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elections to take place.
Where and when wealth, as at present established by law, shall assemble at their respective courthouses, or other places appointed by law for holding elections of members of the general assembly, on the several court days of each county, city and borough, composing a district, in the month of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, and then and there vote for four discreet and proper persons as members of the said convention.
2. The persons authorized by law to hold elections for members of the general assembly, in each county, city or borough, shall conduct the said election, at which no determination shall be had by Method of taking view; but, each person qualified to vote, shall fairly and publicly vote, and the name of the voter shall be duly entered under the name of the person voted for, in proper poll-books, to be provided by the officer conducting the election, for which purpose he shall appoint so many writers as he shall think fit, who shall respectively take an oath, to be administered by him, or make solemn affirmation, that they will take the poll fairly and impartially. He shall deliver a poll-pook to each writer, who shall enter in distinct columns, under the names of the persons voted for, the name of each Proclamations to elector voting for such persons. Like proclamation and proceedings shall be made and had, for opening, conducting, continuing and closing the poll in each county, city and borough in a district, as is prescribed by law in the election of members of the general assembly. Proclamation shall be made at the courthouse door, or at the place of holding such election, of the persons having the Privilege of elec- greatest number of votes upon the poll on the closing thereof: and each elector shall be entitled to the same privilege from arrest, as is now prescribed by law in cases of elections of members to the general assembly.
Officers required to conduct elections.
By whom elections to be held, where mayor is unable to attend.
3. If the mayor of any city or borough entitled to representation in the general assembly, shall by death, or any other cause whatever, be unable to attend and conduct the election of members to the said convention, according to the provisions of this act, then the recorder, or if there be no recorder, or he be unable to attend, the senior alderman capable of attending, shall attend and conduct such election according to law.
How election to be 4. Immediately after each election in a county, city and borough, held as aforesaid, the clerk of the poll having first signed the same, shall deliver it to the sheriff or other officer, who conducted the election; and every such sheriff or other officer, in each district, shall meet at the courthouse of the county first named in such district, on the tenth day after that on which the election last held in the district commenced, and then and there compare the polls respectively taken at the elections in their several counties, cities and boroughs; and having ascertained the four persons having the greatest number of votes upon the whole, shall declare them duly elected, and shall proceed to certify such election under their hands and Form of certificate seals, to the effect following, to wit: "We, A. B., sheriff of county, or deputy sheriff, (as the case may be,) C. D., sheriff of county, (and so reciting the persons attending to compare the polls from each county, city and borough, composing one entire district, entitled by the provisions of this act to elect four members to the said convention,) do hereby certify and make known, that at an election held on the day of in the county of the in the county of (and so on stating the time of
holding the election in each county, city or borough within the dis-
the said district as members of a convention, to discuss and propose
Two fair duplicates of such certificates and returns shall be made Certificates of elections, to whom by the said sheriffs and other officers under their hands and seals, to be delivered, and when. in the manner before recited, one of which shall be delivered to one of the persons having the greatest number of votes, and declared elected, and the other shall be transmitted to the governor and council of the commonwealth, within ten days after the date thereof.
death or inability.
5. If from death, sickness or other cause, the person conducting By whom comparison of polls to be the poll in any county, city or borough, shall be unable to attend made, in event of for the purpose of comparing the same, at the time and place pre-inability to attend. scribed by law, then the duty of attending and comparing such poll, and all other duties consequent thereupon, shall be performed in the following manner, that is to say: If a sheriff conducting the poll be dead, then the duties aforesaid shall be performed by his successor, if any there be; if there be no successor, then by the coroner; or if there be more than one, then by the senior coroner of the county capable of attending; if such sheriff be sick, or otherwise unable to attend, the duties shall be performed by such of his deputies as he may appoint for that purpose; or if he have no deputy, by the coroner or senior coroner. If a deputy sheriff of deputies' conducting the poll be dead, or unable to attend, the duties shall be performed by the sheriff, either in person or by deputy. If a mayor of mayors. be dead or unable to attend, the duties shall be performed by his successor, if any there be; if none, by the recorder; if no recorder, then by the senior alderman capable of attending. If a recor- of recorder. der be dead, or unable to attend, the duties shall be performed by the mayor, if any; if none, by the senior alderman capable of attending. If a magistrate or alderman conducting the poll be dead, or unable to attend, the duties shall be performed by the magistrate or alderman next in seniority and capable of attending. And if When persons to be appointed by there shall be no person hereby authorized, who shall be able to at- the court. tend and perform these duties, the court of the county or corporation, as the case may be, or any three magistrates or aldermen out of court, by warrant under their hands and seals, shall without delay appoint some fit and discreet person, who shall be bound in all things promptly to perform the duties aforesaid.
Of magistrate or
6. If from any cause the persons authorized to compare the polls, be prevented from meeting and performing their duties, on the day and at the place herein before prescribed, those present shall adjourn from time to time, as may be necessary and proper, until all of them shall attend, and the business of the meeting shall be completed.
decided in case of
7. If upon comparing the polls, it shall appear that there are not How election to be as many as four persons having a greater number of votes than any equality of votes. other candidates, voted for, but that one or more persons necessary to constitute the number of four members, have an equal number
failing to meet,
event of officers those present to adjourn from time
Officers to deliver polls to clerks of
8. The said sheriffs and other persons comparing the polls, shall Counties, &c. to be also deliver to the clerks of their respective counties or corporations, within ten days after such return, the original poll-books, to be by such clerk entered of record, under the like penalty for failure, as for failing to record the poll-books taken at the election of members to the general assembly.
Penalty on clerk for failure to re
of votes, the election shall be forthwith decided between the candidates so having an equality of votes, by lot or lots, fairly and publicly drawn, under the direction of the officers so making the election.
Penalty on sheriffs
glect of duty.
9. If any sheriff or other person authorized to compare the polls, or officers for ne- shall wilfully or negligently fail either to attend and compare the same, or to decide the election by lot, when according to the provisions of this act it ought to be so decided, or to make out certificates, or returns of the elections, and to return one of them to the executive, and deliver the other of them to one of the persons having the greatest number of votes in each district, within ten days after the date of such certificate, or to return the original poll-books to the clerk, according to the provisions of this act, then the sheriff or other persons so failing, shall for every offence, forfeit and pay to the commonwealth for the benefit of the literary fund, five hundred dollars, to be recovered by action of debt, information or indictment, in any court of record, having jurisdiction thereof.
Penalties on officers refusing to take the poll or
10. Any sheriff or other officer refusing to take the poll when he shall be required by a candidate or elector, or taking it in any neglecting other other manner than is herein before prescribed, or making or sign
Bribery by candidates or other person, how punished.
11. If any candidate or other person shall directly or indirectly give, or agree to give, to any elector, or pretended elector, money, meat, drink or other thing, as an inducement to such elector, or pretended elector, to vote for such candidate, or for any other person, to be a member of said convention, or as a reward to such elector, or pretended elector, for having voted for any such candidate or other person, to be a member of said convention, such offender shall forfeit and pay for every offence, the sum of fifteen hundred dollars to be recovered by action of debt, information or indictment, in any court of record having jurisdiction thereof, in the name of the commonwealth for the benefit of the literary fund. 12. Every person authorized by law to compare the polls, as officers comparing aforesaid, shall receive for his services therein, one dollar and sixtyseven cents for every day on which he shall necessarily attend at the place appointed by law to compare said polls, together with all charges for ferriage and tolls, and four cents a mile for travelling to and from the county in which he shall meet for that purpose. Every claim for the compensation hereby allowed, shall be presented to the court of the county or corporation in which the claimant may live; shall be verified by the affidavit of the claimant, and by such other evidence as shall be satisfactory to the court, and being certi
Claims, how to be verified and paid.
ing a false certificate, or return of election, as herein before directed, or making any erasure or alteration in the poll-book, or refusing to suffer any candidate or elector, at his own expense, to take a copy of the poll-book, shall forfeit and pay to the commonwealth, for the use of the literary fund, six hundred dollars for each offence, recoverable by action of debt, information or indictment, in any court of record having jurisdiction thereof.
fied by them to be correct, shall be allowed by the auditor, and paid out of the public treasury.
13. No person entitled to suffrage by this act, shall vote more No elector to vote than once, either in the same county, or in different counties. And more than once. if any person shall offend herein, he shall forfeit and pay, for every such offence, one hundred dollars, to be recovered in the name of the commonwealth, for the benefit of the literary fund, by action of debt, information or indictment in any court of record having jurisdiction thereof. Nor shall any such person be admitted to vote in Freehold of elecsuch election, at the courthouse or other place of holding the elec- tor to be in coule tion, in any county, city or borough, in a district, unless the free- he votes. hold, or other estate in right of which he offers to vote, shall be in that county, city or borough in which he gives his vote.
ty, &c. where
vention to meet.
14. The persons who shall be elected in pursance of the provi- Where and when sions of this act, shall on the first Monday in October, in the year members of conof our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twenty-nine, meet and assemble at the capitol in the city of Richmond, in general convention, to consider, discuss and propose a new constitution, or alterations and amendments to the existing constitution of this commonwealth.
15. The said convention shall be the judge of its own privileges Privilege of memand elections, and the members thereof shall have, possess and en-bers of convention, joy, in the most full and ample manner, all and every the privilege and privileges which members elected to, and attending on, the general assembly, are entitled to; and moreover, shall be allowed the Wages of memsame pay for travelling to, and attending on, and returning from bers of convention. the said convention, as is now allowed to the members of the general assembly for travelling to, attending on, and returning from the same; and the said convention shall be and is hereby empowered Convention to apto appoint such officers, and to make them such reasonable allow- point its own offiances for their services as it shall deem proper; which several sums salaries. shall be allowed by the auditor, and paid by the treasurer of this commonwealth.
cers, and fix their
16. In case of contested or disputed elections to the convention, Provision in case the contested candidate shall pursue the same course, and be go- of contested elecverned in all things by the same rules, as are now prescribed by law in contested or disputed elections to the senate of this commonwealth.
17. Be it enacted, That it shall be the duty of the governor and Upon adjournment council, as soon as the convention which shall meet in pursuance of covention, expublish this act, shall have adjourned sine die, by proclamation in such of new or amended the public newspapers of this commonwealth, as may be deemed sufficient, to announce that fact; and moreover to annex to such proclamation a copy of such amended constitution as may be proposed by such convention, which proclamation, with the said constitution annexed, shall be published as aforesaid for a period of three months; and moreover, ten printed copies of such amended consti- Number of copies tution shall be by the executive forthwith transmitted to the clerk to be sent to clerks of each county court in the commonwealth, to be by such clerk submitted to the examination of any person who may require the same. (a)
18. Be it enacted, That the governor, with the advice of coun- Writs of election, cil, shall have full power and authority to award writs of election
(a) Vid. post. ch. 3, § 1, 10.
to supply any vacancies which may happen in the convention, by death, removal, resignation, or other incapacity, of any member elected to serve therein, according to the provisions of this act, previously to the meeting of the said convention; and the elections under such writs shall be conducted in all respects as the elections When members of herein provided for; but if any vacancy shall happen as aforesaid, a district to supply after the meeting of the said convention, the remaining members of the district in which such vacancy has occurred, shall supply the
Constitution, when to be sub
19. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the mitted to the peo- several sheriffs, or other persons authorized by this act to conduct ple for ratification the election at the first general election for members of the house of delegates, in their respective counties, which may be holden after proclamation so made as aforesaid, to open a separate poll-book, in the manner and for the purpose herein after prescribed. The said poll-book shall be headed, "The constitution as amended," and shall contain two separate columns; the first column shall be headed, "For ratifying," and the second column shall be headed, "For reWhat votes to be jecting." And it shall further be the duty of the said sheriffs, at received on such the elections aforesaid, to receive the votes of all such persons as shall by the amended constitution be authorized to vote for members of the most numerous branch of the legislature, or by the said convention shall be authorized to vote on the ratification or rejection of the new constitution, to be recorded in the poll-book herein before required to be by them opened. The names of all such persons as shall vote as aforesaid, for ratifying or rejecting the aforesaid constitution, shall be inserted in the appropriate column of the said book. And in order the better to execute the duties herein prescribed, the sheriffs aforesaid shall have power to appoint one or more clerks, who shall take an oath well and truly to register the names of the voters as aforesaid.(b)
20. And be it further enacted, That the polls aforesaid shall be kept open for the period of three successive days, and the same when closed shall be certified by the said sheriffs respectively, and To be deposited in shall by them, within ten days after they shall have been closed, be clerk's office and deposited in the office of the clerk of the county court, to be by said clerk carefully preserved and kept. And the said sheriffs respectively, shall, within twenty days after the polls shall have been closed as aforesaid, make out a fair and correct copy of the said poll-book, which shall be certified by the respective clerks of the county courts, and the said sheriffs, to be correct, and transmit the same to the governor and council. (c)
21. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the said executive, as soon as all the returns of the polls aforesaid shall be received by them, carefully to examine the same, and if it shall appear that a majority of all the votes given, is for ratifying said amended constitution, it shall further be the duty of said executive, forthwith to convene the general assembly, in order that the constitution, thus ratified, shall be carried into effect. (d)
22. And be it further enacted, That if any sheriff or other offifor failing to per- cer, shall fail, faithfully, and within the time prescribed by this act,
Penalty on officers
to discharge any of the duties hereby required, such sheriff or other
Sheriffs authorized to appoint clerks.
Polls, how long to be kept open.
General assembly, when to be convened.