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ELECTIONS, (general law of.)
- 1,2,3,9,56 several counties,
Suffrage, right of,
where to vote,
or parceners to vote, -
compare polls, ... - 7 Compensation to officers, - - 8
No elector to vote more than once in
election, - - 10,12, 10
Mode of proceeding for so voting, pe-
must swear to their qualification, Refusal, proceedings on, ... Elector failing to attend and vote, penalty,
When and by whom remitted,
having no precincts, -
vered and when, On death of sheriff, by whom election
to he held, - - - - 27,28 Penalty on officers failing to perform duties, - - - 28,20,30,34
Vacancies in delegates or senators, how
supplied, - - - 31,32,33 Returns of writs, - - - 31, •
•ry of electors, how punished, Partiality in officer conducting elections, -----
Contested election, proceedings to be had, ......
Oath of parties, ----
Evidence, how, when and by whom taken, .....
Subpoonas for witnesses, -
Vacancies, how supplied, - - - 50
Duty of clerks, - - - 54,55
Who to superintend elections in ab-
Oaths of commissioners and superinten
Separate polls, how held, certified and reported, .....
Congressional elections, how conducted, and when,
Act of January 27, 1818—January 1, 1820. R. C. ch. 51.—April 2, 1831, Ses. Acts 1830-31, ch. 1. Sup. R. C. ch. 88.
1. § 3. Every white male citizen of this commonwealth resident therein, aged twenty-one years and upwards (other than such as have refused to give r assurance of fidelity to the commonwealth) being possessed, or whose tenant for years, at will or at sufferance) is possessed of twenty-five acres of land, with a house, the superficial content of the foundation whereof is twelve feet square, or equal to that quantity, and a plantation thereon; or fifty acres of unimproved land; or a lot or part of a lot of land in a city or town established by act of general assembly, with a house thereon of the like superficial content or quantity, having in such land an estate of freehold at the least, and'^unless the title shall have come to him by descent, devise, marriage or marriage settlement,^ having been so possessed six months, shall be qualified to vote for delegates to serve in general assembly, for the county, city, town, borough or election district respectively, in which the land lieth.(a) If the fifty acres of
(a) Amended, see Sup. R. C. c. 89, § 1. in the county where his interest in land
Voter in an election district required to vote which entitles him to vote exists. Acts
in the county where he is a housekeeper and 1831-2, c. 30, § 1, p. 27. head of a family, and pays revenue tax, and
Act of January 27, 1818—January 1, 1820. R. C. ch. 51.—April 2, 1831, Ses. Acts 1830-31, ch. 1. Sup. R. C. ch. 86.
land, being one entire parcel, lie in several counties, the holder shall vote in that county wherein the greater part of the land lieth only; and if the twentyflKfi_acres of land, being one entire parcel, lie in several counties, the holder shall vote in that county wherein the house standeth only. In right of land held by parceners, joint tenants, or tenants in common, qualified to exercise the right of suffrage according to the former constitution and laws, but one vote shall be given by all the holders capable of voting, who may be present, and agree to vote for the same candidate or candidates, unless the quantity of land, in case partition had been made thereof, be sufficient to entitle every holder present to vote separately; or unless some one or more of the holders may lawfully vote in right of another estate or estates in the same county; in which case, the others may vote, if holding solely, they might have voted. March 1655, act 7, 1 Stat. Larg. 411; see March 1655, act 16, 1 Stat. Larg. 403; March 1657-8, act 93, lb. 475; Oct. 1670, act 3, 2 Stat. Larg. 280; June 1676, act 7, 2 Stat. Larg. 356; Oct. 1677, 2 Stat. Larg. 425; see 3 Stat. Larg. 26; April 1699, Oct. 3, 3 Stat. Larg. 172; Oct. 1705, c. 2, 3 Stat. Larg. 236; May 1723, c. 4, § 23, 4 Stat. Larg. 133; Aug. 1736, c. 2, 4 Stat. Larg. 475; Oct. 1762, c. 1, 7 Stat. Larg. 517; Nov. 1762, 7 Stat. Larg. 518; Nov. 1769, c. I, 8 Stat. Larg. 305; Oct. 1785, c. 55, 12 Stat. Larg. 120; Jan. 15, 1808, c. 28. See also, Amended Constitution, art. 3, §14; and 1831, c. 1.
2. § 6. § 4. Every white male citizen of the commonwealth, resident therein, aged twenty-one years and upwards, having such a freehold in the city of Williamsburg or borough of Norfolk, as will qualify him to vote for delegates to represent the county; and also every such citizen not having refused to give assurance of fidelity, who shall be a housekeeper, and shall have resided for six months in the said city or borough, and shall be possessed of a visible estate of the value of one hundred and sixty-six dollars, sixty-six cents, at least; or shall actually have served as an apprentice to some trade within the said city or borough, for the term of five years, and shall have obtained a certificate of such service from the court of hustings, under the common seal of the city or borough, shall be qualified to vote for a delegate to represent the said city or borough, respectively, in general assembly. 1785, c. 55; 1831, c. I.
3. § 5. Every white male citizen of the commonwealth, resident therein, aged twenty-one years and upwards, being qualified to exercise the right of suffrage, according to the fourteenth section of the third article of the constitution, shall be qualified to vote for members of the general assembly, in the manner therein prescribed.(a) If the land in the said constitution mentioned and referred to, being one entire parcel, lie in several counties, and be insufficient in value to entitle the person interested therein to vote in all the said counties, such person, whether he be possessed of an estate of freehold or leasehold; whether he be tenant in common, joint tenant or parcener, shall vote in that county wherein the greater part of the land lieth only; and any citizen claiming the right to vote, in consequence of being entitled to a reversion, or vested remainder in fee, expectant on an estate for life or lives, in land, which, being one entire parcel, may happen to lie in several counties, and be insufficient in value to entitle such citizen to vote in all the said counties, shall vote in that county wherein the greater part of the land lieth only. In case of two or more tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, in possession, reversion or remainder, having an interest in land, the value whereof shall be insufficient to entitle them all to vote, and who, not being qualified to exercise the right of suffrage, according to the former constitution and laws,
(a) See note p. 304.
Act of January 27, 1818—January 1, 1820. R. C. oh. 51.—April 2, 1331, Ses. AcU 1830-31, ch. 1. Sup. R. C. ch. 88.
have had that right conferred upon them by the present constitution, their vote or votes shall in such case be given in manner following, that is to say: if the value of the land be sufficient to entitle them to one vote only, the same shall be given by all the said tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, capable of voting, who may be present, and agree to vote for the same candidate or candidates. If the value of the land be sufficient to entitle them to more than one vote, the votes to which they are entitled, shall be given by all the said tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, capable of voting, who may be present, and agree as to the candidate or candidates to whom the said votes shall be given. No one of any number of such tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, shall give more than one vote at the same election; nor shall any greater number of votes be given by such tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, than the value of the undivided land held by them may entitle them to give, according to the constitution. When a vote or votes shall have been given as aforesaid, by such tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, the whole of the said tenants in common, joint tenants and parceners, not having been present, and not having agreed to the said vote or votes, if he or they, who were absent at the giving of the said vote or votes, should afterwards appear at the said election, before the taking of the votes is at an end, and to the officer conducting the said election, object to the said votes as given, the same shall be stricken from the poll. When an election shall be held at different places in the same county, and such tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, entitled to only one vote, shall be polled at different places, and for a different candidate or candidates, their votes shall be stricken from the poll. When an election shall be held at different places in the same county, and such tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners, entitled to give more votes than one, shall give their votes at different places, and in opposition to each other, the said votes shall be stricken from the poll, if it shall appear that all the said tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners) did not agree, before such votes were polled, to whom they should be given. In case of two or more of such tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners in possession, reversion or remainder, having interest in land, the value whereof shall be insufficient to entitle them all to vote, if some one or more of them may lawfully vote in right of another estate or estates in the same county, the others may vote in the same manner as if he or they, holding such other estate or estates in the same county, had no interest whatever in the undivided land belonging to the said tenants in common, joint tenants or parceners. 1831, c. I.
4. § 6. The right of suffrage shall not be exercised by any person not entitled to exercise the same according to the present constitution of the commonwealth, or by any person of unsound mind, or who shall be a pauper, or a noncommissioned officer, soldier, seaman or marine in the service of the United States, or by any person convicted of any infamous offence. 1831, c. 1.
5. § 7. Every person qualified as aforesaid, to vote for delegates, shall be capable of being elected a delegate for the county, city or borough, or senator for the district, in which he resides. 1785, c. 55.
6. § 8. No person, who shall have served as a member of the legislature for seven years in the whole, shall be afterwards compellable to serve therein. Ibid.
7. § 1. The election of delegates for the several counties, cities, towns and boroughs, and election districts entitled to representation, and the eight senators for one of the four classes of senatorial districts, in the room of those to be displaced during this year, shall be held in the several counties, cities, towns and boroughs on their respective court days in the month of August of Act of January 27, 1818—January 1, 1820. R. C. ch. 51.—April 2, 1831, Sen. Acts 1830-31, ch. 1. Sup. R. C. ch. 88.
the present year; and the election of delegates, and of the eight senators for one of the four classes of senatorial districts, in the room of those who will hereafter be annually displaced, shall be held in the several counties, cities, towns and boroughs on their respective court days in the month of April of every future year.(6) The meeting of the returning officers conducting the elections of senators, shall be within fifteen days after the day on which the last election in the senatorial district shall have commenced at the courthouse of the county, the name of which is first mentioned in the constitution, describing the senatorial districts, except that in the districts to which the counties following are attached, that is to say, the counties of Chesterfield, Caroline, Elizabeth City, Goochland, Greenesville, Henry, Madison, Middlesex, Monroe, Morgan, Nelson, New Kent, Norfolk, Preston, Prince Edward, Ohio, Scott, Sussex, Westmoreland and Wythe, the meeting of the said returning officers shall be at the courthouse of the counties above named; and the said returning officers shall in all respects be governed by the rules and regulations established by this act: Provided nevertheless, That if from high waters or other unavoidable accident, any returning officer or officers may be prevented from attending at the times and places aforesaid, the other returning officers shall adjourn from day to day, until the business be completed. 1831, c. 1.
8. § 40. The sheriffs and other officers conducting an election for a senator to the general assembly shall be allowed one dollar sixty-seven cents per day for each day on which they shall necessarily attend to compare the different polls; and four cents per mile for travelling to and from the place appointed for that purpose, besides ferriages, to be paid out of the treasury, on warrant from the auditor of public accounts. Ibid.
9. § 4. §7. In any city, town or borough, which at any time after the eighth day of January, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, hath obtained, or at any time hereafter shall obtain and enjoy the privilege of sending in its own right, a representative to the house of delegates of this commonwealth, the electors thereof shall be, and they are hereby declared incapable of voting in the election of delegates for any county, in virtue or right of the property held by them, respectively, within any such city, town or borough. 1787, c. 97, 12 Stat. Larg. 648; 1831, r. 1.
10. <§, 2. No elector shall vote(c) more than once for any senator in the same district, at any one election. 1802, c. 12; 1831, e. 1.
11. § 49. If upon examining and comparing the polls as before directed, it shall be discovered that any person hath voted twice in the same election, either by voting twice at the courthouse, or by voting twice at the place of holding any separate poll, or by voting once at each place, or in any other manner, it shall be the duty of the officers so examining and comparing the polls as aforesaid, to return such person to the next grand jury that shall sit in his county for the inferior or superior court thereof, in order that such person may be fined according to law. And if any sheriff or other officer shall fail in this duty, he shall forfeit and pay to the commonwealth for the benefit of the literary fund, the sum of one hundred dollars. 1831, c. 1.
12. § 11. § 9. If any person shall vote a second time at any election for members of the general assembly; or if any person shall claim and exercise the right of suffrage, in consequence of having paid a part of the revenuej of the
(4) Fourth Thursday in April throughout ly or viva voce, and not by ballot." Jimd.
the commonwealth. Act of March 20,1S39, Const, art. 3, § 15. See act of Feb. 10,1831,
c. 33, Sos. Acts, p. 24. c. 19, p. 78, Sup. R. C. c. 122, p. 179.
(c) "In all elections in this common- J By act of March 5, 1833, c. 35, Acts
wealth, to any office or place of trust, ho- 1832-3, p. 27, it is provided, That when any
nour or profit, the votes shall be given open- person shall have paid to the sheriff or his Act of January 27, 1818—January 1,1820. R. C. oh. 51.—April 2,1831, Ses. Acts 1830-31, ch. 1. Sup. R. C. cb. 88.
commonwealth, with which he may have been, by his own procurement, falsely assessed; each and every such person shall, for his offence, forfeit and pay to the commonwealth, for the benefit of the literary fund, the sum of thirty-three dollars thirty-three cents, recoverable by motion in the superior or inferior court of law held for the county, city, town or borough, in which the offence is committed, in the name and on behalf of the president and directors of the literary fund, provided ten days notice shall have been given of such motion. 1788, c. 52; 1831, c. 1.
13. § 12. § 10. Every elector going to, abiding at, and returning from, an election, shall be privileged from arrest one day for every twenty miles he shall necessarily travel, exclusive of the day of election; and any process against such elector, executed during such privilege, shall be void. March 1661-2, act 58, 2 Stat. Larg. 86; Oct. 1705, c. 2, <j 13, 3 Stat. Larg, 244; 1785, c. 55; 1831, c. 1.
14. § 13. § 12. Upon the election of a senator, and also of a delegate or delegates, the sheriff, or in his absence, the under sheriff, or other proper officer of the county in which no separate poll may have been by law authorized to be held, or the mayor, or other proper officer of the city, town or borough, shall cause the poll to be takent publicly in the courthouse; or if that be in a town infected with any contagious disease, or be in danger of an attack from a public enemy, at some other place; and in cases where by law a separate poll or polls may have been authorized to be held in any county, the officers appointed by law to hold such separate poll or polls, shall cause the poll to be taken publicly at the place or places by law directed for holding such separate poll or polls, according to these directions. The officer conducting such election shall appoint such and so many writers as he shall think fit, who shall respectively take an oath, to be administered by him, or make solemn affirmation before him, that they will take the poll faithfully and impartially. He shall deliver a poll-book to each writer, who by ruling lines therein, having made as many columns as there shall be candidates, shall enter the name of each candidate in a distinct column at the head thereof, and under his name in the same column, the name of every voter who shall vote for that candidate; and after the names of all the electors who shall give their votes (proclamation having been made three times at the door of the courthouse, or other place of holding such election, by the officer, requiring those who had not been polled to come in and give their votes,) shall have been thus entered, he shall conclude the poll. In cases where a separate poll or polls may be authorized to be held, it shall be the duty of the officer holding such separate poll, and of the superintendents appointed to superintend the same, to commence the taking of every such separate poll on the same day on which the election at the courthouse of the county shall commence, and immediately upon the I conclusion thereof, to certify at the foot thereof the correctness of the said, poll; and their certificate so to be made, shall be signed by the said officer and superintendents, and within five days after the day on which the saideleo; tion shall have commenced, the officer holding such separate poll, shall report the poll so taken to the officer conducting the election at the courthouse. , The officer conducting the election at the courthouse, in cases where no sepa
deputy, any money on account of any sum be necessary for the purpose, as paid for his
due from him for revenue tax, and for county revenue tax, before he shall credit him for
levy, without specifying for which it shall any part thereof, as paid for his county levy,
have been paid, it shall be the duty of the t See Spilsbury v. Michlethwaite, 1 Taunt,
sheriff, or his deputy, to credit such person 147, for the authority of the conductor of
for said money, or so much thereof as may the election in enforcing order, &c.