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Sec. 10. If the offices of governor and lieutenant-governor be both vacant, by reason of death, resignation, impeachment, absence, or otherwise, the person entitled to preside over the senate for the time being, shall in like manner fill the office of governor during such absence or vacancy.
Sec. 11. The compensation of the governor and lieutenantgovernor shall be established by law, and shall not be diminished during the term for which they are elected.
Sec. 12. The duties and powers of the secretary, attorney-general, and general treasurer, shall be the same under this constitution as are now established, or as from time to time may
prescribed by law.
Of Elections. Sec. 1. The governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, representatives, secretary of state, attorney-general, and general treasurer, shall be elected at the town, city or ward meetings, to be holden on the first Wednesday of April
, annually; and shall severally hold their offices for one year, from the first Tuesday of May next succeeding, and until others are legally chosen, and duly qualified to fill their places. If elected or qualified after the said first Tuesday of May, they shall hold their offices for the remainder of the political year, and until their successors are qualified to act.
Sec. 2. The voting for governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, attorney-general, general treasurer, and representative to congress, shall be by ballot; senators and representatives to the general assembly, and town or city officers, shall be chosen by ballot, on demand of any seven persons entitled to vote for the same; and in all cases where an election is made by ballot or paper vote, the manner of balloting shall be the same as is now required in voting for general officers, until otherwise prescribed by law.
SEC. 3. The names of the persons voted for as governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, attorney-general, and general treasurer shall be placed upon one ticket; and all votes for these officers shall, in open town or ward meetings, be sealed up by the moderators and town clerks and by the wardens and ward clerks, who shall certify the same and deliver or send them to the secretary of state ; whose duty it shall be securely to keep and deliver the same to the grand committee, after the organization of the two houses at the annual May session; and it shall be the duty of the two houses at said session, after their organization, upon the request of either house, to join in grand committee, for the purpose of counting and declaring said votes, and of electing other officers. Sec. 4. The town and ward clerks shall also keep a correct list or register of all persons voting for general officers, and shall transmit a copy thereof to the general assembly, on or before the first day of said May session.
Sec. 5. The ballots for senators and representatives in the several towns shall, in each case after the polls are declared to be closed, be counted by the moderator, who shall announce the result, and the clerk shall give certificates to the persons elected. If, in any case, there be no election, the polls may be re-opened, and the like proceedings shall be had until an election shall take place: Provided, however, that an adjournment or adjournments of the election may be made to a time not exceeding seven days from the first meeting
SEC. 6. In the city of Providence, the polls for senator and representatives shall be kept open during the whole time of voting for the day, and the votes in the several wards shall be sealed up at the close of the meeting by the wardens and ward clerks in open ward meeting, and afterwards delivered to the city clerk. The mayor and aldermen shall proceed to count said votes within two days from the day of election; and if no election of senator and representatives, or if an election of only a portion of the representatives shall have taken place, the mayor and aldermen shall order a new election, to be held not more than ten days from the day of the first election and so on until the election shall be completed. Certificates of election, shall be furnished by the city clerk to the persons chosen.
Sec. 7. If no person shall have a majority of votes for governor, it shall be the duty of the grand committee to elect one by ballot from the two persons having the highest number of votes for the office, except when such a result is produced by rejecting the entire vote of any town, city or ward for informality or illegality, in which case a new election by the electors throughout the state shall be ordered; and in case no person shall have a majority of votes for lieutenant-governor, it shall be the duty of the grand committee to elect one by ballot from the two persons having the highest number of votes for the office.
SEC. 8. In case an election of the secretary of state, attorney general, or general treasurer, should fail to be made by the electors at the annual election, the vacancy or vacancies shall be filled by the general assembly in grand committee, from the two candidates for such office having the greatest number of the votes of the electors. Or, in case of a vacancy in either of said offices from other causes, between the sessions of the general assembly, the governor shall appoint some person to fill the same until a successor elected by the general assembly is qualified to act; and in such case, and also in all other cases of vacancies, not otherwise provided for, the general assembly may fill the same in any manner they may deem proper.
Sec. 9. Vacancies from any cause in the senate or house of representatives, may be filled by a new election.
Sec. 10. In all elections held by the people, under this constitution, a majority of all the electors voting shall be necessary to the election of the persons voted for.
Of Qualifications for Office. Sec. 1. No person shall be eligible to any civil office, (except the office of school committee, unless he be a qualified elector for such office.
SEC. 2. Every person shall be disqualified from holding any office to which he may have been elected, if he be convicted of having offered, or procured any other person to offer, any bribe to secure his election, or the election of any other person.
Sec. 3. All general officers shall take the following engagement before they act in their respective offices, to wit: You being, by the free vote of the electors of this state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, elected unto the place of do solemnly swear (or affirm) to be true and faithful unto this state, and to support the constitution of this state and of the United States; that you will faithfully and impartially discharge all the duties of your aforesaid office to the best of your abilities, according to law: So help you God. Or, this affirmation you make and give upon the peril of the penalty of perjury.
Sec. 4. The members of the general assembly, the judges of all the courts, and all other officers, both civil and military, shall be bound by oath or affirmation to support this constitution, and the constitution of the United States.
SEC. 5. The oath or affirmation shall be administered to the governor, lieutenant-governor, senators and representatives, by the secretary of state, or, in his absence, by the attorney-general. The secretary of state, attorney-general, and general treasurer, shall be engaged by the governor, or by a justice of the supreme court.
Sec. 6. No person holding any office under the government of the United States, or of any other state or country, shall act as a general officer, or as a member of the general assembly, unless at the time of taking his engagement he shall have resigned his office under such government; and if any general officer, senator, representative, or judge, shall, after his election and engagement, accept any appointment under any other government, his office under this shall be immediately vacated; but this restriction shall not apply to any person appointed to take depositions or acknowledgment of deeds, or other legal instruments, by the authority of any other state or country.
Of the Judicial Power. SEC. 1. The judicial power of this state shall be vested in one supreme court, and in such inferior courts as the general assembly may, from time to time, ordain and establish.
SEC. 2. The several courts shall have such jurisdiction as may from time to time be prescribed by law. Chancery powers may be conferred on the supreme court, but on no other court to any greater extent than is now provided by law.
SEC. 3. The judges of the supreme court shall, in all trials, instruct the jury in the law. They shall also give their written opinion upon any question of law whenever requested by the governor, or by either house of the general assembly.
Sec. 4. The judges of the supreme court shall be elected by the two houses in grand committee. Each judge shall hold his office until his place be declared vacant by a resolution of the general assembly to that effect; which resolution shall be voted for by a majority of all the members elected to the house in which it may originate, and be concurred in by the same majority of the other house. Such resolution shall not be entertained at any other than the annual session for the election of public officers; and in default of the passage thereof at said session, the judge shall hold his place as is herein provided. But a judge of any court shall be removed from office if, upon impeachment, he shall be found guilty of any official misdemeanor.
Sec. 5. In case of vacancy by death, resignation, removal from the state or from office, refusal or inability to serve, of any judge of the supreme court, the office may be filled by the grand committee, until the next annual election, and the judge then elected shall hold his office as before provided. In cases of impeachment, or temporary absence, or inability, the governor may appoint a person to discharge the duties of the office during the vacancy caused thereby.
Sec. 6. The judges of the supreme court shall receive a compensation for their services, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.
Sec. 7. The towns of New Shoreham and Jamestown may continue to elect their wardens as heretofore. The other towns and the city of Providence may elect such number of justices of the peace, resident therein, as they may deem proper. The jurisdiction of said justices and wardens shall be regulated by law. The justices shall be commissioned by the governor.
Of Impeachments. Sec. 1. The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. A vote of two thirds of all the members elected shall be required for an impeachment of the governor. Any officer impeached shall thereby be suspended from office until judgment in the case shall have been pronounced.
Sec. 2. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate; and, when sitting for that purpose, they shall be under oath or affirmation. No person shall be convicted except by vote of two thirds of the members elected. When the governor is impeached, the chief or presiding justice of the supreme court, for the time being, shall preside, with a casting vote in all preliminary questions.
Sec. 3. The governor and all other executive and judicial officers shall be liable to impeachment; but judgment in such cases shall not extend further than to removal from office. The person convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable to indictment, trial, and 'punishment, according to law.
Of Education. Sec. 1. The diffusion of knowledge, as well as of virtue, among the people, being essential to the preservation of their rights and liberties, it shall be the duty of the general assembly to promote public schools, and to adopt all means which they may deem necessary and proper to secure to the people the advantages and opportunities of education.
SEC. 2. The money which now is, or which may hereafter be appropriated by law for the establishment of a permanent fund for the support of public schools, shall be securely invested, and remain a perpetual fund for that purpose.
Sec. 3. All donations for the support of public schools or for other purposes of education, which may be received by the general assembly, shall be applied according to the terms prescribed by the donors.