Article III, Delaware Constitution
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| Text of Section 1:
Governor to Be Supreme Executive
The Supreme executive powers of the State shall be vested in a Governor.
| Text of Section 2:
Election of Governor
The Governor shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the State, once in every four years, at the general election.
| Text of Section 3:
Election Returns, Publications; Election by General Assembly
The returns of every election for Governor shall be sealed up and immediately transmitted to the President of the Senate, or in case of a vacancy in the Office of President of the Senate, or his absence from the State to the Secretary of State, who shall keep the same until a President of the Senate shall be chosen, to whom they shall be immediately transmitted after his election, who shall open and publish the same in the presence of the members of both Houses of the General Assembly. Duplicates of the said returns shall also be immediately lodged with the Prothonotary of each county. The person having the highest number of votes shall be Governor; but if two or more shall be equal in the highest number of votes, the members of the two Houses shall, by joint ballot, choose one of them to be Governor; and if, upon such ballot, two or more of them shall still be equal and highest in votes, the President of the Senate shall have the casting vote.
| Text of Section 4:
Contested Elections of Governor or Lieutenant Governor
Contested elections of the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor shall be determined by a joint committee, consisting of one-third of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly, to be selected by ballot of the Houses respectively. Every member of the committee shall take an oath or affirmation that in determining the said election he will faithfully discharge the trust reposed in him; and the committee shall always sit with open doors.
The Chief Justice, or, in case of his absence or disability, the Chancellor shall preside at the trial of any contested election of Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, and shall decide questions regarding the admissibility of evidence, and shall, upon request of the committee, pronounce his opinion upon other questions of law involved in the trial.
| Text of Section 5:
Term of Office
The Governor shall hold his office during four years from the third Tuesday in January next ensuing his election; and shall not be elected a third time to said office.
| Text of Section 6:
The Governor shall be at least thirty years of age, and have been a citizen and inhabitant of the United States twelve years next before the day of his election, and the last six years of that term an inhabitant of this State, unless he shall have been absent on public business of the United States or of this State.
| Text of Section 7:
The Governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services an adequate salary to be fixed by law, which shall be neither increased nor diminished during the period for which he shall have been elected.
| Text of Section 8:
Governor as Commander-in-Chief of State Armed Forces
He shall be commander-in-chief of the army and navy of this State, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States.
| Text of Section 9:
Appointing Power; Recess Appointments; Confirmation
He shall have power, unless herein otherwise provided, to appoint, by and with the consent of a majority of all the members elected to the Senate, such officers as he is or may be authorized by this Constitution or by law to appoint. He shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, in offices to which he may appoint, except in the offices of Chancellor, Chief Justice and Associate Judges, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the end of the next session of the Senate.
He shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen in elective offices, except in the offices of Lieutenant-Governor and members of the General Assembly, by granting Commissions which shall expire when their successors shall be duly qualified.
In case of vacancy in an elective office, except as aforesaid, a person shall be chosen to said office for the full term at the next general election, unless the vacancy shall happen within two months next before such election, in which case the election for said office shall be held at the second succeeding general election. Unless herein otherwise provided, confirmation by the Senate of officers appointed by the Governor shall be required only where the salary, fees and emoluments of office shall exceed the sum of five hundred dollars annually.
| Text of Section 10:
Secretary of State; Appointment, Term, Duties and Compensation
The Governor shall appoint, by and with the consent of a majority of all the members elected to the Senate, a Secretary of State, who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Governor. He shall keep a fair register of all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor, and shall, when required by either House of the General Assembly lay the same, and all papers, minutes and vouchers, relative thereto, before such House, and shall perform such other duties as shall be enjoined upon him by law. He shall have a compensation for his service to be fixed by law.
| Text of Section 11:
County Officers; Qualifications; Members of Congress, Federal Employees and Other Officers Holding Dual Office
No person shall be elected or appointed to an office within a County who shall not have a right to vote for a Representative in the General Assembly, and have been a resident therein one year next before his election or appointment, nor hold the office longer than he continues to reside in the County, unless herein otherwise provided.
No member of Congress, nor any person holding or exercising any office under the United States, except officers usually appointed by the courts of Justice respectively and attorneys-at-law, shall at the same time hold or exercise any office of profit under this State, unless herein otherwise provided.
No person shall hold more than one of the following offices at the same time, to wit: Secretary of State, Attorney-General, Insurance Commissioner, State Treasurer, Auditor of Accounts, Prothonotary, Clerk of the Peace, Register of Wills, Recorder, or Sheriff.
| Text of Section 12:
All Commissions shall be in the name of the State, and shall be sealed with the great seal and signed by the Governor.
| Text of Section 13:
Removal of Officers by Governor; Procedure
The Governor may for any reasonable cause remove any officer, except the Lieutenant-Governor and members of the General Assembly, upon the address of two-thirds of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly. Whenever the General Assembly shall so address the Governor, the cause of removal shall be entered on the journals of each House. The person against whom the General Assembly may be about to proceed shall receive notice thereof, accompanied with the cause alleged for his removal, at least ten days before the day on which either House of the General Assembly shall act thereon.
| Text of Section 14:
Reports from Executive Departments
The Governor may require information in writing from the officers in the executive department, upon any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices.
| Text of Section 15:
Messages to General Assembly
He shall, from time to time, give to the General Assembly information of affairs concerning the State and recommend to its consideration such measures as he shall judge expedient.
| Text of Section 16:
Special Sessions of General Assembly; Adjournment; Special Session of Senate
He may on extraordinary occasions convene the General Assembly by proclamation; and in case of disagreement between the two Houses with respect to the time of adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall think proper, not exceeding three months. He shall have power to convene the Senate in extraordinary session by proclamation, for the transaction of executive business.
| Text of Section 17:
Execution of Laws
He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.
| Text of Section 18:
Approval or Veto of Bills, Orders, Resolutions or Votes; Repassage over Veto
Every bill which shall have passed both Houses of the General Assembly shall, before it becomes law, be presented to the Governor; if he approves, he shall sign it; but if he shall not approve, he shall return it with his objections to the House in which it shall have originated, which House shall enter the objections at large on the journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, three-fifths of all the members elected to that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent together with the objections to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by three-fifths of all the members elected to that House, it shall become a law; but in neither House shall the vote be taken on the day on which the bill shall be returned to it. In all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within ten days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the General Assembly shall, by final adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not become a law without the approval of the Governor.
For purposes of return of Bills not approved by the Governor the General Assembly shall be considered to be continuously in Session until final adjournment and the Clerk of the House of Representatives and the Secretary of the Senate shall be deemed proper recipients of such returned bills during recess or adjournment of the General Assembly other than final adjournment.
No bill shall become a law after the final adjournment of the General Assembly, unless approved by the Governor within thirty days after such adjournment. The Governor shall have power to disapprove of any item or items of any bill making appropriations of money, embracing distinct items, and the part or parts of the bill approved shall be the law, and the item or items of appropriation disapproved shall be void, unless repassed according to the rules and limitations prescribed for the passage of other bills, over the Executive veto. Every order, resolution, or vote to which the concurrence of both Houses of the General Assembly may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment, shall be presented to the Governor, and before the same shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by three-fifths of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill. Every order and resolution to which the concurrence of both Houses of the General Assembly may be necessary, except on a question of adjournment and those matters dealing solely with the internal or administrative affairs of the General Assembly, shall be presented to the Governor, and before the same shall take effect be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by three-fifths of all the members elected to each House of the General Assembly, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the case of a bill.
| Text of Section 19:
Lieutenant-Governor; Election, Term and Qualifications; President of the Senate; Compensation
A Lieutenant-Governor shall be chosen at the same time, in the same manner, for the same term, and subject to the same provisions as the Governor; he shall possess the same qualifications of eligibility for office as the Governor; he shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote unless the Senate be equally divided.
The Lieutenant-Governor, for his services as President of the Senate, shall receive the same compensation as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Lieutenant-Governor, for his services as a member of the Board of Pardons and for all other duties of the said office which may be provided by law, shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the General Assembly.
| Text of Section 20:
Vacancy in Offices of Both Governor and Lieutenant-Governor; Officers Eligible to Act; Disability of Governor
(a) In case the person elected Governor shall die or become disqualified before the commencement of his term of office, or shall refuse to take the same, or in case of the removal of the Governor from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the said office, the same shall devolve on the Lieutenant-Governor; and in case of removal, death, resignation, or inability of both the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor, the Secretary of State, or if there be none, or in case of his removal, death, resignation, or inability, then the Attorney General, or if there be none, or in case of his removal, death, resignation, or inability, then the President pro tempore of the Senate or if there be none, or in case of his removal, death, resignation, or inability, then the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall act as Governor until the disability of the Governor or Lieutenant-Governor is removed, or a Governor shall be duly elected and qualified.
The foregoing provisions of this section shall apply only to such persons as are eligible to the office of Governor under this Constitution at the time the powers and duties of the office of Governor shall devolve upon them respectively.
Whenever the powers and duties of the office of Governor shall devolve upon the Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, or Attorney General, his office shall become vacant; and whenever the powers and duties of the office of Governor shall devolve upon the President pro tempore of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, his seat as a member of the General Assembly shall become vacant; and any such vacancy shall be filled as directed by this Constitution; provided, however, that such vacancy shall not be created in case either of the said persons shall be acting as Governor during a temporary disability of the Governor.
(b) Whenever the Governor transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Lieutenant-Governor as Acting Governor.
Whenever the Chief Justice of the Delaware Supreme Court, the President of the Medical Society of Delaware and the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, acting unanimously, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, their written declaration that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office because of mental or physical disability, the Lieutenant-Governor shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting Governor.
Thereafter, when the Governor transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no disability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware, the President of the Medical Society of Delaware and the Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health, acting unanimously, transmit within five days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office because of mental or physical disability. Thereupon the General Assembly shall decide the issue, assembling within seventy-two hours for that purpose if not then in session. If the General Assembly within ten days after receipt of the latter written declaration determines by two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each house that the Governor is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office because of mental or physical disability, the Lieutenant-Governor shall continue to discharge same as Acting Governor; otherwise, the Governor shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
| Text of Section 21:
Election and Term of Office for Certain State Officers
The terms of the office of the Attorney General, the Insurance Commissioner, the Auditor of Accounts and the State Treasurer shall be four years. These officers shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the State at general elections, and be commissioned by the Governor. (The four-year term for the offices of Auditor of Accounts and State Treasurer shall be effective commencing with the elections to be held in the year 1982.)
| Text of Section 22:
Election and Term of Office of Certain County Officers; Commission; Successive Terms of Sheriff
The terms of office of Prothonotaries, Clerks of the Peace, Registers of Wills, Recorders, Registers in Chancery, Clerks of the Orphans' Court and Sheriff shall be four years. These officers shall be chosen by the qualified electors of the respective counties at general elections, and be commissioned by the Governor. (1-30-86)
| Text of Section 23:
Place of Office of Certain County Officers
Prothonotaries, Clerks of the Peace, Registers of Wills, Recorders, Registers in Chancery, Clerks of the Orphans' Court and Sheriffs shall keep their offices in the town or place in each county in which the Superior Court is usually held.
| Text of Section 24:
Abolition of Office of Clerk of Orphans' Court; Transfer of Functions
The General Assembly shall have power to transfer all or any part of the powers, functions and records of the Clerk of the Orphans' Court for any county to such other office or offices as it deems appropriate, and to abolish the office of Clerk of the Orphans' Court for any county.