Sidor som bilder

Art. 7. Sect. 1.


the following oath or affirmation: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey and defend the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of this commonwealth, and that I will discharge the duties of my office with fidelity; that I have not paid or contributed, or promised to pay or contribute, either directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing, to procure my nomination or election (or appointment), except for necessary and proper expenses expressly authorized by law; that I have not knowingly violated any election law of this commonwealth, or procured it to be done by others in my behalf; that I will not knowingly receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing for the performance or non-performance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law."

135. The foregoing oath shall be administered by some person authorized to How administered. administer oaths, and in the case of state officers and judges of the supreme court, shall be filed in the office of the secretary of the commonwealth, and in the case of other judicial and county officers, in the office of the prothonotary of the county in which the same is taken; any person refusing to take said oath or affirmation, shall forfeit his office; and any person who shall be convicted of having sworn or affirmed falsely, or of having violated said oath or affirmation, shall be guilty of perjury, and be forever disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit within this commonwealth. The oath to the members of the senate and house of representatives, shall be administered by one of the judges of the supreme court, or of a court of common pleas learned in the law, in the hall of the house to which the members shall be elected.

Art. 8. Sect. 1.

Qualifications of electors.

Art. 8. Sect. 2. General elections.

Art. 8. Sect. 8.

Municipal elections.

Art. 8. Sect. 4.

Election by ballot.

Art. 8. Sect. 5. Privileges of electors.

Art. 8. Sect. 6. Elections by persons in the military service.



136. Every male citizen, twenty-one years of age, possessing the following qualifications, shall be entitled to vote at all elections:(s)

I. He shall have been a citizen of the United States at least one month. II. He shall have resided in the state one year (or if, having previously been a qualified elector or native-born citizen of the state, he shall have removed therefrom and returned, then six months) immediately preceding the election.

III. He shall have resided in the election district where he shall offer to vote at least two months immediately preceding the election.(†)

IV. If twenty-two years of age or upwards, he shall have paid, within two years, a state or county tax, which shall have been assessed at least two months, and paid at least one month before the election.(u)

137. The general election shall be held annually on the Tuesday next following the first Monday of November; but the general assembly may by law fix a different day, two-thirds of all the members of each house consenting thereto.

138. All elections for city, ward, borough and township officers, for regular terms of service, shall be held on the third Tuesday of February.(v)

139. All elections by the citizens shall be by ballot. Every ballot voted shall be numbered in the order in which it shall be received, and the number recorded by the election officers on the list of voters, opposite the name of the elector who presents the ballot. Any elector may write his name upon his ticket, or cause the same to be written thereon, and attested by a citizen of the district. The election officers shall be sworn or affirmed not to disclose how any elector shall have voted, unless required to do so as witnesses in a judicial proceeding.

140. Electors shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach or surety of the peace, be privileged from arrest, during their attendance on elections, and in going to and returning therefrom.

141. Whenever any of the qualified electors of this commonwealth shall be in actual military service, under a requisition from the president of the United States, or by the authority of this commonwealth, such electors may exercise the right of suffrage, in all elections by the citizens, under such regulations as are or shall be prescribed by law, as fully as if they were present at their usual places of election. 142. All laws regulating the holding of elections by the citizens or for the Election laws to be registration of electors, shall be uniform throughout the state; but no elector shall be deprived of the privilege of voting by reason of his name not being registered.

Art. 8. Sect. 7.


v. Harris, 1 Binn. 416. It is the duty of the court, to declare an act of assembly to be void, if it be a manifest breach of the constitution. Eakin v. Raub, 12 S. & R. 330. But nothing short of that will justify them in so doing. Pennsylvania Railroad Co. v. Riblet, 66 P. S. 164. Commonwealth v. Butler, 99 Ibid.


(8) No constitutional qualification of a voter can be abridged, added to, or altered, by legislation. Page v. Allen, 58 P. S. 338. McCafferty v. Guyer, 59 Ibid. 109. Thompson v. Ewing, 1 Brewst. 103. State v. Adams, 2 Stew. 239. The act 2 July 1839, section

117, making it the duty of officers of election to reject the votes of persons who have made wagers on the result, is unconstitutional. Clothier's Application, 2 Chest. 355.

(t) See Fry's Case, 71 P. S. 302. Lower Oxford Election, 11 Phila. 641. Anon., 10 Ibid. 213. Murray's Petition, 5 W. N. C. 9.

(u) It must have been assessed upon the elector individually; but, it seems, that it is not required that it should be a poll-tax. Catlin v. Smith, 2 S. & R. 267. And see Thompson v. Ewing, 1 Brewst. 102-3. (v) Commonwealth v. McCarthy, 3 W. N. C. 477.

Art. S. Sect. 8.

Penalty for

143. Any person who shall give, or promise, or offer to give, to an elector, any money, reward, or other valuable consideration, for his vote at an election, or for withholding the same, or who shall give, or promise to give, such consideration to bribery. any other person or party, for such elector's vote, or for the withholding thereof, and any elector who shall receive, or agree to receive, for himself or for another, any money, reward or other valuable consideration for his vote at an election, or for withholding the same, shall thereby forfeit the right to vote at such election; and any elector whose right to vote shall be challenged for such cause, before the election officers, shall be required to swear or affirm that the matter of the challenge is untrue, before his vote shall be received.

144. Any person who shall, while a candidate for office, be guilty of bribery, Art. 8. Sect. 9. fraud or wilful violation of any election law, (w) shall be forever disqualified from Penalty for violaholding an office of trust or profit in this commonwealth; and any person con- tions of the elecvicted of wilful violation of the election laws, shall, in addition to any penalties tion laws. provided by law, be deprived of the right of suffrage absolutely, for a term of four years.(x)

145. In trials of contested elections, and in proceedings for the investigation of Art. 8. Sect. 10. elections, no person shall be permitted to withhold his testimony, upon the ground witnesses in conthat it may criminate himself, or subject him to public infamy; but such testimony tested elections. shall not afterwards be used against him, in any judicial proceeding, except for perjury in giving such testimony.

Election districts.

146. Townships, and wards of cities or boroughs, shall form or be divided into Art. 8. Sect. 11. election districts of compact and contiguous territory, in such manner as the court of quarter sessions of the city or county in which the same are located may direct: but districts in cities of over one hundred thousand inhabitants shall be divided by the courts of quarter sessions, having jurisdiction therein, whenever, at the next preceding election, more than two hundred and fifty votes shall have been polled therein; and other election districts, whenever the court of the proper county shall be of opinion, that the convenience of the electors and the public interests will be Art. 8. Sect. 12. promoted thereby.(y)

Art. 8. Sect. 18.

Residence of

147. All elections by persons in a representative capacity shall be vivâ voce. 148. For the purpose of voting, no person shall be deemed to have gained a residence, by reason of his presence, or lost it, by reason of his absence, while employed in the service, either civil or military, of this state or of the United electors. States, nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of the state or of the United States, or on the high seas, nor while a student of any institution of learning, nor while kept in any poor-house or other asylum, at public expense, nor while confined in public prison.(z)

Election officers.

149. District election boards shall consist of a judge and two inspectors, who Art. 8. Sect. 14. shall be chosen annually by the citizens. Each elector shall have the right to vote for the judge and one inspector, and each inspector shall appoint one clerk. The first election board for any new district shall be selected, and vacancies in election boards filled, as shall be provided by law. Election officers shall be privileged from arrest, upon days of election, and while engaged in making up and transmitting returns, except upon warrant of a court of record or judge thereof, for an election fraud, for felony, or for wanton breach of the peace. In cities, they may claim exemption from jury duty, during their terms of service.


150. No person shall be qualified to serve as an election officer, who shall hold, Art. 8. Sect. 15. or shall, within two months, have held any office, appointment or employment in or under the government of the United States or of this state, or of any city or county, or of any municipal board, commission or trust, in any city, save only justices of the peace and aldermen, notaries public, and persons in the militia service of the state; nor shall any election officer be eligible to any civil office, to be filled at an election at which he shall serve, save only to such subordinate municipal or local offices, below the grade of city or county offices, as shall be designated by general law.

Overseers of

151. The courts of common pleas of the several counties of the commonwealth Art. 8. Sect. 16. shall have power, within their respective jurisdictions, to appoint overseers of elections, to supervise the proceedings of election officers, and to make report to elections. the court as may be required; such appointments to be made for any district in a city or county, upon petition of five citizens, lawful voters of such election district, setting forth that such appointment is a reasonable precaution to secure the purity and fairness of elections; overseers shall be two in number, for an election district, shall be residents therein, and shall be persons qualified to serve upon election boards, and in each case, members of different political parties; whenever the members of an election board shall differ in opinion, the overseers, if they shall be agreed thereon, shall decide the question of difference; in appointing overseers of

(2) The act 8 June 1881, to prevent bribery in nominating conventions, is an election law within this section. Leonard v. Commonwealth, 112 P. S. 607. (x) Commonwealth v. Walter, 83 P. S. 105.

(y) Dauphin Co. Election, 11 Phila. 645. The act 14 May 1874, prescribing the manner of dividing boroughs into wards, is not in conflict with this section. Eighth Ward of Norristown, 19 W. N. C. 510.

(z) Lower Oxford Election, 11 Phila. 641.

Art. 8. Sect. 16. election, all the law judges of the proper court, able to act at the time, shall concur in the appointments made.

Art. 8. Sect. 17. Trial of contested elections.

Art. 9. Sect. 1. Taxation to be uniform.

Art. 9. Sect. 2. Exemptions.

Art. 9. Sect. 3. Power to tax corporations.

Art. 9. Sect. 4. State debt.

Art. 9. Sect. 5. Public loans.

Art. 9. Sect. 6.

be pledged.

Art. 9. Sect. 7.

152. The trial and determination of contested elections of electors of president and vice-president, members of the general assembly, and of all public officers, whether state, judicial, municipal or local, shall be by the courts of law, or by one or more of the law judges thereof; (a) the general assembly shall, by general law, designate the courts and judges by whom the several classes of election contests shall be tried, and regulate the manner of trial, and all matters incident thereto; but no such law assigning jurisdiction, or regulating its exercise, shall apply to any contest arising out of an election held before its passage.



153. All taxes shall be uniform upon the same class of subjects, within the territorial limits of the authority levying the tax, (b) and shall be levied and collected under general laws; (c) but the general assembly may, by general laws, exempt from taxation public property used for public purposes, actual places of religious worship, (d) places of burial not used or held for private or corporate profit, and institutions of purely public charity.(e)

154. All laws exempting property from taxation, other than the property above enumerated, shall be void.(g)

155. The power to tax corporations and corporate property shall not be surrendered or suspended, by any contract or grant to which the state shall be a party.

156. No debt shall be created by or on behalf of the state, except to supply casual deficiencies of revenue, repel invasion, suppress insurrection, defend the state in war, or to pay existing debt; and the debt created to supply deficiencies in revenue, shall never exceed, in the aggregate, at any one time, one million of dollars.

157. All laws authorizing the borrowing of money by and on behalf of the state, shall specify the purpose for which the money is to be used; and the money so borrowed shall be used for the purpose specified, and no other.

158. The credit of the commonwealth shall not be pledged or loaned to any State credit not to individual, company, corporation or association; nor shall the commonwealth become a joint owner or stockholder in any company, association or corporation. 159. The general assembly shall not authorize any county, city, borough, townMunicipalities not ship or incorporated district to become a stockholder in any company, association or corporation, or to obtain or appropriate money for, or to loan its credit to, any corporation, association, institution or individual. (h)

to become stockholders in corporations, &c.

(a) It was held in Ex parte Braun, 22 Pitts. L. J. 201, that this clause, in connection with the act of 19 May, 1875, abrogated the provision in the charter of the city of Pittsburgh, that the councils should be the judges of the election of their own members.

(b) This provision did not execute itself, but was mandatory on the legislature to enact general laws to carry it into effect. Lehigh Iron Co. v. Lower Macungie, 81 P. S. 482. Rush's Appeal, 10 W. N. C. 498. Bank of Scranton v. Walsh, 4 Luz. L. Reg. 110. It did not mean, that the property should be separated from the owners, or that property, not owners, should be taxed. Kittanning Coal Co. v. Commonwealth, 79 P. S. 100. Therefore, an act taxing coal companies on their franchises, according to the amount of coal mined, is constitutional. Ibid. Pennsylvania Coal Co. v. Commonwealth, 32 L. I. 336; s. c. 2 Pears. 102. And see Huidekoper v. Meadville, 33 P. S. 156. This prohibits an income tax. Bauger's Appeal, 16 W. N. C. 289. This section does not prohibit local assessments for benefits. Howard v. City, 38 P. L. J. 87. Woodward v. City, 4 Kulp 125. An ordinance imposing license taxes, varying in amounts, upon different kinds of industries, is not in conflict with this section. Hadtner v. City, 15 W. N. C. 138; the legislature still has the power to classify the subjects of taxation. Roup's Case, 32 Sm. 211. This section did not execute itself; prior local laws were not hereby ipso facto repealed. Ruth's Appeal, 10 W. N. C. 498. The following acts have been held not to be in conflict with this section: Act 7 June 1879, section 4, making corporations liable to taxation on their capital stock, in Comm'th v. Electric Light Co., 7 C. C. 90; act 30 June 1885, section 4, assessing a tax upon the nominal value of corporate loans, to be deducted from the interest, in Improvement Co. v. Jennings, 127 P. S. 397; Comm'th v. Railroad Co., 129 P. S. 429, 458, 460; Comm'th v. Coal Co., Ibid.

461; act 10 June 1881, prohibiting peddling without a license, in Kneeland v. City, 11 Atlan. 657; act 23 May 1889, authorizing viewers to be appointed to assess the cost upon abutting properties, of paving done under the unconstitutional act of 24 May 1887, in City v. Black, 132 P. S. 568. See Borough v. Laird, 8 C. C. 608.

(c) The legislature may, nevertheless, classify the subjects of taxation. Roup's Case, 32 Sm. 911.

(d) In Mullen v. Erie County, 85 P. S. 288, it was held, that ground upon which a church is in course of erection, but which has never been used for divine worship, is not exempt from taxation under the act of 1874. But this was remedied by the act 4 June 1879. P. L. 90. And the supreme court of New York came to a different conclusion, in Washington Heights Methodist Episcopal Church v. New York, 20 Hun 297. But a parsonage is not exempt, though erected upon ground appurtenant to a church. Church of Our Saviour v. Montgomery County, 10 W. N. C. 170. Though occasional religious services are held therein. Wood v. Moore, 1 Chest. Co. R. 265. Conventual buildings, in which instruction is given to all persons gratuitously, who are unable to pay, and in which divine service is statedly holden, are not exempt. Miller's Appeal, 10 W. N. C. 168. As to the exemption of camp-meeting grounds, see Summit Grove Camp-Meeting Association v. New Freedom School District, 12 W. N. C. 103. York County v. Summit Grove Camp-Meeting Association, 1 Kulp 49.

(e) See Donahugh's Appeal, 86 P. S. 306. Burd Orphan Asylum v. School District of Upper Darby, 90 Ibid. 21. Delaware County Institute v. Delaware County, 94 Ibid. 163.

(g) German Society v. Philadelphia, 4 W. N. C. 213. Londonderry v. Berger, 2 Pears. 230. Fox's Appeal, 17 W. N. C. 449.

(h) See Pennsylvania Railroad Co. v. Philadel

160. The debt of any county, city, borough, township, school district or other Art. 9. Sect. 8. municipality or incorporated district, except as herein provided, shall never exceed seven per centum upon the assessed value of the taxable property therein, nor shall Municipal debts. any such municipality or district incur any new debt, or increase its indebtedness, to an amount exceeding two per centum upon such assessed valuation of property, without the assent of the electors thereof, at a public election in such manner as shall be provided by law; (i) but any city, the debt of which now exceeds seven per centum of such assessed valuation, may be authorized by law to increase the same three per centum, in the aggregate, at any one time, upon such valuation. 161. The commonwealth shall not assume the debt, or any part thereof, of any city, county, borough or township, unless such debt shall have been contracted to enable the state to repel invasion, suppress domestic insurrection, defend itself in time of war, or to assist the state in the discharge of any portion of its present debts. indebtedness.

Art. 9. Sect. 9.

State not to assume municipal

Exceptions. 162. Any county, township, school district or other municipality, incurring any Art. 9. Sect. 10. indebtedness, shall, at or before the time of so doing, provide for the collection of Tax for payment an annual tax sufficient to pay the interest, and also the principal thereof within of municipal debts. thirty years.(k)

163. To provide for the payment of the present state debt, and any additional debt contracted as aforesaid, the general assembly shall continue and maintain the sinking fund, sufficient to pay the accruing interest on such debt, and annually to reduce the principal thereof, by a sum not less than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars; the said sinking fund shall consist of the proceeds of the sales of the public works or any part thereof, and of the income or proceeds of the sale of any stocks owned by the commonwealth, together with other funds and resources that may be designated by law, and shall be increased from time to time, by assigning to it any part of the taxes or other revenues of the state not required for the ordinary and current expenses of government; and unless in case of war, invasion or insurrection, no part of the said sinking fund shall be used or applied otherwise than in the extinguishment of the public debt.

Art. 9. Sect. 11.

Sinking fund.

164. The moneys of the state, over and above the necessary reserve, shall be Art. 9. Sect. 12. used in the payment of the debt of the state, either directly or through the sinking fund; and the moneys of the sinking fund shall never be invested in or loaned upon the security of anything, except the bonds of the United States, or of this


165. The moneys held as necessary reserve shall be limited by law to the amount required for current expenses, and shall be secured and kept as may be provided by law. Monthly statements shall be published, showing the amount of such moneys, where the same are deposited, and how secured.

Surplus funds.

Art. 9. Sect. 18.

Reserved funds to

be limited.

Monthly state


166. The making of profit out of the public moneys, or using the same for any purpose not authorized by law, by any officer of the state, or member or officer of Penalty for using public moneys by the general assembly, shall be a misdemeanor, and shall be punished as may be officers, &c. provided by law; but part of such punishment shall be disqualification to hold office for a period of not less than five years.



167. The general assembly shall provide for the maintenance and support of a thorough and efficient system of public schools, wherein all the children of this commonwealth, above the age of six years, may be educated, and shall appropriate at least one million dollars each year for that purpose.

168. No money raised for the support of the public schools of the commonwealth, shall be appropriated to or used for the support of any sectarian school. 169. Women twenty-one years of age and upwards, shall be eligible to any office. of control or management under the school laws of this state.



Art. 10. Sect. 1.

Public schools.

Art. 10. Sect. 2.

No appropriations
to be made to sec-
tarian schools.
Art. 10. Sect. 3.

Females to be
eligible as school

Art. 11. Sect. 1. Militia to be

170. The freemen of this commonwealth shall be armed, organized and disciplined for its defence, when and in such manner as may be directed by law. The organized.

phia, 47 P. S. 189. Wheeler v. Philadelphia, 77 Ibid. 338. Northern Home for Friendless Children, 2 W. N. C. 349. Wilkesbarre City Hospital v. Luzerne County, 84 P. S. 55. Early's Appeal, 103 P. S. 273. An act authorizing the imposition of a tax, for the payment of bounties to volunteers, to fill an impending draft, is not forbidden by this section. Speer v. School Directors, 50 P. S. 150. This section is wholly prospective; it did not repeal the act 29 March 1851, enabling county agricultural societies to receive from the county treasurer a certain bounty. County v. Agricultural Society, 85 P. S. 357.

(i) See Wilkesbarre's Appeal, 16 W. N. C. 484. Brown's Appeal, 17 Ibid. 42.

(k) A borough will be restrained from purchasing an electric light apparatus at a cost exceeding the current available revenue without first having provided for the tax as provided by this section. Davis v. Borough, 3 C. C. 573. This section does not apply to the incidental and ordinary expenses of making and repairing township roads. Coul Co.'s Appeal, 112

P. S. 360.

Art. 11. Sect. 1. general assembly shall provide for maintaining the militia, by appropriations from the treasury of the commonwealth; and may exempt, from military service, persons having conscientious scruples against bearing arms.

Art. 12. Sect. 1. Appointments.

Art. 12. Sect. 2. Disqualifications.

Art. 12. Sect. 3.

Duelling to disqualify.

Art. 13. Sect. 1.

Establishment of new counties.

Art. 14. Sect. 1. County officers.

Art. 14. Sect. 2.
Term of office.

Art. 14. Sect. 3. Qualifications.

Art. 14. Sect. 4. Where public

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171. All officers, whose selection is not provided for in this constitution, shall be elected or appointed as may be directed by law.

172. No member of congress from this state, nor any person holding or exercising any office or appointment of trust or profit under the United States, shall, at the same time(1) hold or exercise any office in this state, to which a salary, fees or perquisites shall be attached. The general assembly may by law declare what offices are incompatible.(m)

173. Any person who shall fight a duel, or send a challenge for that purpose, or be aider or abettor in fighting a duel, shall be deprived of the right of holding any office of honor or profit in this state, and may be otherwise punished as shall be prescribed by law.



174. No new county shall be established which shall reduce any county to less than four hundred square miles, or to less than twenty thousand inhabitants; nor shall any county be formed of less area, or containing a less population;(n) nor shall any line thereof pass within ten miles of the county seat of any county proposed to be divided.



175. County officers shall consist of sheriffs, coroners, prothonotaries, registers of wills, recorders of deeds, commissioners, treasurers, (o) surveyors, auditors or controllers, clerks of the courts, district-attorneys, and such others, as may, from time to time, be established by law; and no sheriff or treasurer shall be eligible for the term next succeeding the one for which he may be elected.

176. County officers shall be elected at the general elections, and shall hold their offices for the term of three years, beginning on the first Monday of January next after their election, and until their successors shall be duly qualified; all vacancies not otherwise provided for, shall be filled in such manner as may be provided by law.

177. No person shall be appointed to any office within any county, who shall not have been a citizen and an inhabitant therein one year next before his appointment, if the county shall have been so long erected, but if it shall not have been so long erected, then within the limits of the county or counties out of which it shall have been taken.

178. Prothonotaries, clerks, recorders of deeds, registers of wills, county-surveyors and sheriffs, shall keep their offices in the county town of the county in which offices to be kept. they respectively shall be officers.

Art. 14. Sect. 5. Salaries.

Art. 14. Sect. 6. Accountability.

Art. 14. Sect. 7. County commissioners and auditors.

179. The compensation of county officers shall be regulated by law, and all county officers who are or may be salaried, shall pay all fees which they may be authorized to receive, into the treasury of the county or state, as may be directed by law. (p) In counties containing over one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants, all county officers shall be paid by salary, (q) and the salary of any such officer and his clerks, heretofore paid by fees, shall not exceed the aggregate amount of fees earned during his term and collected by or for him.(r)

180. The general assembly shall provide by law for the strict accountability of all county, township and borough officers, as well for the fees which may be collected by them, as for all public or municipal moneys which may be paid to them.

181. Three county commissioners and three county auditors shall be elected in each county where such officers are chosen, in the year 1875, and every third year thereafter and in the election of said officers, each qualified elector shall vote for

(1) See Commonwealth v. Binns, 17 S. & R. 228-30. Commonwealth v. Dallas, 4 Dall. 229. Duffield's Case, Bright. Elect. Cas. 655.

(m) Under the act of 16 April 1838, a deputymarshal of the United States was incompetent to hold the office of commissioner of an incorporated district, although there were no fees or perquisites annexed to the office. Commonwealth v. Ford, 5 P. S. 67.

(n) See Rumsey v. People, 19 N. Y. 41. De Camp v. Eveland, 19 Barb. 81.

(0) The office of city treasurer was changed to a county office by article 14, section 1, of the constitution, and the authority to fill a vacancy in such office

is now vested in the governor. Commonwealth v. Oellers, 140 P. S. 457. The same was held as to the office of city controller. Taggart v. Commonwealth, 102 P. S. 354.

(p) Sheppard v. Collis, 1 W. N. C. 494. Perot v. Mann, 5 Ibid. 203.

(q) The act of 24 June 1885, giving the recorder certain fees for writing certificates to old records, is in violation of this section. Pierie v. City, 27 W. N. C. 285.

(r) Luzerne County v. Griffith, 1 Kulp 297. Crawford County v. Nash, 39 L. I. 296. Luzerne Co. v. Glennon, 42 Leg. Int. 457.

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