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to the commonwealth, from a change of the form of government, all officers, civil and military, holding commissions under the government and people of Massachusetts Bay in New England, and all other officers of said government and people, at the time this Constitution shall take effect, shall have, hold, use, exercise, and enjoy, all the powers and authority to them granted or committed, until other persons shall be appointed in their stead; and all courts of law shall proceed in the execution of the business of their respective departments: and all the executive and legislative officers, bodies, and powers, shall continue in full force in the enjoyment and exercise of all their trusts, employments, and authority, until the General Court, and the Supreme and executive officers, under this Constitution, are designated and invested with their respective trusts, powers, and authority.
10. In order the more effectually to adhere to the principles of the Constitution, and correct those violations which by any means may be made therein, as well as to form such alterations as from experience shall be found necessary, the General Court which shall be in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five, shall issue precepts to the selectmen of the several towns, and to the assessors of the unincorporated plantations, directing them to convene the qualified voters of their respective towns and plantations, for the purpose of collecting their sentiments on the necessity or expediency of revising the Constitution, in order to amendments.
And if it shall appear, by the returns made, that two-thirds of the qualified voters throughout the State, who shall assemble and vote in consequence of the said precepts, are in favor of such revi. sion or amendment, the General Court shall issue precepts, or direct them to be issued from the Secretary's office, to the several towns, to elect delegates to meet in convention, for the purpose aforesaid.
The said delegates to be chosen in the same manner and proportion, as their representatives in the second branch of the Legislature are by this Constitution to be chosen.
11. This form of government shall be enrolled on parchment, and deposited in the Secretary's office, and be a part of the laws of the land: and printed copies thereof shall be prefixed to the book containing the laws of this commonwealth, in all future editions of the said laws.
AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION.
resolve shall be objected to, and not approved of by the Governor; and if the General Court shall adjourn within five days after the same shall have been laid before the Governor for his approbation, and thereby prevent his returning it, with his objections, as provided by the Constitution; such bill or resolve shall not become a law, nor have force as such.
2. The General Court shall have full power and authority to erect or constitute municipal or city governments in any corporate town or towns, in this commonwealth, and to grant to the inhabitants thereof such powers, privileges, and immunities, not repugnant to the Constitution, as the General Court shall deem necessary or expedient for the regulation and government thereof, and to prescribe the manner of calling and holding public meetings of the inhabitants in wards, or otherwise, for the election of officers, under the Constitution, and the manner of returning the votes given at such meetings : provided, that no such government shall be erected or constituted in any town not containing twelve thousand inhabitants, nor unless it be with the consent, and on the application of a majority of the inhabitants of such town, present, and voting thereon, pursuant to a vote at a meeting duly warned and holden for that purpose: and provided, also, that all by-laws, made by such municipal or city government, shall be subject, at all times, to be annulled by the General Court.
3. Every male citizen of twenty-one years of age, and upwards, (excepting paupers and persons under guardianship.) who shall have resided within the commonwealth one year, and within the town or district, in which he may claim a right to vote, six calendar months next preceding any election of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, senators, representatives, and who shall have paid, by himself or his parent, master or guardian, any State or county tax, which shall, within two years next preceding such election, have been assessed upon him, in any town or district of this commonwealth: and also overy citizen, who shall be by law exempt from taxation, and who shall be in all other respects qualified as above mentioned, shall have a right to vote in such election of Governor, and LieutenantGovernor, senators, and representatives; and no other person shall be entitled to a vote in such election.
4. Notaries public shall be appointed by the Governor, in the same manner as judicial officers are appointed, and shall hold their offices during seven years, unless sooner removed by the Governor, with the consent of the Council, and upon the address of both houses of the Legislature.
In case the office of Secretary or Treasurer of the commonwealth shall become vacant from any cause, during the recess of the General Court, the Governor, with the consent of the Council, shall nomipate and appoint, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, a competent and suitable person to such vacant offices, who shall hold the same until a successor shall be appointed by the General Court.
Whenever the exigencies of the commonwealth shall require the appointment of a Commissary-General, he shall be nominated, appointed, and commissioned, in such manner as the Legislature may by law prescribe.
All officers commissioned to command in the militia, may
moved from office in such manner as the Legislature may by law prescribe.
5. In the election of captains and subalterns of the militia, all the members of their respective companies, as well those under as those above the age of twenty-one years, shall have a right to vote.
6. Instead of the oath of allegiance, prescribed by the Constitution, the following oath shall be taken and subscribed by every person chosen or appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government of this commonwealth, before he shall enter upon the duties of his office, to wit:
“ I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the Constitution thereof. So help me God."
Provided, that when any person shall be of the denomination called Quakers, and shall decline taking said oath, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, omitting the word "swear," and inserting, instead thereof
, the word " affirm," and omitting the words " so help me God," and subjoining, instead thereof, the words “this I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."
7. No oath, declaration, or subscription, excepting the oath prescribed in the preceding article and the oath of office, shall be required of the Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, counselors, senators, or representatives, to qualify them to perform the duties of their respective ofiices.
8. No judge of any court of this commonwealth, (except the Court of Sessions, and no person holding any office under the authority of the United States, (postmasters excepted,) shall, at the same time, hold the office of Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, or counselor, or have a seat in the Senate or House of Representatives of this commonwealth; and no judge of any court of this commonwealth, (except the Court of Sessions,) nor the Attorney-General, Solicitor-General, county attorney, clerk of any court, sheriff, treasurer, and receiver-general, register of probate, nor register of deeds, shall continue to hold his said office after being elected a member of the Congress of the United States, and accepting that trust; but the acceptance of such trust, by any of the officers aforesaid, shall be deemed and taken to be a resignation of his said office; and judges of the courts of common pleas shall hold no other office under the government of this commonwealth, the office of the justice of the peace and militia officers excepted.
9. If, at any time hereafter, any specific and particular amend. ment or amendments to the Constitution be proposed in the General Court, and agreed to by a majority of the senators, and twothirds of the members of the House of Representatives present and voting thereon, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on the journals of the two houses, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the General Court then next to be chosen, and shall be published; and if, in the General Court then
next chosen, as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the senators and two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives present and voting thereon; then it shall be the duty of the General Gourt to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people, and if they shall be approved and ratified by a majority of the qualified voters voting thereon, at meetings legally warned and holden for that purpose, they shall become part of the Constitution of this commonwealth.
Article of Amendment adopted March 24, 1837, as the 12th Article
of the Constitution. In order to provide for a representation of the citizens of this commonwealth, founded upon the principles of equality, a census of the ratable polls in each city, town, and district of the commonwealth, on the first day of May, shall be taken and returned into the Secretary's office, in such manner as the Legislature shall provide, within the month of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, and in every tenth year thereafter in the month of May, in manner aforesaid; and each town or city having three hundred ratable polls at the last preceding decennial census of polls, may elect one representative, and for every four hundred and fifty ratable polls in addition to the first three hun. dred, one representative more.
Any town having less than three hundred ratable polls, shall be represented thus: the whole number of ratable polls, at the last preceding decennial census of polls, shall be multiplied by ten, and the product divided by three hundred, and such town may elect one representative as many years within ten years as three hundred is contained in the product aforesaid.
Any city or town having ratable polls enough to elect one or more representatives, with any number of polls beyond the neces. sary number, may be represented as to that surplus number by multiplying such surplus number by ten, and dividing the product by four hundred and fifty; and such city or town may elect one additional representative as many years within the ten years as four hundred and fifty is contained in the product aforesaid.
Any two or more of the several towns and districts may, by consent of a majority of the legal voters present at a legal meeting in each of said towns and districts respectively, called for that purpose and held previous to the first day of July, in the year in which the decennial census of polls shall be taken, form themselves into a representative district, to continue until the next decennial census of polls, for the election of a representative or representatives; and such district shall have all the rights, in regard to representation, which would belong to a town containing the same number of ratable polls.
The Governor and Council shall ascertain and determine, within the months of July and August, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven, according to the foregoing principles, the number of representatives which each city, town and representative district is entitled to elect, and the number of years within the period of ten years then next ensuing, that each city, town and representative district may elect an additional representative; and where any town has not a sufficient number of polls to elect a representative each year, then how many years within the ten years such town may elect a representative; and the same shall be done once in ten years thereafter, by the Governor and Council, and the number of ratable polls in each decennial census of polls, shall determine the number of representatives which each city, town and representative district may elect as aforesaid; and when the number of representatives, to be elected by each city, town or representative district, is ascertained or determined as aforesaid, the Governor shall cause the same to be published forthwith for the information of the people, and that number shall remain fixed and unalterable for the period of ten years.
All the provisions of the existing Constitution, inconsistent with the provisions herein contained, are hereby wholly annulled.
Article of Amendment, adopted April 17th, 1840, as the 13th Article of
the Constitution. A census of the inhabitants of each city and town, on the first day of May, shall be taken, and returned into the Seocetary's office, on or before the last day of June, of the year one thousand eight hundred and forty, and of every tenth year thereafter, which census shall determine the apportionment of senators and representatives for the term of ten years.
The several senatorial districts now existing, shall be permanent. The Senate shall consist of forty members; and in the year one thousand eight hundred and forty, and every tenth year thereafter, the Governor and Council shall assign the number of senators to be chosen in each district, according to the number of inhabitants in the same. But, in all cases, at least one senator shall be assigned to each district.
The members of the House of Representatives shall be apportioned in the following manner: every town or city containing twelve hundred inhabitants, may elect one representative; and two thousand four hundred inhabitants shall be the mean increasing number which shall entitle it to an additional representative.
Every town containing less than twelve hundred inhabitants, shall be entitled to elect a representative as many times, within ten years, as the number one hundred and sixty is contained in the number of the inhabitants of said town.
Such towns may also elect one representative for the year in