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Articles XXI-XXX, Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution

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Massachusetts Constitution
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Preamble
Part the First
Part the Second:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Articles of Amendment

Note: Amendments that were later annulled or superseded are displayed in italic text below.

Article XXI

Note: Article XXI was annulled and superseded by Amendments, Arts. XXXIII, LXXI, CI, and CIX.

[A census of the legal voters of each city and town, on the first day of May, shall be taken and returned into the office of the secretary of the commonwealth, on or before the last day of June, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven; and a census of the inhabitants of each city and town, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of every tenth year thereafter. In the census aforesaid, a special enumeration shall be made of the legal voters; and in each city, said enumeration shall specify the number of such legal voters aforesaid, residing in each ward of such city. The enumeration aforesaid shall determine the apportionment of representatives for the periods between the taking of the census.

The house of representatives shall consist of two hundred and forty members, which shall be apportioned, by the legislature, at its first session after the return of each enumeration as aforesaid, to the several counties of the commonwealth, equally, as nearly as may be, according to their relative numbers of legal voters, as ascertained by the next preceding special enumeration; and the town of Cohasset, in the county of Norfolk, shall, for this purpose, as well as in the formation of districts, as hereinafter provided, be considered as part of the county of Plymouth; and it shall be the duty of the secretary of the commonwealth, to certify, as soon as may be after it is determined by the legislature, the number of representatives to which each county shall be entitled, to the board authorized to divide each county into representative districts. The mayor and aldermen of the city of Boston, the county commissioners of other counties than Suffolk, -- or in lieu of the mayor and aldermen of the city of Boston, or of the county commissioners in each county other than Suffolk, such board of special commissioners in each county, to be elected by the people of the county, or of the towns therein, as may for that purpose be provided by law, shall, on the first Tuesday of August next after each assignment of representatives to each county, assemble at a shire town of their respective counties, and proceed, as soon as may be, to divide the same into representative districts of contiguous territory, so as to apportion the representation assigned to each county equally, as nearly as may be, according to the relative number of legal voters in the several districts of each county; and such districts shall be so formed that no town or ward of a city shall be divided therefore, nor shall any district be made which shall be entitled to elect more than three representatives. Every representative, for one year at least next preceding his election, shall have been an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen, and shall cease to represent such district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the commonwealth. The districts in each county shall be numbered by the board creating the same, and a description of each, with the numbers thereof and the number of legal voters therein, shall be returned by the board, to the secretary of the commonwealth, the county treasurer of each county, and to the clerk of every town in each district, to be filed and kept in their respective offices. The manner of calling and conducting the meetings for the choice of representatives, and of ascertaining their election, shall be prescribed by law.] [Not less than one hundred members of the house of representatives shall constitute a quorum for doing business; but a less number may organize temporarily, adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members.]

Article XXII

Note: Article XXII was annulled and superseded by Amendment Arts. XXXIII, LXXI, XCII CI, and CIX.

[A census of the legal voters of each city and town, on the first day of May, shall be taken and returned into the office of the secretary of the commonwealth, on or before the last day of June, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-seven; and a census of the inhabitants of each city and town, in the year one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of every tenth year thereafter. In the census aforesaid, a special enumeration shall be made of the legal voters, and in each city said enumeration shall specify the number of such legal voters aforesaid, residing in each ward of such city. The enumeration aforesaid shall determine the apportionment of senators for the periods between the taking of the census. The senate shall consist of forty members. The general court shall, at its first session after each next preceding special enumeration, divide the commonwealth into forty districts of adjacent territory, each district to contain, as nearly as may be, an equal number of legal voters, according to the enumeration aforesaid: -- provided, however, no town or ward of a city shall be divided therefore; and such districts shall be formed, as nearly as may be, without uniting two counties, or parts of two or more counties, into one district. Each district shall elect one senator, who shall have been an inhabitant of this commonwealth five years at least immediately preceding his election, and at the time of his election shall be an inhabitant of the district for which he is chosen; and he shall cease to represent such senatorial district when he shall cease to be an inhabitant of the commonwealth.] [Not less than sixteen senators shall constitute a quorum for doing business; but a less number may organize temporarily, adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members.]

Article XXIII

Note: Article XXIII was annulled by Amendments, Art. XXVI

[No person of foreign birth shall be entitled to vote, or shall be eligible to office, unless he shall have resided within the jurisdiction of the United States for two years subsequent to his naturalization, and shall be otherwise qualified, according to the constitution and laws of this commonwealth: provided, that this amendment shall not affect the rights which any person of foreign birth possessed at the time of the adoption thereof; and, provided, further, that it shall not affect the rights of any child of a citizen of the United States, born during the temporary absence of the parent therefrom.]

Article XXIV

Any vacancy in the senate shall be filled by election by the people of the unrepresented district, upon the order of a majority of senators elected.

Article XXV

In case of a vacancy in the council, from a failure of election or other cause, the senate and house of representatives shall, by concurrent vote, choose some eligible person from the people of the district wherein such vacancy occurs, to fill that office. If such vacancy shall happen when the legislature is not in session, the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, may fill the same by appointment of some eligible person.

Article XXVI

The twenty-third article of the articles of amendment of the constitution of this commonwealth, which is as follows, to wit: -- "No person of foreign birth shall be entitled to vote, or shall be eligible to office, unless he shall have resided within the jurisdiction of the United States, for two years subsequent to his naturalization, and shall be otherwise qualified according to the constitution and laws of this commonwealth: provided, that this amendment shall not affect the rights which any person of foreign birth possessed at the time of the adoption thereof; and provided, further, that it shall not affect the rights of any child of a citizen of the United States, born during the temporary absence of the parent therefrom," is hereby wholly annulled.

Article XXVII

So much of article two of chapter six of the constitution of this commonwealth as relates to persons holding the office of president, professor or instructor of Harvard College is hereby annulled.

Article XXVIII

Note: Article XXVIII was amended by Amendments, Art. XXXI

No person having served in the army or navy of the United States in time of war, and having been honorably discharged from such service, if otherwise qualified to vote, shall be disqualified therefore on account of [being a pauper;] or, [if a pauper,] because of the non-payment of a poll tax.

Article XXIX

The general court shall have full power and authority to provide for the inhabitants of the towns in this commonwealth more than one place of public meeting within the limits of each town for the election of officers under the constitution, and to prescribe the manner of calling, holding and conducting such meetings. All the provisions of the existing constitution inconsistent with the provisions herein contained are hereby annulled.

Article XXX

No person, otherwise qualified to vote in elections for governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives, shall, by reason of a change of residence within the commonwealth, be disqualified from voting for said officers in the city or town from which he has removed his residence, until the expiration of six calendar months from the time of such removal.

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