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To provide for the personal registration of electors in cities of
the first and second classes of this Commonwealth, to make such registration a condition of the right to vote in such cities, and to provide penalties for violations of its provisions.
Cities of the first and second
Section 1. Be it enacted, &c., That this Act shall be Personal registraknown, and may be cited, as "The Personal Registration Act” in cities of the first and second classes.
Section 2. “Commissioners," as used herein, has ref- classes, erence to Registration Commissioners; "oath” in. Definitions. cludes affirmation, and "swear” includes affirm, wherever used. All references to public officers or municipal authorities, where not otherwise specified, shall be understood to refer to the authorities of the proper county or judicial district. “Party,” as used herein, has reference to a political party which, at the last election, polled two per centum of the vote cast in any city or election district for the candidate receiving the largest vote therein. "Register" means the book containing, or to contain, the registry list of electors, prepared by the registrars. "General election” means the election held in November.
Section 3. The Governor of the Commonwealth shall, not later than June 15, in the year 1906, and in every third year thereafter, appoint a Board of Regis. Board of Registra tration Commissioners for each of said cities, consisting of four duly qualified electors of said city, not more than two of whom shall be members of the same party. The commissioners shall hold office for a term of three years, or until their successors qualify. Any commissioner may be removed for cause, by the Governor. Any vacancy in a Board of Commissioners Removals. shall be filled by the Governor, within ten days after the vacancy occurs, and the person appointed to fill such vacancy shall hold office during the remainder of the term of the commissioner in whose place he was appointed. All appointments shall be so made that at no time shall more than two commissioners Party amllation. belong to the same party. Commissioners in cities of the first class shall receive a compensation at the rate of three thousand dollars per annum; in cities of
Compensation the second class, at the rate of two thousand dollars per annum; said compensation shall be paid by the treasurer of the proper county.
Organization of the Board.
Section 4. As soon after their appointment as may be, the commissioners shall organize by selecting a chairman and a secretary, who shall not be members of the same party. The concurrence of three commissioners shall be necessary to any affirmative action, except as may be otherwise provided herein. The commissioners shall keep a record, in permanent form, of all their proceedings. Their records shall be open to the public at all reasonable times; and they shall make an annual report to the Governor. They shall have power to administer oaths.
Section 5. The commissioners shall, not later than Appointment of August 15th of each year, appoint four registrars for
each election district, as herein provided. The registrars must be duly qualified electors of the said district; and shall have been residents of the city for a period of two years, and of the ward for one year, immediately preceding their appointment. They must be sober and judicious persons, of good moral character, able to read intelligently and to write legibly. Two of the registrars shall be members of the party polling the highest vote within the election district at the last preceding election, and two shall be members of the parties polling the next highest number of votes. The commissioners shall provide at all times a board of registrars, not more than two of whom shall be of the same political faith. If, therefore, it appears at any time that, by reason of a change in political affiliations or because of error in the ap
pointment, a Board is not so divided, any ten electElectors' petition.
ors of the ward may file a petition with the commissioners, setting forth the facts, and praying that one or more of the appointments may be revoked, and that other appointments may be made. The
commissioners shall grant a public hearing, and if Public hearing.
they find the facts to be as represented, shall give the relief asked for; but no registrar shall be removed merely because his party, at an election following his appointment, has polled a less number of votes in the district than two other parties. No person who holds, or is a candidate for, a public office shall act as registrar. Two of the said registrars, of opposing parties, shall be designated by the commissioners to have charge of the two registers, as hereinafter provided.
The names of four persons suitable to be registrars pointment of reg- shall be suggested to the commissioners by petitions
duly filed for each district: two by each of the district executive committees, if such exist; and, if not, by the ward executive committees, if such exist; and,
not, by the city committees of the two leading
Officers and candi. dates ineligible.
Custody of registers.
Petitions for ap
Petitions to re
Notice of time
parties of the district. These petitions shall be signed Signers. by five electors of the ward, and shall set forth the names, addresses, occupations, and political affilia. tions of the persons suggested. At least one of the signers of the petitions shall swear to the truth of the facts set forth therein. The petitions shall remain on file, open to the public inspection, at least main on file, open ten days before the persons named therein shall be appointed, except in cases where a vacancy occurs in the office of registrar within ten days of a registration day. If no petitions are filed the commissioners may appoint without regard to party. No appointment shall be made unless the person to be appointed has personally appeared before the commissioners, and has satisfied them of his qualifications; but in case of a reappointment, it shall not be necessary for the person so reappointed to be summoned. At least one week's notice of the time and place of the examination of suggested registrars, and and place of exof their appointment, shall be published by the Commissioners in two daily newspapers in the city. Any elector may appear, either by person or by counsel, Protests. and show wherein any person, so under consideration, does not possess the qualifications of a registrar. If the persons nominated are found not to be properly qualified, the commissioners may decline to appoint them; and the district executive committee, ward executive committee, or city committee shall then suggest other names, as aforesaid.
No person shall be appointed a registrar unless the appointment is approved by three commissioners: Provided, That if two commissioners have concurred in approving four persons, successively, to fill one position, and the other two commissioners have concurred in objecting to said persons, the commissioners first referred to may approve four other names; and from these eight, all having been suggested by peti. Additional names. tion, the other two commissioners must select the registrar.
The commissioners shall have power to summon any person whom they desire to interrogate. Any person so appointed a registrar must perform his duties as prescribed by this act, unless excused therefrom by the commissioners, for cause shown. The registrars
Compensation of shall receive a compensation of five dollars per day, registrars. for the time actually spent in registration.
Section 6. The registrars of each division shall meet Registration at the polling-place thereof on the ninth Tuesday, seventh Tuesday, and fourth Saturday preceding every November election, and on the fourth Saturday preceding every municipal election, and shall remain in open
session from seven ante meri. dian to ten post meridian of each registration
day. They shall, on said days, receive per. sonal applications from persons who claim
that they are entitled to be registered. They Powers and Duties shall have power to administer oaths, shall examine
said applicants under oath, and shall record on the register the names of those whom they shall determine to be qualified as hereinafter provided. Two weeks' notice of the registration days shall be given by the commissioners, by publication in two daily newspapers in the city, and by posting notices at the polling-places.
Section 7. Every person claiming the right to vote must appear in person before the registrars, in the district in which he lives, prior to every general election, and answer the questions put to him by them. These answers must be recorded on a single line, in two registers, which shall have the following form. The size and character of the said register shall be determined by the Secretary of the Commonwealth, and the form thereof shall be furnished by the said Secretary to the respective county commissioners: