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Automatic Voting Machine Co. v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Bergen County

Decided: May 20, 1938.

AUTOMATIC VOTING MACHINE COMPANY, PROSECUTOR,
v.
BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS OF BERGEN COUNTY ET AL., DEFENDANTS; JOHH GOURYEB, PROSECUTOR, V. BOARD OF CHOSEN FREEHOLDERS OF BERGEN COUNTY ET AL., DEFENDANTS



On rules to show cause why writs of certiorari should not be allowed.

For the prosecutor Automatic Company, Francis V. D. Lloyd.

For the prosecutor Gouryeb, George Bratt, Jr.

For the intervenors, Bergen County Board of Elections, Emil M. Wulster.

For the defendant Board of Chosen Freeholders, Walter G. Winne.

For the defendant Shoup Voting Machine Corporation, George F. Losche.

Before Justices Trenchard, Parker and Perskie.

Parker

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PARKER, J. These two rules to show cause, made by a justice of this court, look toward a formal review of the action of the Bergen County Board of Freeholders in awarding a contract for a large number of voting machines to be used in Bergen county elections, to the defendant Shoup Corporation.

The claims of the prosecutors are fundamentally based on the proposition of law, that the contract must be awarded after competition to the lowest responsible bidder, and the proposition of fact (which is true) that this was not done. The Automatic Company holds a rule as the alleged lowest bidder, and the prosecutor Gouryeb prosecutes his rule as a citizen and taxpayer. There are some minor points which will be considered in their proper place.

The statute applicable is Rev. Stat. 40:25-2, relating to counties, which forbids contracts "for the doing of any work or the furnishing of any materials, supplies or labor" * * * "where the sum to be expended exceeds one thousand

dollars, without first publicly advertising for bids therefor. All such contracts shall be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder." The language is substantially identical with ...


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