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this Constitution, every person shall be considered as an inhabitant (for the purpose of electing and being elected into any office or place within this state) in that town, district, or plantation, where he dwelleth or hath his home.
The selectmen of the several towns shall preside at such meetings impartially ; and shall receive the votes of all the inhabitants of such towns, present and qualified to vote for senators; and shall sort and count them in open town neet ing, and in presence of the town clerk, who shall make a fais record, in presence of the selectmen, and in open town meeting, of the name of every person voted for, and of the number of votes against his name ; and a fair copy of this record shall be attested by the selectmen and the town clerk, and shall be sealed up, directed to the secretary of the commonwealth for the time being, with a superscription, expressing the purports of the contents thereof, and delivered by the town clerk of such town to the sheriff of the county in which such town lies, thirty days at least before the last Wednesday in May, annually; or it shall be delivered into the secretary's office seventeen days at least before the said last Wednesday in May ; and the sheriff of each county shall deliver all such certificates by him received into the secretary's office, seventeen days before the said last Wednesday in May.
And the inhabitants of plantations unincorporated, (qualified as this Constitution provides,) who are or shall be empowered and required to assess taxes upon themselves, toward the support of government, shall have the same privilege of voting for counsellors and senators in the plantations where they reside, as town inhabitants have in their respective towns; and the plantation meetings for that purpose shall be held annually on the same first Monday in April, at such place in the plantations respectively as the assessors thereof shall direct; which assessors shall have like authority for notifying the electors, collecting and returning the votes, as the selectmen and town clerks have in their several towns, by this Constitution ; and all other persons, living in places unincorpora
l ted, (qualified as aforesaid, who shall be assessed to the support of government by the assessors of an adjacent town, shall have the privilege of giving in their votes for counsellors and senators in the town where they shall be assessed, and be notified of the place of meeting, by the selectmen of the town where they shall be assessed, tor that purpose, accordingly.
3. And that there may be a due convention of senators on the last Wednesday in May annually, the Governor and five of the council, for the time being, shall, as soon as niay be, examine the returned copies of such records ; and, fourteen days before the said day, he shall issue his summons to such persons as shall appear to be chosen by the majority of votes, to attend on that day and take their seats accordingly: provided, nevertheless, that, for the first year, the said returned copies shall be examined by the president and five of the council of the former Constitution of government: and the said president shall, in like manner, issue his summons to the persons so elected, that they may take their seats as aforesaid.
4. The Senate shall be the final judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of their own members, as pointed out in the Constitution; and shall, on the said last Wednesday in May, annually, determine and declare who are elected by each district, to be senators, by a majority of votes: and in case there shall not appear to be the full number of senators returned, elected by a majori. ty of votes for any district, the deficiency shall be supplied in the following manner, viz.: The members of the House of Representatives, and such senators as shall be declared elected, shall take the names of such persons as shall be found to have the highest number of votes in such district, and not elected, amounting to twice the number of senators wanting, if there be so many voted for; and out of these shall elect, by ballot, a number of senators sufficient to fill up the vacancies in such district; and in this manner all such vacancies shall be filled in every district of the commonwealth : and, in like manner, cancies in the Senate, arising by death, removal out of the state, or otherwise, shall be supplied as soon as may be after such vacancies shall happen :
5. Provided, nevertheless, that no person shall be capable of being elected a senator, who is not seized in his own right of a freehold within this commonwealth of the
value of three hundred pounds at least, or possessed of per. sonal estate to the value of six hundred pounds at least, or of both to the amount of the same sum; and who has not been an inhabitant of this commonwealth for the space of five years immediately preceding his election ; and at the time of his election he shall be an inhabitant in the district for which he shall be chosen.
6. The Senate shall have power to adjourn themselves, provided such adjournments do not exceed two days at a time.
7. The Senate shall choose its own president, appoint its own officers, and determine its own rules of proceedings.
8. The Senate shall be a court with full authority to hear and determine all impeachments made by the House of Representatives, against any officer or officers of the commonwealth, for misconduct, and maladministration in their offices. But, previous to the trial of every impeachment, the members of the Senate shall respectively be sworn, truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence. Their judgment, however, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold or enjoy any place of honor, trust, or profit, under this commonwealth : but the party so convicted shall be, nevertheless, liable to impeachment, trial, judgment, and punishment, according to the laws of the land.
9. Not less than sixteen members of the Senate shall constitute a quorum for doing business.
SECTION 3.-House of Representatives.
Article 1. There shall be, in the legislature of this commonwealth, a representation of the people, annually elected, and founded upon the principle of equality.
2. And in order to provide for a representation of the citizens of this commonwealth, founded on the prirciples of equality, every corporate town containing one hundred and fifty ratable polls may elect one representative ; every corporate town containing three hundred and seventy
five ratable polls may elect two representatives : every corporate town containing six hundred ratable polls, may elect three representatives; and proceeding in that mauner, making two hundred and twenty-five ratable polls the mean increasing number for every additional representative :
Provided, nevertheless, that each town now incorporated, not having one hundred and fifty ratable polls, may elect one representative. But no place shall hereafter be incorporated with the privilege of electing a representative, unless there are, within the same, one hundred and fifty ratable polls.
And the House of Representatives shall have power, from time to time, to impose fines upon such towns as shall neglect to choose and return members to the same, agreeably to this Constitution.
The expenses of travelling to the general assembly, and returning home, once in every session, and no more, shall be paid by the government, out of the public treasury, to every member who shall attend as seasonably as he can, in the judgment of the House, and does not depart without leave.
3. Every member of the House of Representatives shall be chosen by written votes ; and for one year at least next preceding his election shall have been an inhabitant of, and have been seized in his own right of a freehold of the value of one hundred pounds within the town he shall be chosen to represent, or any ratable estate, to the value of two hundred pounds ; and he shall cease to represent the said town immediately on his ceasing to be qualified as aforesaid.
4. Every male person (being twenty-one years of age, and resident of any particular town in this commonwealth, for the space of one year next preceding) having a freehold estate within the same town, of the annual income of three pounds, or any estate of the value of sixty pounds, shall have a right to vote in the choice of a representative, or representatives for the said town.
5. The members of the House of Representatives shall be chosen annually, in the month of May, ten days, at .east, before the last Wednesday of that month.
6. The House of Representatives shall be the grand inquest of this commonwealth ; and all impeachments, made by them, shall be heard and tried by the Senate.
7. All money bills shall originate in the House of Representatives : but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.
8. The House of Representatives shall have power to adjourn themselves ; provided such adjournment shall not exceed two days at a time.
9. Not less than sixty members of the House of Repre. sentatives shall constitute a quorum for doing business.
10. The House of Representatives shall be the judge of the returns, elections, and qualifications of its own members, as pointed out in the constitution ; shall choose their own speaker; appoint their own officers, and settle their rules and orders of proceeding in their own house. They shall have authority to punish, by imprisonment, every person (not a member) who shall be guilty of disrespect to the House, by any disorderly or contemptuous behavior'in its presence; or who, in the town where the general court is sitting, shall threaten harm to the body or estate of any of its members, for any thing said or done in the House ; or who shall assault any of them therefor; or who shall assault or arrest any witness or other person, ordered to attend the House in his way in going or returning; or who shall rescue any person arrested by the order of the House.
And no member of the House of Representatives shall be arrested or held to bail on mesne process, during his going into, returning from, or his attending the general assembly
11. The Senate have the same powers in the like cases; and the Governor and Council shall have the same authority to punish in like cases : provided, that no imprisonment, on the warrant or order of the Governcr, Council, Senate, or House of Representatives, for either of the above described offences, be for a term exceeding ihirty days.
And the Senate and House of Representatives may try and determine all cases where their rights and privileges