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AT A

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

BECUN AND HELD

Kdmund Ran. dolph, esq. governor.

At the Public Buildings in the City of ... Richmond, on Monday the twentieth

of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, and in the thirteenth year of the commonwealth.

CHAP. I.

An act for the appointment of electors

to choose a President pursuani lo the constitution of government for the United States.

(Passed the 17th of November, 1788)

1. WHEREAS the United States in congress asElectors of sembled, did, on the thirteenth day of September, in President of U. States,

the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundrer and chosen by eighty-eight, resolve that the first Wednesday in Jandistricts.

uary next be the day for appointing electors in the several states, which before the said day shall have ratified the new constitution of government for the United States; that the first Wednesday in February next be the day for the electors to assemble in their respective states, and vote for a President; and that the first Wednesday in March next be the time, and the present seat of congress, the place for commencing proceedings under the said constitution: Be it therefore enacted by

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the General Assembly, That for the purpose of choosing twelve electors on behalf of this state, to vote for a President in conformity to the constitution of government for the United States, the several counties in this commonwealth shall be allotted into twelve districts, in manner following, to wit: The counties of Amelia, Powbatan, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Brunswick, Greensville, Lunenburg, and Mecklenburg, shall compose one district: The counties of Henrico, Goochland, Louisa, Charles City, James City, and New-Kent, shall compose another district: The counties of Botetourt, Washington, Montgomery, Greenbrier, Augusta, Rockingham, Rockbridge, Russel, Shenandoah, Pendleton, and the district of Kentucky, shall com pose another district: The counties of King & Queen, King William, Essex. Caroline, and Hanover, shall compose another district: The counties of Prince William, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Fauquier, shall compose another district: The counties of Westmoreland, King George, Stafford, Lancaster, Richmond, and Northumberland, shall compose another district: The counties of Hampshire, Frederick, Berkeley, Monongalia, Ohio, Hardv, Harrison, and Randolph, shall compose another district: The counties of Norfolk, Nansemond, Accomack. Northampton, and PrincessAnne, shall compose another district: The counties of Sussex, Isle of Wight, Surry, Prince George, Dinwiddie, and Southampton, shall compose another district: The counties of Campbell, Pittsylvania, Charlotte, Halifax, Prince Edward, Bedford, Franklin, and Henry, shall compose another district: The counties of Albemarle, Amherst, Fluvanna, Spotsylvania, Orange, Culpeper, and Buckingham, shail compose another disirict: And the counties of York, Gloucester, Elizabeth City, Warwick, and Middlesex, shall compose another district:

11. That the persons qualified by law to vote for members to the general assembly, in each county composing a district, shall assemble at their respective courthouses on the first Wednesday in January next, and then and there vote for some discreet and proper person, being a freeholder, and bona fide resident in such district for twelve months, as an elector for such district, to vote for a President of the United States, in conformity to the said constitution. VOL. XII.

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III. The high sheriff of each county, or in case of his sickness or inability to attend, one of the deputy sheriffs, being first duly sworn by a magistrate of the county to act impartially, and a certificate of the taking such oath under the hand of the magistrate delivered to him, shall conduct the said election, at wbich no determination shall be had by view, but each person qualified to vote, shall fairly and publicly poll, and the name of the voter shall be duly entered under the name of the person voted for in proper poll-books to be provided by the sherif; for which purpose the said sheriff shall appoint so many writers as he shall think fit, who shall respectively take an oath, to be administered by him, or make solemn affirmation, that they will take the poll faithfully and impartially. He shall deliver a poll book to each writer, who shall enter in distinct columus, under the name of the person voted for, the name of each voter, voting for such person. Like proclamation and proceeding shall be had for continuing and closing the poll in each county of a district as is prescribed by law, in the election of members to the general assembly and proclamation shall also be made at the court house door of the person having the greatest number of votes on the poll at the closing thereof.

IV. Each voter shall be entitled to the same privilege from arrests, and be subject to the like penalık and forfeiture for failing to attend and vote at such election, as prescribed by law in the election of members to the general assembly, such failure to attend to be discovered aud proceeded on in like manner and under the same penalties as is by law prescribed against such failures in the election of members to the general assembly. Immediately after each election in a county, the clerks of the polls having first signed the same, and made cath to the truth thereof (a certificate of which orth under the hand of a magistrate of the county shall be subjoined to each poll) shall deliver the same to the sheriff who conducted the election, and such sherif, 10gether with the respective sheriffs who conducted the poll of the several counties in the district, except in case of the disability or sickness of such sheriff, then any other sheriff of the county in which such sickness or disability may happen, shall within seven days assemble at the courthouse of the county first named in

such district, and then and there compare the polls respectively taken at the election in their several counties, and having ascertained by faithful addition and comparison of the numbers on the respective polls, the person having the greatest number of votes upon the whole, giving their own votes in any case of the two foremost on such poll having an equal number of votes, shall proceed to certify such elections under their hands and seals in manner and form following, to wit: "We, A. B. sheriff of

county (or deputy sheriff as the case may be,) C. D. sheriff of county, (and so on reciting the name fthe sheriff, and whether principal or deputy of each county in the district) composing one entire districi entitled by law to appoint au elector to vote for a president of the United States, do hereby certify and inake known, that at an election held on

at the courl-house of our respective counties pursuant to law, the voters qualified to vote for an elector lo choose a president of the United States, caused to be chosen one person, to wit: G. H. to represent the said district as an elector to vote for a president of the United States. Given under our hands and seals, this

day of

, one thousand seven hundred and eighty . .”

Two fair duplicates of such certificate and return shall be made by the said sheriffs under their hands and seals, in the manner before recited, one of which shall be delivered to the person elected to represent the district, and the other shall be transmitted to the governor and council within twelve days, under the penalty of one hundred pounds, upon each sheriff holding such election, in case of failure herein, to be recovered by motion in any court of record, by the so. licitor general, to the use of the commonwealth. And the governor and council shall thereupon advertise, in the public gazelle, the names of the persons so elected, who shall assemble in the city of Richmond on the first Wednesday in February next, and proceed pursuant to the resolution of the federal convention, of the seventeenth of September, in the year of our Lord, one Mousand seven hundred and eighty seven, and the provisions, in the constitution of government for the United States, to vote for a president.

V. Each elector chosen pursuant to this act, and failing to attend and vote for a president at the time

III. The high sheriff of each county, or in case of his sickness or inability to attend, one of the deputy sheriffs, being first duly sworn by a magistrate of the county to act impartially, and a certificate of the taking such oath under the hand of the magistrate delivered to bim, shall conduct the said election, at which no determination shall be had by view, but each person qualified to vote, shall fairly and publicly poll, and the name of the voter shall be duly entered under the name of the person voted for in proper poll-books to be provided by the sherif; for which purpose the said sheriff shall appoint so many writers as he shall think fit, who shall respectively take an oath, to be administered by him, or make solemn affirmation, that they will take the poll faithfully and impartially. He shall deliver a poll book to each writer, who shall enter in distinct columns, under the name of the person voted for, the name of each voter, voting for such person. Like proclamation and proceeding shall be had for continuing and closing the poll in each county of a district as is prescribed by law, in the election of mem. bers to the general assembly and proclamation shall also be made at the court house door of the person having the greatest number of votes on the poll at the closing thereof.

IV. Each voter shall be entitled to the same privi. lege from arrests, and be subject to the like penalty and forfeiture for failing to attend and vote at such election, as prescribed by law in the election of members to the general assembly, such failure to attend to be discovered and proceeded on in like manner and under the same penalties as is by law prescribed against such failures in the election of members to the general assembly. Immediately after each election in a county, the clerks of the polls having firsi signed the same, and made oath to the truth thereof (a certificate of which orth under the hand of a magistrate of the county shall be subjoined to each poll) shall deliver the same to the sheriff who conducted the election, and such sheriff, 10gether with the respective sheriffs who conducted the poll of the several counties in the district, except in case of the disability or sickness of such sheriff, then any other sheriff of the county in which such sickness or disability may happen, shall within seven days assemble at the courthouse of the county first named in

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