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State ex rel. v. Gordon.

induced to vote for both propositions who would not have done so if the questions had been submitted singly." [State ex rel. v. Wilder, 217 Mo. 1. c. 269, 270, and cases cited.] No decision in this State questions the principle, and courts of other states have almost uniformly applied the same rule. [McMillan v. Lee County, 3 Iowa, 1. c. 320; Supervisors v. Railroad, 21 Ill. 1. c. 374; Lewis v. Comrs., 12 Kan. 1. c. 213; Farmers L. & T. Co. v. Sioux Falls, 131 Fed. 1. c. 912 et seq.; Gas and Water Co. v. Elyria, 57 Ohio St. 374; Railroad v. Peterborough, 49 N. H. 1. c. 294; Brown v. Carl, 111 Iowa, l. c. 611; Denver v. Hayes, 28 Colo. 1. c. 114, 115; Cain v. Smith, 117 Ga. 1. c. 904 et seq.; Village v. Seymour, 34 N. Y. Misc. 1. c. 95, 96; Clarke v. Board, 27 Ill. 1. c. 310; People ex rel. v. County, 22 Ill. 1. c. 156; Leavenworth v. Wilson, 69 Kan. 1. c. 78 et seq.; S. & Ill. S. E. Ry. v. County Clerk, 74 Ill. 1. c. 32; Garrigus v. Board, 39 Ind. 66; Bronenberg v. Board, 41 Ind. 1. c. 504; Finney v. Lamb, 54 Ind. 1. c. 2; Williams v. People ex rel., 132 Ill. 574; People ex rel. v. Baker, 83 Cal. 149; Gray v. Mount, 45 Iowa, l. c. 591; Truelsen v. Duluth, 61 Minn. 48.]

Relator's counsel do not question the existence of the rule, but seek to show the county court complied with it in framing the question it submitted to the voters.

1. One contention is that the statute "authorizes, as one proposition, 'any county to incur an indebtedness for the purpose of building a courthouse, jail, poorhouse, county sanitarium, or other county buildings;'" that the "italicized words mean buildings like those specifically mentioned and, therefore, mean "courthouses" and, as a consequence, authorize a submission including two courthouses. This argument is designed, it seems, to avoid the force, if any, of the



State ex rel. v. Gordon.

statute's use of the term "courthouse" in the singular. The canon of construction invoked cannot be so employed. Its effect is to restrict the meaning of the general words to things of a character like those particularized. It does not warrant a construction of the general words as mere repetition, in the plural number, of the things specified in the singular. General words, under that canon, do not explain or amplify particular terms preceding them, but are themselves restricted and explained by the particular terms. The contention made is not tenable.

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2. Tested by the general rule, is the question submitted to the voters of Pike County single or does it contain two separate purposes? The proceeds of the bonds were to be used for (1) a county (or circuit) courthouse at Bowling Green, and (2) for a common pleas courthouse at Louisiana. The submission combined the two. The voters could vote for both courthouses or against both court houses. No opportunity was given to vote for one and against the other. This appears from the face of the question submitted. (a) "The will of the people, expressed by the adoption of the proposition for the borrowing or expenditure of money is the law of the land. The force and effect thus imparted to their will is intended to be given to that will freely expressed. Why should the force and effect of law be given to the vote adopting any proposition which has not rested wholly on its merits for the favor it has obtained at the hands of the people, but which may have been assisted to the votes it received, by other questions, with which it was so connected as that it must stand or fall with them?" [McMillan v. Lee County, 3 Iowa, 1. c. 320.] "If they" (two propositions) "are submitted together the voter has no liberty of choice." [Gray v. Mount, 45 Iowa, 1. c. 595.]

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State ex rel. v. Gordon.

"All elections, as well for measures as men, should be perfectly free, uninfluenced by any consideration, other than the merits of the individual man or measure proposed." [Supervisors v. Railroad, 21 Ill. 1. c. 373.]

Rule and

"Two or more questions may be submitted at a single election, provided each question may be voted on separately, so that each may stand or fall upon its own merits. But that is a very different matter from tacking two questions together to stand or fall upon a single vote. It needs no argument to show the rank injustice of such a mode of submission." [Lewis v. Comrs., 12 Kan. 1. c. 213.]

This is the doctrine approved in State ex rel. v. Wilder, 217 Mo. 1. c. 270, and cases cited.

(b) In State ex rel. v. Allen, 178 Mo. 555, this court recognized the rule, approving the doctrine in McBryde v. City of Montesano, 7 Wash. 69. The court held, however, that a proposition to issue bonds for the acquisition, by purchase or construction, of an electric light plant, was single. The end, the court said, was the same, the board of trustees being left to determine the method.

In State ex rel. v. Allen, 183 Mo. 283, a proposition was held single which contemplated the issuance of bonds by a city to purchase an old light and water plant and improve it so as to render it adequate for the city's needs. The statute (1. c. 292) was held to warrant this and the proposition was single in that the design was to provide the city with a single adequate plant.

In State ex rel. v. Allen, 186 Mo. 673, the question submitted proposed an issuance of bonds for the purpose of the erection and the furnishing of a city hall, city prison and hosehouse and for the repair and improvement of a water and light plant, extenion of mains, wires, etc. The court held this con

State ex rel. v. Gordon.

tained "at least two separate and distinct propositions" and refused to order the bonds registered.

In State ex rel. v. Wilder, 200 Mo. 97, it was held that bonds might be issued for a combined light and water plant. The court directed, if the question should be again submitted, "it should be for 'a combined waterworks and electric light plant.'


In State ex rel. v, Wilder, 217 Mo. 1. c. 269, a proposition was submitted to issue bonds to construct a sanitary sewer in one district in Joplin and a storm sewer in another district thereof. The court, unanimously, held the submission double. The case reviewed previous decisions. None of these decisions supports relator's contention that a submission proposing to issue bonds to raise funds to build two separate courthouses, in separate cities, for different courts and for different amounts, contains but one object and is single.

(c) It is suggested justice is a unit and the same justice is to be administered in both courthouses. To permit generalizations of this sort to justify the union of purposes in submissions would at once destroy the rule against doubleness. Cases seeming to support relator's position occur, but some of these depend upon the wording of a statute unlike that involved in this case (Coleman v. Eutaw, 157 Ala. 327; Truelsen v. Duluth, 61 Minn. 48; Rock v. Rinehart, 88 Iowa, 37); and in others in which the facts seem analogous the questions raised and decided are not like that before us (Hubbard v. Woodsum, 87 Me. 88; Kemp v. Hazlehurst, 80 Miss. 443; Wimberly v. Twiggs County, 116 Ga. 50); and in others expressions used are to be confined to the facis, the actual decision being in accord with the decisions of this court. [People v. Sisson, 98 Ill. 335; People v. School District, 102 Cal. 184; People ex rel. v. Counts, 89 Cal. 15; People v. Dunn, 80 Cal. 211.]

Two Courthouses:
Justice One

State ex rel. v. Gordon.

(d) The only cases cited by relator in support of its contention are State ex rel. Memphis School District v. Gordon, 223 Mo. 1, and State ex rel. Carrollton School District v. Gordon, 231 Mo. 547.

In the first of these this court, GRAVES, BURGESS and Fox, JJ., dissenting (pp. 27, 28), held unobjectionable a submission which combined propositions to bond a school district (1) to build and furnish a school house in ward one, and (2) to build an addition to a school house in ward two. In that case the court relied largely upon Hubbard v. Woodsum, supra, where the question discussed was whether the purpose to be accomplished and the sum to be devoted to it could be combined in the submission. Speaking through LAMM, J., the majority held there was a resemblance between the rule against doubleness and the constitutional provision (Sec. 28, art. 4) that "no bill shall contain more than one subject. The court concluded the discussion of that phase of the case with this: "There can be no doubt that if the proposition we are considering was an act of the Legislature instead of a proposition voted by the people, the act would stand as against the criticism leveled at it in the case at bar. May we deal more coldly and fastidiously with the people acting as sovereigns than we do with the lawmaker moving in his orbit?


If so, why?"

In State ex rel. Carrollton School District v. Gordon, 231 Mo. 547, the question submitted was as to the issuance of bonds for (1) the purchase of a site and the erection thereon of a new school building; (2) the purchase of heating plants for old school buildings; and (3) the purchase of a site and the erection thereon of a new school building for colored children. Respondent contended that submission was double, or worse, but the court, GRAVES and VALLIANT, JJ., dissenting, and BURGESS, J., not sitting, held it

The Memphis and Carrollton Cases.

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