd
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • May 14, 1917
    ... ... possess the qualifications of an elector to vote thereat. In ... the case of White v. McHughes, 97 Ark. 221, ... 133 S.W. 1026, which was a contest over an election [129 Ark ... 192] for school director, it was held that one must ... ...
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