Page images
PDF
EPUB

having ten thousand five hundred may elect four ; each town having fifteen thousand may elect five ; each town having twenty thousand two hundred and fifty may elect six; each town having twenty-six thousand two hundred and fifty may elect seven; but no town shall ever be entitled to more than seven Represen. tatives; and towns and plantations duly organized, not having fifteen hundred inhabitants, shall be classed, as conveniently as may be, into districts containing that number, and so as not to divide towns; and each such district may elect one Representative; and, when on this apportionment the number of Representatives shall be two hundred, a different apportionment shall take place upon the above principle; and in case the fifteen bundred shall be too large or too small to apportion all the Representatives to any county, it shall be so increased or dimin ished as to give the number of Representatives according to the above rule and proportion; and whenever any town or towns, plantation or plantations not entitled to elect a Representative shall determine against a classification with any other town or plantation, the Legislature may, at each apportionment of Representatives, on the application of such town or plantation, authorize it to elect a Representative for such portion of time and such periods, as shall be equal to its portion or representation; and the right of representation, so established, shall not he altered until the next general apportionment.

Sec. 4. No person shall be a member of the House of Representatives, unless he shall, at the commencement of the period for which he is elected, have been five years a citizen of the United States, have arrived at the age of twenty-one years, have been a resident in this State one year, or from the adoption of this Constitution ; and for the three months next preceding the time of his election shall have been, and, during the period for which he is elected, shall continue to be a resident in the town or district which he represents.

Sec. 5. The meetings within this State for the choice of Representatives shall be warned in due course of law by the selectmen of the several towns seven days at least before the election, and the selectmen thereof shall preside impartially at such meetings, receive the votes of all the qualified electors present, sort, count and declare them in open town meeting, and in the presence of the town clerk, who shall form a list of the persons voted for, with the number of votes for each person against his name, shall make a fair record thereof in the presence of the selectmen and in open town meeting. And the towns and plantations organized by law, belonging to any class herein provided, shall hold their meetings at the same time in the respective towns and plantations ; and the town and plantation meetings in such towns and plantations shall be notified, held and regulated, the votes received, sorted and counted and declared in the same manner. And the assessors and clerks of plantations shall have all the powers, and be subject to all the dutis which selectmen and town clerks have, and are subject to by this Constitution. And fair copies of the lists of votes shall be attested by the selectmen and town clerks of towns, and the assessors of plantations, and sealed up in open town and plantation meetings; and the town and plantation clerks, respectively, shall cause the same to be delivered into the secretary's office thirty days at least before the first Wednesday of January annually. And the Governor and Council shall examine the returned copies of such lists, and also all lists of votes of citizens in the military service, returned to the secretary's office, as provided in article second, section four, of this Constitution; and twenty days before the said first Wednesday of January, annually, shall issue a summons to such persons as shall appear to be elected by a plurality of all the votes returned, to attend and take their seats. But all such lists shall be laid before the House of Representatives on the first Wednesday of January, annually, and they shall finally determine who are elected. The electors resident in any city may, at any meeting duly notified for the choice of Representatives, vote for such Representatives in their respective ward meetings, and the wardens in said wards shall preside impartially at such meetings, receive the votes of all qualified electors present, sort, count and declare them in open ward meetings, and in the presence of the ward clerk, who shall form a list of the persons voted for, with the number of votes for each person against his name, shall make a fair record thereof in the presence of the warden, and in open ward meetings ; and a fair copy of this list shall be attested by the warden and ward clerk, sealed up in open ward meeting, and delivered to the city clerk within twenty-four hours after the close of the polls.. And the electors resident in any city may at any meetings duly notified and holden for the choice of any other civil officers for whom they have been required heretofore to vote in town meeting, vote for such officers in their respective wards, and the same proceedings shall be had by the warden and ward clerk in each ward, as in the case of votes for Representatives. And the aldermen of any city shall be in session within twenty-four hours after the close of the polls in such meetings, and in the presence of the city clerk shall open, examine and compare the copies from the lists of votes given in the several wards, of which the city clerk shall make a record, and return thereof shall be made into the Secretary of State's office in the same manner as selectmen of towns are required to do.

Sec. 6. Whenever the seat of a member shall be vacated by death, resignation, or otherwise, the vacancy may be filled by a new election.

Sec. 7. The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker, clerk and other officers.

Sec. 8. The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment.

ARTICLE IV.
PART SECOND.

Senate. Section 1. The Senate shall consist of not less than twenty nor more than thirty-one members, elected at the same time, and for the same term, as the Representatives, by the qualified electors of the districts into which the State shall from time to time be divided.

Sec. 2. The Legislature, which shall be first convened under this Constitution, shall, on or before the fifteenth day of August, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and twentyone, and the Legislature at every subsequent period of ten years, cause the State to be divided into districts for the choice of Senators. The districts shall conform, aş near as may be, to county lines, and be apportioned according to the number of inhabitants. The number of Senators shall not exceed twenty at the first apportionment, and shall at each apportionment be increased, until they shall amount to thirty-one, according to the increase in the House of Representatives.

Sec. 3. The meetings within this State for the election of Senators shall be notified, held and regulated, and the votes received, sorted, counted, declared and recorded, in the same manner as those for Representatives. And fair copies of the list

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

of votes shall be attested by the selectmen and town clerks of towns, and the assessors and clerks of plantations, and sealed up in open town and plantation meetings; and the town and plantation clerks respectively shall cause the same to be delivered into the secretary's office thirty days at least before the first Wednesday of January. All other qualified electors, living in places unincorporated, who shall be assessed to the support of the government by the assessors of an adjacent town, shall have the privilege of voting for Senators, Representatives and Governor in such town ; and shall be notified by the selectmen thereof for that purpose accordingly.

Sec. 4. The Governor and Council shall, as soon as may be, examine the returned copies of such lists, and also the lists of votes of citizens in the military service, returned into the secretary's office, and twenty days before the said first Wednesday of January, issue a summons to such persons, as shall appear to be elected by a plurality of the votes for each district, to attend that day and take their seats.

Sec. 5. The Senate shall, on the said first Wednesday of January, annually, determine who are elected by a plurality of votes to be Senators in each district ; and in case the full number of Senators to be elected from each district shall not have been so elected, the members of the House of Representatives and such Senators, as shall have been elected, shall, from the highest number of persons voted for, on said lists, equal to twice the number of Senators deficient, in every district, if there be so many voted for, elect by joint ballot the number of Senators required; and in this manner all vacancies in the Senate shall be supplied as soon as may be, after such vacancies happen.

Sec. 6. The Senators shall be twenty-five years of age at the commencement of the term for which they are elected, and in all other respects their qualifications shall be the same as those of the Representatives.

Sec. 7. The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments, and when sitting for that purpose shall be on oath or affirmation, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Their judgment, however, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold or enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit under this State. But the party, whether convicted or

acquitted, shall nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judg. ment and punishment according to law.

Sec. 8. The Senate shall choose their president, secretary and other officers.

ARTICLE IV.
PART THIRD.

Legislative. Section 1. The Legislature shall convene on the first Wednesday of January, annually, and shall have full power to make and establish all reasonable laws and regulations for the defense and benefit of the people of this State, not repugnant to this Constitution, nor to that of the United States.

Sec. 2. Every bill or resolution having the force of law, to which the concurrence of both houses may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, which shall have passed both houses, shall be presented to the Governor, and if he approve, he shall sign it ; if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it shall have originated, which shall enter the objections at large on its journals, and proceed to reconsider it. If, after reconsideration, two-thirds of that house shall agree to pass it, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall be reconsidered, and, if approved by two-thirds of that house, it shall have the same effect as if it had been signed by the Governor ; but in all such cases, the votes of both houses shall be taken by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for or against the bill, or resolution, shall be entered on the journals of both houses, respectively. If the bill, or resolution, shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, it shall have the same force and effect, as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall have such force and effect, unless returned within three days after their next meeting

Sec. 3. Each house shall be the judge of the elections and qualifications of its own members, and a majority shall constitute a quorum to do business ; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalties as each house shall provide.

« PreviousContinue »