Изображения страниц

1 be a part of the Constitution of this state in substitution for existing pter 2 and all amendments thereof.

And, Whereas, It appears that each of said Articles of Amendment has been roved by a majority of the freemen voting thereon, according to the votes rned and certified, as required by said act, this day opened and examined he manner provided therein;

Now, therefore, as directed by section seven of said act, I do hereby make lamation that said Articles of Amendment of the Constitution "have been ratified and adopted by the people of this state and have become a part he Constitution thereof," and "all magistrates and officers, and all citizens of state" are hereby required to "take notice thereof and to govern themselves rdingly."

In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and caused the of the State to be affixed, in Executive Chamber, at Montpelier, the second sday, the eighth day of April, A. D. 1913.

By the Governor, GUY W. BAILEY, Secretary of State.

[ocr errors][merged small]


Whereas, pursuant to an act of the General Assembly of Virginia, approved March the fifth, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred: the question "Shail there be a convention to revise the Constitution and amend the same?" was submitted to the electors of the State of Virginia, qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly, at an election held throughout the State on the fourt Thursday in May, in the year nineteen hundred, at which election a majority of the electors so qualified voting at said election did decide in favor of a covention for such purpose; and,

[ocr errors]

Whereas, the General Assembly at its next session did provide by law for the election of delegates to such convention, in pursuance whereof the members of this convention were elected by the good people of Virginia, to meet in convention for such purpose."

We, therefore, the people of Virginia, só assembled in Convention through our representatives, with gratitude to God for His past favors, and invoking Hi blessings upon the result of our deliberations, do ordain and establish the follow ing revised and amended Constitution for the government of the Commonwealth



A Declaration of Rights, made by the representatives of the good people of Virginia assembled in full and free convention, which rights do perten to them and their posterity, as the basis and foundation of government SECTION 1. That all men, are by nature equally free and independent, a have certain inherent rights, of which, when they enter into a state of society they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity; namely, the enjoyment of life and liberty, with the means of acquiring and possessin property, and pursuing and obtaining happiness and safety.

SEC. 2. That all power is vested in, and consequently derived from, the people; that magistrates are their trustees and servants, and at all ti amenable to them.

SEC. 3. That government is, or ought to be, instituted for the coun benefit, protection and security of the people, nation or community; of alite various modes and forms of government, that is best, which is capable of ducing the greatest degree of happiness and safety, and is most effectually secured against the danger of maladministration; and, whenever any governme shall be found inadequate or contrary to these purposes, a majority of t community hath an indubitable, inalienable, and indefeasable right to refor alter or abolish it, in such manner as shall be judged most conducive to tr public weal.

SEC. 4. That no man, or set of men, is entitled to exclusive or separate emoluments or privileges from the community, but in consideration of pat services; which not being descendible, neither ought the offices of magistra legislator or judge to be hereditary.

SEC. 5. That the legislative, executive, and judicial departments of t State should be separate and distinct; and that the members thereof may ‘► restrained from oppression, by feeling and participating the burthens of people, they should, at fixed periods, be reduced to a private station, re into that body from which they were originally taken, and the vacancies be SP plied by regular elections, in which all or any part of the former members sl: be again eligible, or ineligible, as the laws may direct.

SEC. 6. That all elections ought to be free; and that all men, having s cient evidence of permanent common interest with, and attachment to. the munity, have the right of suffrage, and cannot be taxed, or deprived of damaged in, their property for public uses, without their own consent, or th

*The convention which framed the Constitution of Virginia assembled in Rot on June 12, 1901, and adjourned on June 26, 1902. The Constitution was CLE mitted to the electors for ratification; it was proclaimed by the convention on J 1902, and became operative on July 10, 1902. Its validity, called in question be it had not been submitted to the electors for ratification, was upheld by the suprTM court of appeals on June 18, 1903, in Taylor v. Commonwealth, 101 Va. 829.

of their representatives duly elected, or bound by any law to which they have not, in like manner, assented for the public good.

SEC. 7. That all power of suspending laws, or the execution of laws, by any authority, without consent of the representatives of the people, is injurious to their rights, and ought not to be exercised.

SEC. 8. That no man shall be deprived of his life, or liberty, except by the law of the land, or the judgment of his peers; nor shall any man be compelled in any criminal proceeding to give evidence against himself, nor be put twice in jeopardy for the same offence, but an appeal may be allowed to the Commonwealth in all prosecutions for the violation of a law relating to the State revenue.

That in all criminal prosecutions a man hath a right to demand the cause and nature of his accusation, to be confronted with the accusers and witnesses, to call for evidence in his favor, and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury of his vicinage, without whose unanimous consent he cannot be found guilty; provided, however, that in any criminal case, upon a plea of guilty, tendered in person by the accused, and with the consent of the attorney for the Commonwealth, entered of record, the court shall, and in a prosecution for an offence not punishable by death, or confinement in the penitentiary, upon a plea of not zuilty, with the consent of the accused, given in person, and of the attorney for the Commonwealth, both entered of record, the court, in its discretion, may hear and determine the case, without the intervention of a jury; and, that the General Assembly may provide for the trial of offences not punishable by death, or confinement in the penitentiary, by a justice of the peace, without jury, preserving in all such cases, the right of the accused to an appeal to and trial by ury in the circuit or corporation court; and may also provide for juries consistng of less than twelve, but not less than five, for the trial of offences not punishle by death, or confinement in the penitentiary, and may classify such cases. nd prescribe the number of jurors for each class.

SEC. 9. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor 'excessive fines mposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

SEC. 10. That general warrants, whereby an officer or messenger may be ommanded to search suspected places without evidence of a fact committed, r to seize any person or persons not named, or whose offence is not particularly escribed and supported by evidence, åre grievous and oppressive, and ought not ⇒ be granted.

SEC. 11. That no person shall be deprived of his property without due pross of law; and in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man id man, trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred; at the General Assembly may limit the number of jurors for civil cases in reuit and corporation courts to not less than five in cases now cognizable by stices of the peace or to not less than seven in cases not so cognizable.

SEC. 12. That the freedom of the press is one of the great bulwarks of berty, and can never be restrained by despotic governments, and any citizen y freely speak, write and publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responble for the abuse of that right.

SEC. 13. That a well-regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, ined to arms, is the proper, natural and safe defense of a free State: at standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to erty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordinan to, and governed by, the civil power.

SEC. 14. That the people have a right to uniform government; and, theree, that no government separate from, or independent of, the government of ginia ought to be erected or established within the limits thereof.

SEC. 15. That no free government, or the blessing of liberty, can be preved to any people, but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, tempere. frugality and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental prinles.

SEC. 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the nner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not

[ocr errors]

by force or violence; and, therefore, all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice Christian forbearance, love and charity towards each other.


SEC. 17. The rights enumerated in this Bill of Rights shall not be construed to limit other rights of the people not therein expressed.



SEC. 18. Every male citizen of the United States, twenty-one years of age. who has been a resident of the State two years, of the county, city, or town one year, and of the precinct in which he offers to vote, thirty days, next preceding the election in which he offers to vote, has been registered, and has paid his State poll taxes, as hereinafter required, shall be entitled to vote for menbers of the General Assembly and all officers elective by the people; but removal from one precinct to another, in the same county, city or town shall not deprive any person of his right to vote in the precinct from which he has moved, until the expiration of thirty days after such removal.

SEC. 19. There shall be general registrations in the counties, cities and towns of the State during the years nineteen hundred and two and nineteen hundred and three at such times and in such manner as may be prescribed by an ordinance of this Convention. At such registrations every male citizen of the United States having the qualifications of age and residence required in section eighteen shall be entitled to register, if he be:

First. A person who, prior to the adoption of this Constitution, served in time of war in the army or navy of the United States, of the Confederate States or of any State of the United States or of the Confederate States; or,

Second. A son of any such person; or,

[ocr errors]



Fourth. A person able to read any section of this Constitution submitte to him by the officers of registration and to give a reasonable explanation of the same; or, if unable to read such section, able to understand and give a reas able explanation thereof when read to him by the officers.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]


Third. A person, who owns property, upon which, for the year next preced ing that in which he offers to register State taxes aggregating at least one dollar tho have been paid; or,

3 tb


qui ler

r les



thi thi

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



A roll coutaining the names of all persons thus registered, sworn to an certified by the officers of registration, shall be filed, for record and preserva tion, in the clerk's office of the circuit court of the county, or the clerk's of of the corporation court of the city, as the case may be. Persons thus enrolled re shall not be required to register again, unless they shall have ceased to bit residents of the State, or become disqualified by section Twenty-three. And the person denied registration under this section shall have the right of appea A to the circuit court of his county, or the corporation court of his city, or to the judge thereof in vacation.




SEC. 20. After the first day of January, nineteen hundred and four, every pr male citizen of the United States, having the qualifications of age and resident required in section Eighteen, shall be entitled to register, provided:

First. That he personally paid to the proper officer all State poll text assessed or assessable against him, under this or the former Constitution, fi the three years next preceding that in which he offers to register; or, if le come of age at such time that no poll tax shall have been assessable again him for the year preceding the year in which he offers to register, has paid dollar and fifty cents, in satisfaction of the first year's poll tax assessable again him; and,


Second. That, unless physically unable, he make application to regis in his own hand-writing, without aid, suggestion, or memorandum, in the phy ence of the registration officers, stating therein his name, age, date and p of birth, residence and occupation at the time and for the two years is



[ocr errors]

preceding, and whether he has previously voted, and, if so, the State, county, and precinct in which he voted last; and,

Third. That he answer on oath any and all questions affecting his qualifications as an elector, submitted to him by the officers of registration, which questions, and his answers thereto shall be reduced to writing, certified by the said officers, and preserved as a part of their official records.

SEC. 21. Any person registered under either of the last two sections, shall have the right to vote for members of the General Assembly and all officers elective by the people, subject to the following conditions:


That he, unless exempted by section Twenty-two, shall, as a prerequisite to the right to vote after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and four, personally pay, at least six months prior to the election, all State poll taxes assessed or assessable against him, under this Constitution, during the three years next preceding that in which he offers to vote; provided that, if he register after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and four, he shall, unless physically unable, prepare and deposit his ballot without aid, on such printed form as the law may prescribe, but any voter registered prior to that date may be aided in the preparation of his ballot by such officer of election as he himself may designate.

SEC. 22. No person who, during the late war between the States, served in the army or navy of the United States, or the Confederate States, or any State of the United States, or of the Confederate States, shall at any time be required to pay a poll tax as a prerequisite to the right to register or vote. The collection of the State poll tax assessed against any one shall not be enforced by legal process until the same has become three years past due.

SEC. 23. The following persons shall be excluded from registering and voting: Idiots, insane persons and paupers; persons who, prior to the adoption of this Constitution, were disqualified from voting, by conviction of crime, either within or without this State, and whose lisabilities shall not have been removed; persons convicted after the adoption of this Constitution, either within or without this State, of treason, or of any felony, bribery, petit larceny, obtaining money or property under false pretenses, embezzlement, forgery, or perjury; persons, who, while citizens of this State, after the adoption of this Constitution, have fought a duel with a deadly weapon, or sent or accepted a challenge to fight such duel, either within or without this State, or knowingly conveyed a challenge, or aided or assisted in any way in the fighting of such duel.

SEC. 24. No officer, soldier, seaman, or marine of the United States army or navy shall be deemed to have gained a residence as to the right of suffrage, in the State, or in any county, city or town thereof, by reason of being stationed therein; nor shall an inmate of any charitable institution or a student in any institution of learning be regarded as having either gained or lost a residence, as to the right of suffrage, by reason of his location or sojourn in such institution. SEC. 25. The General Assembly shall provide for the annual registration of voters under section Twenty, for an appeal by any person denied registration. for the correction of illegal or fraudulent registration, thereunder, and also for the proper transfer of all voters registered under this Constitution.

SEC. 26. Any person who, in respect to age or residence, would be qualified to vote at the next election, shall be admitted to registration, notwithstanding that at the time thereof he is not so qualified, and shall be entitled to vote at said election if then qualified under the provisions of this Constitution.

SEC. 27. All elections by the people shall be by ballot; all elections by any representative body shall be viva voce and the vote recorded in the journal thereof.

The ballot-box shall be kept in public view during all elections, and shall not be opened, nor the ballots canvassed or counted, in secret.

So far as consistent with the provisions of this Constitution, the absolute secrecy of the ballot shall be maintained.

SEC. 28. The General Assembly shall provide for ballots without any distinguishing mark or symbol, for use in all State, county, city, and other elections by the people, and the form thereof shall be the same in all places where

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »