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Article I, Maryland Constitution

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Maryland Constitution
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Articles

Declaration of RightsIIIIIIIVVVIVIIVIIIIXXXIXI-AXI-BXI-CXI-DXI-EXI-FXI-GXI-HXI-IXIIXIIIXIVXVXVIXVIIXVIIIXIX

Article I of the Maryland Constitution is entitled Elective Franchise and consists of thirteen sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

All elections shall be by ballot. Except as provided in Section 3 of this article, every citizen of the United States, of the age of 18 years or upwards, who is a resident of the State as of the time for the closing of registration next preceding the election, shall be entitled to vote in the ward or election district in which the citizen resides at all elections to be held in this State. A person once entitled to vote in any election district, shall be entitled to vote there until the person shall have acquired a residence in another election district or ward in this State.

Amendments

(amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 784, Acts of 1969, ratified Nov. 3, 1970; Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978; Chapter 513, Acts of 2007, ratified Nov. 4, 2008).

Section 1A

Text of Section 1A:

SEC. 1A. Vacant

Amendments

(added by Chapter 20, Acts of 1918, ratified Nov. 5, 1918. Amended by Chapter 480, Acts of 1953, ratified Nov. 2, 1954; Chapter 100, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956; Chapter 881, Acts of 1974, ratified Nov. 5, 1974. Renumbered as Art. I, sec. 3, by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

The General Assembly shall provide by law for a uniform Registration of the names of all voters in this State, who possess the qualifications prescribed in this Article, which Registration shall be conclusive evidence to the Judges of Election of the right of every person, thus registered, to vote at any election thereafter held in this State; but no person shall vote, at any election, Federal or State, hereafter to be held in this State, or at any municipal election in the City of Baltimore, unless his name appears in the list of registered voters; the names of all persons shall be added to the list of qualified voters by the officers of Registration, who have the qualifications prescribed in the first section of this Article, and who are not disqualified under the provisions of the second and third sections thereof.

Amendments

(originally Article I, sec. 5, thus renumbered by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978. As sec. 5, it was amended by Chapter 99, Acts of 1956, ratified Nov. 6, 1956).

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

(a) The General Assembly shall have the power to provide by suitable enactment for voting by qualified voters of the State of Maryland who are absent at the time of any election in which they are entitled to vote, for voting by other qualified voters who are unable to vote personally, or for voting by qualified voters who might otherwise choose to vote by absentee ballot, and for the manner in which and the time and place at which such absent voters may vote, and for the canvass and return of their votes.

(b) The General Assembly shall have the power to provide by suitable enactment a process to allow qualified voters to vote at polling places in or outside their election districts or wards or, during the two weeks immediately preceding an election, on no more than 10 other days prior to the dates specified in this Constitution.

Amendments

(originally Article I, sec. 1A, thus renumbered by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978). (Chapter 513, Acts of 2007, ratified Nov. 4, 2008)

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

The General Assembly by law may regulate or prohibit the right to vote of a person convicted of infamous or other serious crime or under care or guardianship for mental disability.

Amendments

(originally Article I, sec. 2, thus renumbered by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978. As sec. 2, it was amended by Chapter 368, Acts of 1972, ratified Nov. 7, 1972).

Section 5

Text of Section 5:

It shall be the duty of the General Assembly to pass Laws to punish, with fine and imprisonment, any person, who shall remove into any election district, or precinct of any ward of the City of Baltimore, not for the purpose of acquiring a bona fide residence therein, but for the purpose of voting at an approaching election, or, who shall vote in any election district, or ward, in which he does not reside, (except in the case provided for in this Article,) or shall, at the same election, vote in more than one election district, or precinct, or shall vote, or offer to vote, in any name not his own, or in place of any other person of the same name, or shall vote in any county in which he does not reside.

Amendments

(originally Article I, sec. 4, thus renumbered by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

If any person shall give, or offer to give, directly or indirectly, any bribe, present or reward, or any promise, or any security, for the payment or delivery of money, or any other thing, to induce any voter to refrain from casting his vote, or to prevent him in any way from voting, or to procure a vote for any candidate or person proposed, or voted for as the elector of President, and Vice President of the United States, or Representative in Congress or for any office of profit or trust, created by the Constitution or Laws of this State, or by the Ordinances, or Authority of the Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, the person giving, or offering to give and the person receiving the same, and any person who gives or causes to be given, an illegal vote, knowing it to be such, at any election to be hereafter held in this State, shall, on conviction in a Court of Law, in addition to the penalties now or hereafter to be imposed by law, be forever disqualified to hold any office of profit or trust, or to vote at any election thereafter. But the General Assembly may in its discretion remove the above penalty and all other penalties upon the vote seller so as to place the penalties for the purchase of votes on the vote buyer alone.

Amendments

(originally Article I, sec. 3, thus renumbered by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978. As sec. 3, it was amended by Chapter 602, Acts of 1912, ratified Nov. 4, 1913).

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

The General Assembly shall pass Laws necessary for the preservation of the purity of Elections.

Amendments

(transferred from Article III, sec. 42, by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978. Previous sec. 7 renumbered as Art. I, sec. 11, by same act and ratification).

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

The General Assembly, shall make provisions for all cases of contested elections of any of the officers, not herein provided for.

Amendments

(transferred from Article III, sec. 47, by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

Section 9

Text of Section 9:

Every person elected, or appointed, to any office of profit or trust, under this Constitution, or under the Laws, made pursuant thereto, shall, before he enters upon the duties of such office, take and subscribe the following oath, or affirmation: I, _______________, do swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the Constitution and Laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of________________, according to the Constitution and Laws of this State, (and, if a Governor, Senator, Member of the House of Delegates, or Judge,) that I will not directly or indirectly, receive the profits or any part of the profits of any other office during the term of my acting as___________.

Amendments

(originally Article I, sec. 6, renumbered by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Any officer elected or appointed in pursuance of the provisions of this Constitution, may qualify, either according to the existing provisions of law, in relation to officers under the present Constitution, or before the Governor of the State, or before any Clerk of any Court of Record in any part of the State; but in case an officer shall qualify out of the County in which he resides, an official copy of his oath shall be filed and recorded in the Clerk's office of the Circuit Court of the County in which he may reside, or in the Clerk's office of the Superior Court of the City of Baltimore, if he shall reside therein. All words or phrases, used in creating public offices and positions under the Constitution and laws of this State, which denote the masculine gender shall be construed to include the feminine gender, unless the contrary intention is specifically expressed.

Amendments

(transferred from Article XV, sec. 10, by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978. As Art. XV, sec. 10, it was amended by Chapter 275, Acts of 1922, ratified Nov. 7, 1922).

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Every person, hereafter elected, or appointed, to office, in this State, who shall refuse, or neglect, to take the oath, or affirmation of office, provided for in the ninth section of this Article, shall be considered as having refused to accept the said office; and a new election, or appointment, shall be made, as in case of refusal to accept, or resignation of an office; and any person violating said oath, shall, on conviction thereof, in a Court of Law, in addition to the penalties now, or hereafter, to be imposed by Law, be thereafter incapable of holding any office of profit or trust in this State.

Amendments

(originally Article I, sec. 7. Thus renumbered and amended by Chapter 681, Acts of 1977, ratified Nov. 7, 1978).

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Except as otherwise specifically provided herein, a person is ineligible to enter upon the duties of, or to continue to serve in, an elective office created by or pursuant to the provisions of this Constitution if the person was not a registered voter in this State on the date of the person's election or appointment to that term or if, at any time thereafter and prior to completion of the term, the person ceases to be a registered voter (added by Chapter 788, Acts of 1984, ratified Nov. 6, 1984).

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