CHAPTER 5

CONVENTION TO RATIFY FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT

AN ACT to provide for Conventions in the State of Delaware to take action upon Amendments to the Constitution of the United States which may be proposed by the Congress for Ratification by Conventions in the Several States.

WHEREAS, Article V of the Constitution of the United States provided as follows:

The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress ; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article ; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate.

and

WHEREAS, there are no provisions in either the Constitution or the Laws of the State of Delaware for conventions in the State of Delaware to take action upon Amendments to the Constitution of the United States which may be proposed by the Congress for ratification by conventions in the several States; and

WHEREAS, it is apparent that action by such conventions should truly reflect the true state of public opinion throughout the State of Delaware;

Therefore, Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware, in General Assembly met:

Section 1. Whenever the Congress of the United States shall propose an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States and shall propose that the same shall be valid when ratified by conventions in three-fourths of the several States, the Governor of this State shall fix by proclamation the date of an election for the purpose of electing delegates to such convention of this State. Such election may be either at a special election or may be held at the same time as a general election, or special, but shall be held at least as soon as the next general election occurring more than three months after the Amendment has been proposed by the Congress.

Section 2. If such election be held at the same time as a general election, all persons qualified to vote at such general election for representatives to the General Assembly of this State, shall be entitled to vote.

If such election be held at a time other than at the same time as a general election, all persons qualified to vote for representatives to the General Assembly of this State at the last general election next preceding said special election, shall be entitled to vote. There shall be one or more registration days prior to such special election, as the Governor in his proclamation, fixing the date for the special election, may determine.

The Governor shall also, in said proclamation, fix the date or dates of such registration day or days, provided that no registration shall be held within ten days next prior to such special election. On said registration day or days persons whose names are not on the list of registered voters established by law for said last general election, may apply for registration, and on said registration day or days applications may be made to strike from the said registration list names of persons on said list who are not eligible to vote at such election.

Section 3. Except as in this Act otherwise provided, such election shall be conducted and the results thereof ascertained and certified in the same manner as in the case of the election of Electors of President and Vice-President in this State and the Governor shall, without delay, examine the certificates and ascertain the delegates to such Convention chosen and make known the same by proclamation, and cause notice to be given to each delegate so elected of his election as a delegate. All provisions of the laws of this State relative to elections, except so far as inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, are hereby made applicable to such election.

Section 4. The number of delegates to be chosen to such convention shall be seventeen, to be elected from the State at large. Seven of such delegates shall be residents of New Castle County, five of such delegates shall be residents of Kent County, and five of such delegates shall be residents of Sussex County.

Section 5. Candidates for the office of delegate to the convention shall be citizens and qualified voters of this State. Nominations shall be by petition and not otherwise. A single petition may nominate any number of candidates not exceeding the total number of delegates to be elected from each county, and all candidates on any such petition shall be residents of the same County and shall reside in the County which said candidates propose to represent at such convention and every such petition shall be signed by not less than one hundred (100) persons who are qualified voters of the County wherein such candidate or candidates reside. Nominating petitions shall be filed with the Clerk of the Peace of the County which said candidates propose to represent. Nominations shall be without party or political designation, but the nominating petitions shall contain a statement as to each nominee to the effect that he favors ratification, or that he opposes ratification, or that he remains uncommitted to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and no nominating petition shall contain the name of any nominee whose position as stated therein is inconsistent with that of the position of any other nominee as stated therein.

Section 6. The sixteenth day before the day fixed for the holding of such election shall be the last day for the filing of nominating petitions with the respective Clerks of the Peace, or if said sixteenth day falls upon a Sunday or a legal holiday, the day following shall be the last day for the filing of said nominating petitions, and thereafter nominations for the office of delegate to such convention shall be closed. After the closing of such nominations, the respective Clerks of the Peace shall forthwith count and determine the number of signatures which each candidate for nomination as delegate to such convention, has obtained upon his or their respective nominating petition or petitions. In making such count and determination, the respective Clerks of the Peace shall only count the signatures of those persons who are qualified voters of the County which the candidates propose to represent at such convention. A signature to such nominating petition shall be prima facie evidence that the person purporting to sign the same did actually sign the same and that such person is a qualified voter of the same county as the county of residence of the Candidate or Candidates whose names appear in said nominating petition, and all signatures to such nominating petitions shall be counted by the respective Clerks of the Peace, unless within five days after the closing of nominations as aforesaid, evidence satisfactory to the Clerk of the Peace, shall have been produced before him that a person whose name purports to have been signed to a nominating petition is either a fictitious person or not a qualified voter of the County of residence of the candidate or candidates whose nominating petition he purports to have signed. After the closing of nominations all nominating petitions shall be open to the inspection of any qualified voter of the County in which such petitions have been filed.

Section 7. No nominations shall be effective except those of the seven candidates from New Castle County in favor of ratification, the seven candidates from New Castle County against ratification and the seven candidates from New Castle County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed Amendment, the five candidates from Kent County in favor of ratification, the five candidates from Kent County against ratification and the five candidates from Kent County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed Amendment, the five candidates from Sussex County in favor of ratification, the five candidates from Sussex County against ratification and the five candidates from Sussex County not committed to either ratification of rejection of the proposed Amendment, whose nominating petitions have respectively been signed by the largest number of qualified persons, ties to be decided by lot drawn by the respective Clerks of the Peace.

Section 8. After the nominees for delegates to such Convention shall have been determined by the Clerks of the Peace as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of each Clerk of the Peace to certify to the other Clerks of the Peace in this State the names of the nominees from their respective Counties to such convention and to further certify which nominees from their respective Counties were nominated as in favor of ratification, which nominees from their respective Counties were nominated as opposed to ratification and which nominees from their respective Counties were nominated as uncommitted either to ratification or rejection of the proposed Amendment.

Section 9. Candidates for nomination not nominated as aforesaid, shall be deemed to be alternates to the nominees in their respective groups in the order of the number of signatures which they have respectively received upon their nominating petitions, and in the event of the death, resignation or removal of any nominee, the first alternate shall take his place as nominee, and so on, ties to be decided by lot drawn by the respective Clerks of the Peace. In the event of such death, resignation or removal, it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Peace of the County from which said nominee was nominated, to forthwith certify to the other Clerks of the Peace the fact of such death, resignation or removal, together with the name of the new nominee. In the event of the death, resignation or removal of any nominee after the printing of the ballots for such election, it shall be the duty of the Clerks of the Peace to provide the election officers of each election district with a number of pasters containing only the name of such nominee, at least equal to the number of ballots provided for each election district and it shall be the duty of the Clerks of election to put one of such pasters in a careful and proper manner in the proper place on each ballot before they shall deliver the same to voters.

Section 10. It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Peace of each County to cause to be printed and distributed the ballots for said election in the quantity and in the manner provided by law for general elections ; provided that such ballots as are required under the election laws to be delivered to the chairmen of the various political parties shall, in lieu thereof, be distributed to the various nominees as equally as possible, and provided further that the Clerk of the Peace in each County, in addition to the above mentioned ballots, shall cause to be printed such further number of ballots as shall be directed by any nominee in any County; provided, however, that the said Clerk of the Peace shall not have printed any ballots upon the order or request of any nominee, unless the said request shall have been made to him in writing at least ten days prior to the holding of the election at which the said ballots are to be used, nor unless a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the ballots be made at the time they are ordered. The ballots so ordered by the said nominees shall be delivered to the said nominees or to their agents upon their request or order at least five days before the election at which the said ballots are to be used.

Section 11. The election shall be by ballot, separate from any ballot to be used at the same election. Such ballot, if used at a general election, shall be enclosed in the same envelope as the ballot for use at such general election, otherwise each ballot cast shall be enclosed in a separate envelope. Said ballot shall first state the substance of the proposed Amendment. This shall be followed by appropriate instructions to the voter. It shall then contain perpendicular columns of equal width headed respectively in plain type "For Ratification" "Against Ratification" and "Uncommitted". In the column headed "For Ratification" shall be placed the names of the nominees nominated from the entire State as in favor of ratification, in alphabetical order. In the column headed "Against Ratification" shall be placed the names of the nominees nominated from the entire State as against ratification, in alphabetical order. In the column headed "Uncommitted" shall be placed .the names of the nominees nominated from the entire State, as uncommitted to either ratification or rejection in alphabetical order. The voter shall indicate his choice by making one or more cross marks in the appropriate spaces provided on the ballot. No ballot shall be held void because any such cross mark is irregular in character. The ballot shall be so arranged that the voter may by making a single cross mark, vote for the entire group of nominees whose names are comprised in any column. The ballot shall be as like as possible to the form of the official ballot now used in this State and substantially in the following form:

CONVENTION TO RATIFY FEDERAL CONSTITUTIONAL

AMENDMENT

OFFICIAL BALLOT

PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO THE

C ONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

Delegates to the Convention to Ratify the Proposed Amendment.

The Congress has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States which provides (insert here the substance of the proposed amendment).

The Congress has also proposed that the said amendment shall be ratified by Conventions in the States.

INSTRUCTIONS TO VOTERS

Do not vote for more than 17 candidates

To vote for all candidates in favor of Ratification of the proposed amendment, or for all candidates against Ratification of the proposed amendment, or for all candidates who intend to remain uncommitted to either Ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment, make a cross-mark in the Block at the head of the list of candidates for whom you wish to vote. If you do this, make no other mark.

To vote for an individual candidate make a cross-mark in the Block at the left of the name.

RATIFICATION RATIFICATION UNCOMMITTED

FOR AGAINST

 

For Delegates to the Convention.

 

For Delegates to the Convention.

 

For Delegates to the Convention.

 

JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE

 

JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE

 

JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE

All ballots used at elections for ratifying conventions shall be printed as outlined in the paragraph immediately above. However, if the Governor; in his proclamation, calling for election of Delegates to a ratifying convention, deems it expedient to further print on the ballots information that will be more informative to the electorate on the subject, which is being voted upon, this act will give the Governor the power to do so.

Section 12. The seventeen nominees who shall receive the highest number of votes shall be the Delegates to the Convention. If there shall be a vacancy in the Convention caused by the death or disability of any delegate or any other cause, the same shall be filled by appointment by the majority vote of the delegates comprising the group from which such delegates was elected and if the Convention contains no other delegate of that group, shall be filled by the Governor.

Section 13. The Delegates to the Convention shall meet in the Senate Chamber at the State House in Dover on the twenty-eighth day after their election at twelve o'clock noon, and shall thereupon constitute a Convention to pass upon the question of whether or not the proposed Amendment shall be ratified.

Section 14. The Convention shall have power to elect its president, secretary and other officers, and to adopt its own rules.

Section 15. The Convention shall keep a journal of its proceedings in which shall be recorded the vote of each Delegate on the question of ratification of the proposed Amendment.

Section 16. After the sense of the majority of the total number of Delegates composing the Convention is taken upon the question of the ratification of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Convention shall certify a resolution of its vote over the hand of the President, attested by the Secretary and signed by all of the members of the convention. Such resolution shall be so certified in duplicate originals. The duplicate originals shall then be delivered by the Convention to the Secretary of State together with the Journal and any other records of the Convention.

If it appears from the resolutions so certified to the Secretary of State that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States has been ratified by the Convention, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to send to the Secretary of State of the United States one of the duplicate originals certified under his hand and the seal of the State of Delaware. The remaining duplicate original shall be proclaimed by publication and shall be deposited together with the journal and any other records of the Convention in the State Archives. If it appears from the resolutions so certified to the Secretary of State that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States has not been ratified, the resolution shall be proclaimed by publication and the duplicate originals of the resolution together with the journal and any other record of the Convention shall be deposited in the State Archives.

Section 17. Every delegate to such convention shall receive Ten Dollars ($10.00) for every day he is in attendance at such convention, not exceeding three, and in addition thereto, ten cents (10c) for each mile necessarily travelled by him in making one round trip from the place of his residence to Dover. The president, secretary and other officers shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the convention not in excess of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for any such officer, in addition to his compensation as such delegate. Disbursements for the foregoing purposes and for other necessary expenses of the convention, when approved by the convention and signed by the President, shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of any monies not otherwise appropriated. The expenses of holding a special election shall be borne as now provided by law for the holding of a general election.

Section 18. if at or about the time of submitting any such Amendment, Congress shall either in the resolution submitting the same or by a statute, prescribe the manner in which the conventions shall be constituted, and shall not except from the provisions of such statute or resolution such states as may theretofore have provided for constituting such conventions, the preceding provisions of this Act shall be inoperative, the convention shall be constituted and shall operate as the said resolution or Act of Congress shall direct, and all officers of the State who may by the said resolution or statute be authorized or directed to take any action to constitute such a convention for this State are hereby authorized and directed to act thereunder and in obedience thereto with the same force and effect as if acting under a statute of this State.

Approved April 11, 1933.

For Delegates to the Convention.

For Delegates to the Convention.

For Delegates to the Convention.

JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE

JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE

JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE

All ballots used at elections for ratifying conventions shall be printed as outlined in the paragraph immediately above. However, if the Governor; in his proclamation, calling for election of Delegates to a ratifying convention, deems it expedient to further print on the ballots information that will be more informative to the electorate on the subject, which is being voted upon, this act will give the Governor the power to do so.

Section 12. The seventeen nominees who shall receive the highest number of votes shall be the Delegates to the Convention. If there shall be a vacancy in the Convention caused by the death or disability of any delegate or any other cause, the same shall be filled by appointment by the majority vote of the delegates comprising the group from which such delegates was elected and if the Convention contains no other delegate of that group, shall be filled by the Governor.

Section 13. The Delegates to the Convention shall meet in the Senate Chamber at the State House in Dover on the twenty-eighth day after their election at twelve o'clock noon, and shall thereupon constitute a Convention to pass upon the question of whether or not the proposed Amendment shall be ratified.

Section 14. The Convention shall have power to elect its president, secretary and other officers, and to adopt its own rules.

Section 15. The Convention shall keep a journal of its proceedings in which shall be recorded the vote of each Delegate on the question of ratification of the proposed Amendment.

Section 16. After the sense of the majority of the total number of Delegates composing the Convention is taken upon the question of the ratification of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the Convention shall certify a resolution of its vote over the hand of the President, attested by the Secretary and signed by all of the members of the convention. Such resolution shall be so certified in duplicate originals. The duplicate originals shall then be delivered by the Convention to the Secretary of State together with the Journal and any other records of the Convention.

If it appears from the resolutions so certified to the Secretary of State that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States has been ratified by the Convention, it shall be the duty of the Secretary of State to send to the Secretary of State of the United States one of the duplicate originals certified under his hand and the seal of the State of Delaware. The remaining duplicate original shall be proclaimed by publication and shall be deposited together with the journal and any other records of the Convention in the State Archives. If it appears from the resolutions so certified to the Secretary of State that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States has not been ratified, the resolution shall be proclaimed by publication and the duplicate originals of the resolution together with the journal and any other record of the Convention shall be deposited in the State Archives.

Section 17. Every delegate to such convention shall receive Ten Dollars ($10.00) for every day he is in attendance at such convention, not exceeding three, and in addition thereto, ten cents (10c) for each mile necessarily travelled by him in making one round trip from the place of his residence to Dover. The president, secretary and other officers shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the convention not in excess of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) for any such officer, in addition to his compensation as such delegate. Disbursements for the foregoing purposes and for other necessary expenses of the convention, when approved by the convention and signed by the President, shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of any monies not otherwise appropriated. The expenses of holding a special election shall be borne as now provided by law for the holding of a general election.

Section 18. if at or about the time of submitting any such Amendment, Congress shall either in the resolution submitting the same or by a statute, prescribe the manner in which the conventions shall be constituted, and shall not except from the provisions of such statute or resolution such states as may theretofore have provided for constituting such conventions, the preceding provisions of this Act shall be inoperative, the convention shall be constituted and shall operate as the said resolution or Act of Congress shall direct, and all officers of the State who may by the said resolution or statute be authorized or directed to take any action to constitute such a convention for this State are hereby authorized and directed to act thereunder and in obedience thereto with the same force and effect as if acting under a statute of this State.

Approved April 11, 1933.