This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The number of votes which must be cast for the proposition for indebtedness in order to carry it depends on statute and is usually either a majority or two thirds. Where a general statute provided that a majority should be sufficient, and the charter of a railroad provided that counties through which it passed might aid it on a two-thirds vote, it was held that a county through which it did not pass might aid it by a majority vote.1 The question most frequently arising in this connection is of what votes this majority or two thirds consists. It usually means a majority of those voting, not of those authorized to vote.2 If other questions are voted on at the same election as the question of indebtedness, some statutes are construed to require a majority of all votes cast at such election,3 others to require only a majority on two thirds of the votes cast on the question of the bond issue.4 Where the statute required the assent of "two thirds of the voters thereof, voting at an election to be held for that purpose," it was held to require only two thirds of those voting on the bond question and not two thirds of all voting at that election.5 The statute may require two-thirds of those authorized to vote. The number authorized is to be determined by the registration lists, if there are such lists; and if not by the votes at the last election, if greater in number than those cast at the bond election,6 but if the number cast at the bond election is greater, that number will control.7
11 Hamilton v. Detroit, 83 Minn. 119; 85 N. W. 933.
1 Carpenter v. Greene County, 130 Ala. 613; 29 So. 194.
2 State v. Ruhe, 24 Nev. 251; 52 Pac. 274.
3 Stebbins v. Grand Rapids, 108 Mich. 693; 66 N. W. 594; Bryan v. City of Lincoln et al., 50 Neb. 620; 35 L. R. A. 752; 70 N. W. 252; State ex rel. v. Cornell, 54 Neb. 72; 74 N. W. 432.
4 Carroll Co. v. Smith, 111 U. S. 556; Cass Co. v. Johnston, 95 U. S. 360; Armour, etc., Co. v. Finney Co., 41 Fed. 321; Howland v. San Joaquin Co., 109 Cal. 152; 41 Pac. 864; Holcomb v. Davis, 56 111. 413; Marion County v. Winkley, 29 Kan. 36; Smith v. Proctor, 130 N. Y. 319; 14 L. R. A. 403; 29 N. E. 312; Metcalfe v. Seattle, 1 Wash. 297; 25 Pac. 1010.
5 Montgomery County v. Trimble, 104 Ky. 629; 42 L. R. A. 738; 47 S. W. 773; overruling Belknap v. Louisville. 99 Ky. 474; 59 Am. St. Rep. 478; 34 L. R. A. 256; 36 S. W. 1118; McGoodwin v. Franklin (Ky.), 38 S. W. 481; Owensboro v. Baker (Ky.), 37 S. W. 1129.