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tion of freemen.
hereby have full power granted them, to admit so many white persons, inhabitants of their respective towns, free
men thereof, as shall be qualified according to this act. Qualifica- Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That no person
shall be permitted to vote or act as a freeman in any town-meeting in this State, but such only who is an inhabitant therein, and who at the time of such his voting and acting is really and truly possessed, in his own proper right, of a real estate within this State, to the full value of one hundred and thirty-four dollars, or which shall rent for seven dollars per annum, being an estate in fee simple, fee tail, or an estate in reversion which qualifies no other person to be a freeman, or at least an estate for a person's own life, or the eldest son of such a freeholder: Provided however, that the yearly value of such life estate, shall exceed the amount of the rent reserved (if any) by the sum of
seven dollars per annum. Mortgagee Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That no person whose in posses: estate is under mortgage, and the mortgagee is in posses
sion of such estate, either by suit at law, or by consent of the mortgagor as prescribed by statute, shall be admitted to vote in the election of any officer in this State, or be capable of acting as a freeman therein; but the mortgagee having possession of the land as aforesaid, shall be admit
ted to vote in the election of officers, if he is in other reProviso. spects qualified : Provided, that no mortgagor, the mort
of whose estate shall hereafter be executed at the time of the conveyance of said estate by the mortgagee to the said mortgagor, or within twelve months thereafter, shall be permitted to vote on his estate under mortgage while in his possession, unless his interest in the said estate shall exceed the sum of one hundred and thirty-four dollars, over and above all sums secured by mortgage
therein. No person Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That where any person to be admitted free
hath been admitted free of this State, or of any town there
in, in right of his wife's dower; or by having a real estate dower, &c.
in reversion which qualifies any other person to vote, or by having a house or houses, or any other building or buildings, standing or being on land which doth not really and truly belong to the person or persons so admitted, in fee simple, fee tail, or for life, but belongs to some other person or persons, or is only hired for a limited term of years, the admission of all such persons to be freemen is hereby declared to be utterly null and void ; and such persons are
on his wife's
hereby declared incapable of voting for any officer in this State, notwithstanding such their admission.
Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That every person (ex- No person cepting the eldest son of a freeholder who is a freeman) to be made
free unless before his admission to be a freeman shall be propounded he has at least three months in open town-meeting; and no per- be
pounded son shall stand propounded to be made free but such on-three ly who at the time of his being propounded is really pos- months. sessed of such an estate as is above described, the deed Deed to be or other conveyance whereof shall be recorded, and also be producproduced in open town-meeting at the time of his being u. propounded; and the town-clerk shall make record of Clerk to every person who shall be propounded; and every per- se son standing upon any town-clerk's books as propound-pounded. ed who is not qualified as aforesaid, shall have no notice taken of such propounding, but the same shall be void.
Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That if any person in Votes may this State shall attempt to vote for any officer in any town- be chal
lenged. meeting, and shall be suspected not to be qualified with respect to the sufficiency or value of his estate as aforesaid, it shall and may be lawful for any freeman to inform the moderator thereof, and to insist that such vote be not received, except the person suspected will first declare on oath or solemn affirmation, to be administered to him Party to
: swear to by said moderator, that he is really and bona fide quali- his can fied with sufficient estate, as is required by this act: and cation. that if any moderator shall receive and admit the vote of Moderator any person suspected and challenged as aforesaid, with- receiving
certain out his first giving his oath or affirmation as is before re- votes to be quired, such moderator shall be liable to such penalty and fined, &c. to be recovered in such manner as is herein after directed: and that any person who shall be challenged as aforesaid, in any town-meeting, and shall be admitted to vote making for that time upon his making oath agreeably to law, shall not be allowed to vote afterwards on said estate, unless he vote aftershall produce a proper certificate of his being qualified wards, &c. according to law, from the persons appointed to appraise real estates in such cases.
Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That if any person shall Penalty hereafter presume to make and execute any deed or oth- for mak
ing, &c. er conveyance of any estate with a dishonest intent, only fraudulent to qualify the person to whom such deed or other instru- deed. ment shall be made to be a voter, and shall take any promise or assurance for reconveying such estate to him, and he thereof convicted before the justices of the supreme
judical court, within and for this State, who are hereby empowered, upon indictment, to enquire into the same, upon conviction thereof, such person shall, together with the person who received such fraudulent deed, be declared by said court to be utterly incapable, forever thereafter,
of sustaining any office, and of voting for any officer, in this Persons State: and that if any person shall be prosecuted for makprofecuted ing or receiving such fraudulent deed or conveyance as
aforesaid, the person who gave, and the person who redeeds to ceived the same, shall purge themselves by oath or solemn
affirmation of the said crime; and if he or they shall reselves by fuse so to do, he or they shall be adjudged guilty, and sen
tence shall be given accordingly; and the following shall be the form of the oath or affirmation to be administered to the person who received such suspected fraudulent
deed, to wit: Oath of You — do solemnly swear (or affirm) that you are him who is suspected really and truly possessed, in your own right, of the estate to have re- of which a conveyance is made to you by — accordfraudulent ing to the tenor of the said conveyance; and that you deed. now hold and improve the same, to your own use, bene
fit and behoof; and that you have not given any promise or assurance, of any nature or kind whatsoever, that you will reconvey said estate to the said
or to any other person in his behalf; and this declaration you make without any evasion, equivocation or mental reservation whatsoever: so help you God! or this affirmation you make and give upon peril of the penalty of perjury.
And the following shall be the form of the oath or affirmation to be administered to the person who made and executed such suspected fraudulent deed, to wit: You
do solemnly swear (or affirm) that the conveyance deed. by you made to is a just, true and honest convey
ance, and that you did intend thereby to vest in the said
such an estate as is expressed in the said instrument, for the consideration therein mentioned ; and that
you have not received any promise or assurance, of any nature or kind whatsoever, for the reconveying of the said estate to yourself, or any other person for your use; and this declaration you make without any evasion, equivocation or mental reservation whatsoever: so help you God! or this affirmation you make and give upon peril of the
penalty of perjury. Votes of
Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That if any person persons shall attempt to vote for any officer in any town-meeting
Oath of him who gave the
in this State, who shall be suspected of being qualified in suspected
of such a fraudulent manner, it shall and may be lawful for any fraudulent freeman to inform the moderator or person presiding at qualificasuch meeting thereof, and to insist that his vote be not be chal
+tions may received, unless the person suspected shall first purge lenged. himself by oath or solemn affirmation of and from such suspicion; and that the said oath or affirmation be ad
Suspected ministered by the moderator according to the first form persons to of the oath in this act, namely, the same which is direct- make
oath. ed to be taken by such person as shall be prosecuted for receiving a fraudulent deed; and if any person so suspected and challenged shall refuse to take the said oath or affirmation, his vote shall not be received: Provided Proviso. however, that no person shall be required to make oath or affirmation, as aforesaid, more than once in the same year in town-meeting in respect to the same conveyance. Sec. 9. And be it further enacted, That no person shall No person
to vote for be admitted to vote for any town officer, unless he be town offipossessed of an estate in the town where he lives, suffi- cers but
freehold cient to qualify him agreeably to this act, or be the eldest ers of the son of such a freeholder; and if any person shall remove town. from one town and settle in another, and shall produce a certificate from the town-clerk of the town from whence he removed, that he was a freeman in said town, he shall be entitled to all the privileges of a freeman in the town to which he hath removed, without being propounded anew, provided he hath a freehold estate in such town where he then resides, sufficient to qualify him to be a freeman.
Sec. 10. And be it further enacted, That any person whose Who may estate lies out of the town where he lives, shall be admit- general ofted to vote for any general officer in the town where he ficers. lives, provided he shall have resided therein for the space of three months next preceding the time of such vote; and shall, at the time of his voting, produce a certificate, which shall be lodged with the town-clerk, bearing date within ten days of the town-meeting at which he votes, under the hand of the town-clerk of the town where his estate lies, setting forth that he hath at least a freehold estate therein, and that he has been regularly admitted a freeman of said town.
Sec. 11. And be it further enacted, That if any dispute Disputes shall arise concerning the value of any freehold or other the estate under this act, the same shall for that time be de- of estates,
votes fined in case.
how deter. termined by the oath or affirmation of the party claiming
to vote; such oath or affirmation to be administered by the moderator; but said party shall not be allowed to vote afterwards thereon, unless the value thereof shall have been determined by three persons, or any two of them, (under oath or affirmation, to be annually appointed by
the town-meeting of each town for that purpose; and in make re- case of dispute as aforesaid, the clerk of the town shall
*. make record how the value of the estate was determined. Penalty Sec. 12. And be it further enacted, That if any person for voting shall put in a vote for any general officer or officers, or without being shall vote for any other officer, in any town in this State, qualified. not being qualified according to this act, such person so
voting or putting in his vote shall forfeit and pay the sum
of sixty dollars; and the moderator of the meeting, or Moderator
ncor other person appointed to receive the votes, who shall rechallenged ceive such vote after the person offering the same hath
e been publicly challenged by a freeman of said town, either for insufficiency of estate, or for fraudulent practices in procuring himself to be qualified, and shall not have conformed himself to the regulations herein required in such cases, shall forfeit and pay the sum of sixty dollars for each and every offence by him committed ;
and such votes for general officers shall be thrown out at
the vote of any qualified voter, shall also forfeit the sum
and if any person really qualified to vote shall fraudulentson fraa- ly put in more than one vote, such vote shall be thrown dulently
in out, and such person shall forfeit and pay the sum of sixty more than dollars, and be excluded from voting for any office in this one vote to be finca, State for the space of three years from the time of con&c. viction. Town
Sec. 13. And be it further enacted, That the town-meet-
be put in on any other day than the aforementioned third