Ordinance, 14 January 1843–A

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An Ordinance regulating Municipal Elections in the City of .
Sec. 1. Be it Ordained by the City Council of the City of ; that all general Elections for Mayor, Aldermen, and Counsellors in the City of shall be held, conducted, and returns thereof made in the manner hereinafter prescribed.
Sec. 2. The City Council may divide the into as many Wards as they may think proper, not exceeding eight; and shall designate the House or place in each Ward at which Elections are to be held; and the Wards and places of holding Elections so established, shall so remain, until changed by Order of the City Council; and all general Elections shall be held at the places so designated, until changed as aforesaid. provided that the City Council may Order that the said election of Mayor, Aldermen, and Counsellors, shall be held at one place if [p. 131] if they shall deem it expedient.
Sec. 3. On the first Monday of february next, and every two years thereafter, an election shall be held for the election of One Mayor, four Aldermen, and nine Counsellors; and the City Council shall, at least twenty days previous to any election, appoint three capable and discreet Persons possessing the qualifications of Electors, to act as Judges of election, in each place of election; and the Recorder shall make out and deliver to the Marshal of the , immediately after the appointment of said Judges, a notice thereof in writing, directed to the Judges so appointed; and it shall be the duty of the Marshal, within five days after the receipt of said notice, to serve the same on each Judge of election. The said Judges of election shall choose two Persons having similar qualifications with themselves; to act as Clerks of the election.
Sec. 4. Previous to any votes being taken at any election, the Judges and Clerks thereof shall severally take an Oath in the following form, to wit:
“I A— B— do solemnly swear -[or affirm as the case may be]- that I will perform the duties of Judge, -[or Clerk as the case may be,]- according to Law and the best of my ability; that I will studiously endeavour to prevent fraud, deceit, and abuse in conducting the same:”
which Oath may be administered by any Person having authority to administer the same, or by any of the Judges of the election.
Sec. 5. If any person appointed to act as Judge or Clerk, of the Election <​as​> aforesaid, shall neglect, or refuse to be sworn or affirmed to act in such capacity, the place of such person shall be filled by nomination of the other Judge or Judges of the Election; and if there be no Judge of the Election present to fill such vacancy or vacancies by nomination, at the time of holding said Election, [p. 132] Election, then the three Judges shall be chosen viva voce by the Electors present.
Sec. 6. The City Council shall at least twenty days previous to any general election determine the number of Aldermen and Counsellors and otherwise designate the offices to be filled at the ensuing election, and the place or places at which such election shall be held; and the Recorder shall immediately make out and deliver to the Marshal four written notices thereof -[or as many as there are City Wards;]- and the Marshall shall post up in some public place in each Ward, the proper notice as aforesaid, at least ten days previous to any general election. The Notices as aforesaid shall be, as nearly as circumstances will admit, as follows, to wit:
Is hereby given that on Monday the [blank] day of [blank] next at the house of [blank] in the [blank] Ward, in the City of , a general election will be held, for the election of One Mayor, four Aldermen, and nine Counsellors, for said , which election will be opened at eight O Clock in the morning and will continue open until Six O Clock in the afternoon of the same day.
Dated at this [blank] day of [blank] A. D. 184[blank].
By Order of the City Council.
Sec. 7. At all elections to be held under this Ordinance the polls shall be open at the hour of eight in the morning, and continue open until Six O Clock in the afternoon of the same day, at which time the polls shall be closed: Provided, however, that if no Judge shall attend at the hour of eight in the morning, and it shall be necessary for the electors present to appoint Judges to conduct the election, as hereinbefore prescribed, the election may in that case commence at any hour before the time for closing the Polls shall arrive, as the Case may require: and provided also, that the Judges of the Election may, if they shall deem it necessary, for the purpose of receiving the Votes of all the electors wishing to vote; postpone the closing of the Polls, until twelve O Clock at night. And upon opening of [p. 133] of the Poll, one of the Clerks, under the direction of the Judges, shall make proclamation of the same; and thirty minutes before the closing of the Polls, proclamation shall be made in like manner that the Poll will be closed in half an hour.
Sec. 8. All free white Male inhabitants who are of the Age of twentyone years, who shall have resided within this State, six Months next precedng any election, and who shall have been actual residents of the City of sixty days next preceding said Election, shall be entitled to vote for City Officers.
Sec. 9. The manner of voting shall be by the Electors approaching the bar, in the election room, at any time when the poll is open, and addressing the Judges of the election in his proper Person, and with an audible voice, to be heard by the Judges and Clerks of the election, to mention by name the Persons he intends to vote for to fill the different offices which are to be filled at the said election, and the Clerks shall enter his name and vote accordingly, and he shall then withdraw: Provided that a Voter may Vote by presenting an open Ticket to the Judges, containing the names of the persons for whom he votes, and the offices; and the said Judges shall read the same to the voter, and the Clerks with the assent of the voter, shall set the same down in their Books, as in other cases.
Sec. 10. When any person shall present himself to give his vote, and either of the Judges shall suspect that such person does not possess the requisite qualifications of an elector, or if his Vote shall be challenged by any elector, who has previously given his Vote at such election, the Judges of the election shall tender to such person an Oath or affirmation in the following form, to wit:
“ I A— B— do solemnly swear, -[or affirm as the case may be,]- that I am a resident of the City of ; that I have resided in said for the period of sixty days next preceding this [p. 134]
this election; that I have resided in the State of , for the period of Six Months immediately preceding this Election; that I have to the best of my knowledge and belief, attained to the age of twenty one years; and that I have not voted at this Election”.
And if the person so offering his vote shall take such oath or affirmation, or shall consent to take the same, his vote shall be received, unless it shall be proved by evidence satisfactory to a majority of the Judges, that said oath or affirmation is false; and if such Person refuses to take such Oath or Affirmation, his vote shall be rejected. And if any person shall take the said Oath or affirmation knowing it to be false, he shall be deemed guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury, and shall on conviction be punished accordingly. And if any person shall vote at any election, knowing himself not to be <​a​> qualified Voter he shall forfeit and pay any sum not exceeding fifty Dollars, nor less than twenty five Dollars, to be recovered in the same manner as other penalties under this Ordinance.
Sec. 11. For the preservation of Order, as well as the security of the judges and Clerks of the election from insult and abuse, it shall be the duty of the Marshal and the high Constables, when called upon by the Judges of the Election, to attend at all elections within their respective Wards; and should neither the Marshal nor any Constable be present, at such election, the Judges of Election are hereby authorized and empowered to appoint one or more special Constables to assist in preserving Order, during the election; and the Judges are hereby empowered to impose a fine, not exceeding twenty Dollars, on any person or persons, who shall conduct in a disorderly and riotous manner, and should he refuse to pay said fine, or persist in such Conduct after having been warned of the consequences or fined as aforesaid, the Judges may cause such person or persons so offending, to be arrested and committed to the common Jail of the or , for any time not exceeding twenty days, or until the [p. 135] the fine shall be paid, or he or they discharged by due course of law; and the Marshal or Constable to whom the Order shall be directed, and the Jailor of the or , are hereby required to execute such Order, and receive such person or persons so committed, as though it had been issued or delivered by a Magistrate in due form of law.
Sec. 12. When the Votes shall have been examined and counted, the Clerks shall set down in their Poll Books, the name of every person voted for, written at full length, the office for which such Person received such Vote or Votes, and the number he did receive, the number being expressed in words at full length, such entry to be made as nearly as circumstances will admit, in the following form, to wit:
“At an election held at the House of [blank] in [blank] Ward in the City of in the State of on the [blank] day of [blank] in the Year of Our Lord One thousand eight hundred and forty [blank] the following named Persons received the number of Votes annexed to their respective names, for the following described Offices, to wit:
A— B.— had sixtythree Votes for Mayor.
C— D.— had thirtyfour Votes for Mayor.
E— F.— had sixtyone Votes for Alderman.
G— H.— had sixty votes for Alderman.
I— K.— had forty Votes for Alderman.
L— M.— had seventy Votes for Counsellor, (and in the same manner for any other names or offices voted for.)
Certified by us A— B—)
C— D—) Judges of the Election.
E— F—)
Attest G— H—)
I— K—) Clerks of the Election.”
The Judges of the election shall then enclose and Seal one of the Poll Books, under cover, directed to the Recorder of the , and the packet thus sealed shall be [p. 136] be conveyed by one of the Judges or Clerks of the Election, to be determined by lot if they cannot otherwise agree, and delivered to the said Recorder at his office, within two days from the close of the Polls, and the other Poll Book shall be deposited with one of the Judges of the election to be determined as aforesaid, and the Poll Book shall be subject to the inspection of any elector who may wish to examine it.
Sec. 13. On the third day after the election, or sooner if all the returns be received, the Recorder, taking to his assistance two Aldermen of the , shall proceed to open the returns and make out his abstract of the same; and shall make out a certificate of election, under the Seal of the Corporation, to each of the Persons having the highest number of Votes for Mayor, Aldermen, and Counsellors, and shall deliver the same to the person entitled thereto, on his making application for that purpose to the Recorder at his office. And it shall be the duty of the Recorder, on the receipt of the election returns of any general election, to make out his certificate, stating therein the compensation to which the Judges and Clerks of each election may be entitled, for their services, and to lay the same before the next City Council, and the City Council shall Order the compensation aforesaid to be paid out of the city Treasury.
Sec. 14. If, by reason of any two or more persons having an equal and the highest number of Votes for one and the same office, the requisite number of Officers shall not be elected, the Recorder shall give notice to the several Persons so having an equal and the hightest number of Votes, to attend at his Office, at a time to be appointed by the said Recorder, who shall then and there proceed publicly to decide by lot which of the Persons so having an equal number of Votes shall be declared duly elected; and the Recorder shall make out and deliver to the Person thus declared duly elected, a Certificate of his election, as herein before provided.
Sec. [p. 137]
Sec. 15. The Recorder, immediately after making out the abstracts of Votes given at any general election, shall make out his Certificate, under Seal of the Corporation, certifying the names of the Persons duly elected Mayor, <​and​> Aldermen, and the time and place of said election, and shall transmit the same by Mail, to the Secretary of State; and upon the receipt of their respective Commissions shall require of each the Oath of Office, now required by law of Justices of the peace, shall Certify the same upon their respective Commissions, and deliver the same to each Person entitled thereto.
Sec. 16. When any Candidate shall desire to contest the validity of any Election, or the right of any Person declared duly elected to hold and exercise the office of Mayor, Alderman, or Counsellor, such Candidate shall give notice of his intention, in writing, to the Person whose election he intends to contest, or leave a notice thereof at his usual place of residence, within ten days after the day of election; expressing the points on which the same will be contested, the name of one Alderman of the city, who will attend at the Trial of such contest, the time, and the place, when and where said Trial will be held, which time shall not exceed thirty days from the day of the election. And the Person whose election is contested, shall, within five days after receiving said notice, select another Alderman to attend said Trial: Provided however, that should the party whose election is contested, refuse or neglect to select an Alderman as aforesaid, the Alderman chosen by the person contesting the election as aforesaid, shall make such selection; and the two Aldermen so selected shall make choice of a third Alderman; and if they cannot agree upon a third Alderman to act with them, they shall make such selection by lot; and the three Aldermen thus selected, or either of them, shall have power, and they are hereby authorized and [p. 138] and required to issue Subpoenas and such other Process as may be necessary to secure the attendance at such Trial of all persons whose testimony may be required by either party, in the same manner as is provided in other cases of proceedings before Justices of the Peace. The said Aldermen shall meet at the time and place apointed for the trial of said Contest as aforesaid, and after hearing and examining the evidence offered by both parties, they shall decide which of the said Candidates shall have been duly elected, and shall certify the same to the Recorder, who shall thereupon make out and deliver to the successful party a certificate of his election as hereinbefore provided. The said Aldermen shall enter judgment against the unsuccessful party. Either party may appeal from the decision of said Aldermen to the municipal Court as in other Cases, and the decision of said Court shall be final. And the unsuccessful Party shall pay all Costs incurred before either or both of said Courts, as the Case may be.
Sec. 17. There shall be allowed out of the City Treasury to the several Judges and Clerks of election, such compensation, not exceeding two Dollars per day, as the City Council shall deem proper to allow; they shall also allow to the Clerks of election such compensation as they may deem just, for any stationary such Clerk may have furnished for the purposes of election.
Sec. 18. If any Judge of the election, or clerk, or any other officer or person, in any manner concerned in conducting the election, shall wilfully neglect, improperly delay, or refuse to perform any of the duties required by this Ordinance, after having undertaken to perform such duties, he shall, on conviction thereof before the Mayor or municipal Court, be fined in any sum not exceeding One hundred Dollars; and if any such Judge of the election, Clerk, or other officer or person, in any wise concerned in conducting the election, shall knowingly admit any person to [p. 139] to vote, not quallified according to law; or shall knowingly receive and count more than one Vote for one person, at the same election for one office; or shall be guilty of fraud, curruption, or partiality, or manifest misbehaviour in any matter or thing relating to said election; or shall refuse to receive the Vote of any elector, who has a right according to law to vote at the Polls; each and every person so offending, shall upon convicton thereof before the Mayor, or municipal Court, be fined in any sum not exceeding One hundred Dollars for each and every offence; each of the aforesaid fines to be collected and appropriated in the name of, and for the benefit of the ; together with Costs of Suits. provided, that nothing in this Ordinance shall be so construed as to prevent the Judges of election from refusing to receive the Vote of any person, when it shall be proved to the satisfaction of a majority of them, that in taking the said Oath he shall have sworn falsely.
Sec. 19. This Ordinance to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.
passed Jan.y. 14th. 1843.
Joseph Smith. Mayor
, Recorder. [p. 140]