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NEW YORK. Confiitution of the State of New York, established by the Con. mention, authorised and empowered for that purpose, April
20,. 1777 THIS Convention, in the name and by the authoT rity of the good People of this state, doth ordain, determine and declare, that no authority shall, on any pretence whatsoever, be exerciled over the people or members of this State, but such as shall be de. rived from and granted by them.
II. This Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good People of this Srare, ordain, determine and declare, that the Supreme Legillative power, within this Stare, shall be vered in two separate and distinct bodies of men the one to be call. ed, the Assembly of the Stare of New-York-the other to be called, the Senate of the Stare of New York who together thall form the Legislature, and meet once at lealt in every year for the dispatch of business.
Ill. And whereas, laws, inconsistent with the fpirit of this Cooltitution, or with the public good, may be haitily and unadvisedly passed, be it ordained, that the Governor, for the tiine being; the Chancellor, and the Judges of tlie Supreme Court or any two of them together with the Governor--hall be, aud hereby are, conttituted a Council, to revise all bills about to be passed into laws by the Legislature; and for that purpose shall assemble themselves from time to time, when the Legislature ihall be convened; for which, nevertheless, they fhall not receive any falary or consideration, under any prerence whatever. And that all 'bills, which have passed the Senate and Al. sembly, hall, before they become laws, be presented to the said Council, for their revisal and consideration : and if; upon such revision arid consideration, it should appear improper to the laid Council, or a majority of them, that the said bill thould become a law of this
Siare, that tliey return the same, together with their objections chereto in writing, to the Senate or House of Allembly (in whichfoever the same shall have origiDated) who fhall enter the objections, fent down by the Council, at large in their minutes, and proceed to re. consider the said bill. But if, after such reconsidera. tion, two-thirds of the said Senate or House of Afleinbly, thall notwithstanding the laid objections, agree to pals the same, it shall, together with the objectious, be sent to the other branch of the Legislature, where it Mall also be re-confidered, and if approved by twothirds of the members present, shall be a law.
And in order to prevent any unneceflary delays, be it further ordained, that if any bill shall not be return. ed by the Council, within ten days after it shall have been prelented, the fame shall be a law, yulers the Legislature shall, by their adjournment, render a retura of the said bill within ten days impracticable; in which case, the bill thall be returned on the first day of the meeting of the Legislature, after the expiration of the said ten days.
IV. That the Assembly fall consist of at least seventy members, to be annually chosen in the several coun. ries, in the proportions following, viz.-For the City and County of N. York, nine | The County of Orange, four Albany, ten
- King's; two The County of Duchess, seven - Richmond, two - Welt-chefter, fix
Tryon, fix - Ulster,
Charlotte, four Suffok, five
Cumberland, three Queen's, four
- Gloucester, two V. That as soon after the expiration of seven years, (subsequent to the termination of the prefent wary as may be, a census of the electors and inhabitants in this Stare be taken, under the direction of the Legilature. And if, on such census, it fall appear, that the number of Representatives in Assembly, from the said counties, is not judly proportioned to the number of electors, in the said counties respectively, that the Legislature do adjust and apportion the same by that rule. And further, that once in every leven years, after the taking of the said first ccnsus, a jult account
of the electors, resident in each county, Mall be taken ; and if it thall thereupon appear, that the poinber of electors, in any county, mall have increased or dimin. ilhed oge or more levenvieth parts of the whole number of clectors, whicli, on the said first cenlos, fhall be fouod in this State, the number of Representatives for such county Mall be increaled or diminilhed accordingly
that is to say, une Representative for every leventi. eth part as a forelaid,
Vi. And whereas, an opinion hath long prevailed a. mong divers of the good people of this state, that voting ac elections by ballot, would rend more to prelerve the liberty and equal freedom of the people, than vot. ing viva voce :--To the end, therefore, thar a fair experiment be made, which of thole i wo methods of vote ing is to be preferred :
Be it ordained, that as soon as may be after the terinination of the prelent war between the United States ot Ainerica and Great Britain, an act or alls be passed by the Legislature of this State, for cauring allelections thereafter to be held in this State, for Senators and Reprelentatives in Allembly, to be by ballot, and directing the manner, in which the same shall be conducted. And whereas it is poflible, that after all the care of the Legislature, in fraining the said act or alts, cer. taio inconveniences, and mischiefs, unforeseen at this day, may be found to attend the said mode of electing by ballot:
It is further ordained, that if, after a full and fair experiment Mall be made of voting by ballot aforesaid, the faine hall be found lel's conducive to the fatety or in. Merett of the State, ihan the method of voting vivu voce, it fall be lawful and conftitutional for the Legilature to abolish the same; provided, two-thirds of the Mem. bers present in each House respectively, shall concur cherein : And further, that, during the continuance of the prelent war, and until the Legislature of this State Mall provide for the election of Senators and Reprefentatives in Assembly, by ballot, thalaid elections thall be made viva voce.
VII. That every male inhabitants of full age, who shall have personally resided within one of the counties of this State for six months immediately preceding the day of election, shall at such election, be entitled to vote for Representatives of the said county in Assembly ; if during the time aforesaid, he shall have been a freeholder, possessing a freehold of the value of twenty pounds, within the said county, or have rented a tenement therein, of the yearly value of forty shillings, and been rated and actually paid taxes to this State: provided, always, that every person, who now is a freeman of the city of Albany, or who was made a freeman of the city of New-York, on or before the fourteenth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, and shall be actually and usually resident in the said cities respectively, shall be entitled to vote for Representatives in Assembly within his said place of residence.
VIII. That every elector, before he is admitted to vote, shall if required by the returning officer, or either of the inspectors, take an oath, or, if of the people called Quakers, an affirmation of allegiance to the State.
IX. That the Assembly, thus constituted, shall chuse their own Speaker, be judges of their own members, and enjoy the same privileges, and proceed in doing business, in like manner, as the assemblies of the colo. ny of New York of right formerly did ; and that a majority of the said members shall, from time to time, coristitute a House, to proceed upon business.
X. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good People of this State, ordain, determine, and declare, that the Senate of the State of New-York shall consist of twenty-four freeholders; to be chosen out of the body of the freeholders, and by the freeholders of this State, possessed of free: holds of the value of one hundred pounds, over and above all debts charged thereon.
XI. That the members of the Senate be elected for four years ; and immediately after the first election, they be divided by lot into fourclasses, six in each class, and numbered one, two, three, and four ; that the seats
of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the first year, the second class the second year, and so on continually; to the end, that the 4th part of the Senate, as nearly as possible, may be annually chosen.
XII. That the election of Senators shall be after this manner: that so much of this State as is now parcelled into counties, be divided into four districts ; the Southern district to comprehend the city and county of NewYork, Suffolk, West Chester, Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties; the middle district to comprehend the counties of Duchess, Ulster, and Orange ; the Western district, the city and county of Albany, and Tyron county; and the Eastern district, the colties of Charlotte, Cumberland, and Gloucester. That the Senators shall be elected by the freeholders of the said districts, in the proportions following: to wit, in the Southern district, nine; in the middle district, six; in UK Western district, six; in the Eastern district, three And be it ordained, that a census shall be taken, as 5x012 as may be, after the expiration of seven years Crona 5 termination of the present war, under the díructan the Legislature ; and if, on such censos, it stall apps : that the number of Senators is not justly properties to the several districts, that the Legislature d
e - proportion, as near as may be, to the number of
holders, qualified as aforesaid, in each districte 13 when the number of electors, within any of the W districts, shall have increased one twenty Fourth es the whole number of electors, which, by the wate r sus, shall be found to be in this State, an ador a nator shall be chosen by the electors of such as That a majority of the number of Senators, to se che sen as aforesaid, shall be necessary to constitue SE ate, suficient to proceed upon business ; and that the Senate shall in like manner with the Assembly, SE judges of its own members. And be it ordained, the it shall be in the power of the future Legislaturat this State, for the convenience and advantage of 3 good people thereof, to divide the same into sucha 337ther and other counties and districts, as shall votes appear necessary.