Lloyd Against Use of Trooper Here to Protect Polls

State Troopers - AI Stock Photo

Camden Courier-Post – October 26, 1931

Defers Democratic Request; Sure Election Here Is Clean and Honest

40 Allege Vote Frauds

Supreme Court Justice Frank T. Lloyd has deferred action on a Democratic application for additional police protection in Camden to assure a "fair and honest election" November 3.

He declared he did not like "the nature of the application at this time" and that "it is a dangerous thing to bring before the court a matter which could embroil it is a political mess."

The application was made Saturday by Edward Markley, of Jersey City, personal counsel for A. Harry Moore, Democratic candidate for governor. He presented 40 affidavits charging that gunmen, gangsters and hoodlums had intimated voters and stuffed ballot boxes in the last city commission election.

Markley also charged that irregularities were particularly noted in the Fifth and Eighth wards. Here he alleged, "police were in collusion with politicians" and election officers were forced out of the polling places.

Judge Sure City Is Clean

Justice Lloyd frankly expressed disbelief of the charges of rampant irregularities and corruption, and was certain voting in Camden County is as clean as anywhere else in the country. However, he stated that he and Common Pleas Judge Samuel M. Shay will adopt the usual custom of being available on election day in the event that there are any complaints.

Justice Lloyd said he would read the affidavits and decide later whether or not he should take action. He said earlier, however, he did not feel that it "was justified by two or three affidavits to indict an entire police department, or the prosecutor’s office, as would be implied by bringing into the county outside police help."

"A case would have to be presented to the court of substantial character to warrant any drastic action, such as proposed," Justice Lloyd said. "However, I shall read the affidavits and say whether or not I should take action."

The justice stated that the affidavits charged irregularities which allegedly occurred six months ago, and complaint should have been made at that time.

Markley declared that to have made such complaint would have been "futile," whereupon Justice Lloyd commended the prosecutor’s office upon its work, and declared that there was no justification for Markley’s remark.

‘Mess’ Dangerous

"I will sit on election day with Judge Shay to hear any complaint that is presented to the court, Justice Lloyd concluded.

"The justice has the right to remove election officers. If upon election day it shall be brought to the court’s attention any neglect by a police officer or any other officer, the court will be alert to exercise the full limit of its authority. But to ask for something on an implication that the police or election officers are not prepared to do their duty, I who have lived in Camden County many years cannot consider without deprecation such an application at this time because Camden County is a county of which I am proud. I must say I do not like the nature of the application at this time. It is a dangerous thing for any citizen to bring before the court a matter which would embroil or entangle it in a political mess. I deprecate this action being brought at this time on information you have had for months and upon which no formal action has been taken. I don’t say the court will not take any action but I would much rather that you had made your application when the excitement was not so high and would not have excited public feeling as it may so soon before the election."


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