Education

New York State Constitution of 1777, Excerpt - Property Ownership and Voting


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Printed copy of New York State Constitution of 1777, New York State Library, NYSL_MSC_342.7471_N554_1777
Document Description
Excerpt of the New York State Constitution, 1777, outlining the property ownership requirements for men who wish to vote.
Transcription
...to be held in the State for Senators and Representatives in assembly, to be by Ballot, and be directing the manner in which the same shall be conducted. And whereas, it is possible, that after all the care of the legislature, in framing the said act or acts, certain 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 shall be made of voting by Ballot aforesaid, the same shall be found less conducive to the safety or interest of the State, than the method of voting viva voce, it shall be lawful and constitutional for the legislature to abolish the same; provided two thirds of the members present in each House, respectively shall concur therein: And further, that during the continuance of the present war, and until the legislature of this State shall provide for the election of Senators and Representatives in assembly by Ballot, the said elections shall be made viva voce.



VII. That every male inhabitant of full age, who shall have personally resided within one of the counties of the 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 all the people called Quakers, an affirmation, of allegiance to the State.



IX. That the assembly thus constituted, shall choose 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 colony of New York of right formerly did; and that a majority of the said members, shall, from time to time constitute a House to proceed upon business.



X. And this Convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of the 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 that they be

chosen by the freeholders of this State, possessed of freeholds 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...