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RELATING TO THE CALLING A CONVENTION OF DELEGATES OF THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PURPOSE
OF REVISING THE CONSTITUTION.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in
General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows :
Sect. 1. The inhabitants of the several cities, towns, districts, and places within this Commonwealth, qualified to vote for senators or representatives in the General Court, shall, on the second Monday of November next, at the meetings to be then held in the several cities and towns in the Commonwealth, for the choice of governor, lieutenant governor, senators, and representatives in the General Court, an article for this purpose being inserted in the warrants calling said meetings, give in their votes by ballot on this question: "Is it expedient that delegates should be chosen to meet in convention for the purpose of revising or altering the constitution of government of this Commonwealth ?” And the vote upon said question shall be in open meeting, and the votes in the several cities and towns in the Commonwealth shall be received, sorted, counted, declared, and transmitted to the secretary of the Commonwealth, in the same manner as the votes for governor, lieutenant governor, and senators are now received, sorted, counted, declared and transmitted by the constitution and laws of the Commonwealth; and all returns not thus made shall be rejected in the counting. And the governor and council shall open and examine the returns, made as aforesaid, and count the votes given on the said question ; and the governor shall, by public proclamation, to be made on or before the first Wednesday in January next, make known the result, by declaring the number appearing in favor of choosing delegates for the purpose aforesaid, and the number of votes appearing against the same; and if it shall appear that a majority of the votes given in and returned as aforesaid are in favor of choosing delegates as aforesaid, the same shall be deemed and taken to be the will of the people of the Commonwealth, that a convention should meet accordingly; and in case of such majority, the governor shall call upon the people to elect delegates to meet in convention, in the manner hereinafter provided.
Sect. 2. If it shall be declared by the said proclamation, that the majority of votes, as aforesaid, is in favor of choosing delegates, as above mentioned, the inhabitants of the several cities and towns within the Commonwealth, now entitled any one year to send one or more representatives to the General Court, shall, on the first Monday of March, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three, assemble in their several meetings, to be duly notified by warrant from the selectmen of the several towns and the mayor and aldermen of the several cities, and shall elect one or more delegates, not exceeding the number of representatives to which each town or city was entitled last year, it being the year in which the valuation of estates in the Commonwealth was settled, to meet delegates from other towns and cities in convention, for the purposes hereinafter expressed. And at such meetings of the inhabitants, every person entitled to vote for representatives in the General Court, shall have a right to vote in the choice of delegates, and the same officers, in the several cities ana towns in the Commonwealth, shall preside at such elections, as now preside in the choice of representatives to the General Court; and the votes for said delegates shall be received, sorted, counted, declared, recorded, and copies thereof delivered to the delegates chosen, in the same manner as is now provided for in the case of representatives to the General Court. And all laws now in force, regulating the duty and conduct of town and city officers, sheriffs, magistrates, and electors, in the election of governor, lieutenant governor, senators, and representatives, shall, as far as applicable, apply, and be in fuil force and operation, as to all meetings holden, and elections and returns made, under this act, or which by this act are required to be holden or made, and upon the like forfeitures and penalties.
SECT. 3. The persons so elected delegates shall meet in convention in the state house, in Boston, on the first Wednesday in May, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three; and they shall be the judges of the returns and elections of their own members, and may adjourn from time to time; and one hundred of the persons elected shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business; and they shall proceed as soon as may be to organize themselves in convention, by choosing a president and such other officers as they may deem expedient, and by establishing proper rules of proceeding; and when organized, they may take into consideration the propriety and expediency of revising the present constitution of government of this Commonwealth, or the propriety and expediency of making any, and if any, what alterations or amendments, in the present constitution of government of this Commonwealth. And such alterations or amendments, when made and adopted by the said convention, shall be submitted to the people for their ratification and adoption, in such manner as the said convention shall direct; and if ratified by the people in the manner directed by the said convention, the constitution shall be deemed and taken to be altered or amended accordingly; and if not so ratified, the present constitution shall be and remain the constitution of government of this Commonwealth.
SECT. 4. The said convention shall establish the pay or compensation of its officers and members, and the expense of its session; and his excellency the governor, by and with the advice and consent of the council, is authorized to draw his warrant on the treasury therefor.
SECT. 5. The secretary of the Commonwealth is hereby directed forthwith, after the passage thereof, to transmit printed copies of this act to the selectmen of each town, and the mayor and aldermen of each city within the Commonwealth; and whenever the governor shall issue his proclamation, calling upon the people to elect delegates, to meet in conventior as aforesaid, the said secretary shall also, immediately thereafter, transmit printed copies of said proclamation, attested by himself, to the selectmen of each town, and the mayor and aldermen of each city, in the Commonwealth. (Approved, May 7, 1852.]
LIST OF MEMBERS
- OF THE
President, HON. NATHANIEL P. BANKS, JR.
Abbott, Alfred A.