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THE ACT

OF THE

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

AUTHORIZING THE CONVENTION.

[Laws of 1869-70, Chapter CV.]

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An Act to authorize the people to call a Convention, and for other purposes.

WHEREAS, According to Section 1, Article I, of the Declaration of Rights, all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness; and,

WHEREAS, It is declared that, for the advancement of these ends, the people have, at all times, an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish the Government in such manner as they may think proper; and,

WHEREAS, In the opinion of this General Assembly, the public exigencies do now demand the exercise of these inherent and reserved powers on the part of the people of the State: Therefore,

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That every male person not convicted and rendered infamous for crime, of the age of 21 years, being a citizen of the United States and a citizen of the county where he may offer his vote, six months next preceding the day of election, is hereby authorised to assemble an the third Saturday of December, 1869, at the several places of holding elections in the several counties, and vote for or against calling a Convention to amend, revise, or form and make a new Constitution for the State ; and no certificate or

other qualification than the foregoing shall be required by the Judges holding said election.

SEC. 2. Be it further enacted, That in submitting the question of a Convention to the people, they shall have written or printed on their ballots the words “ Convention,” or “No Convention," and if the number of votes cast for a Convention be greater than the votes cast against a Convention, then there shall be a Convention.

SEC. 3. Be it further enacted, That an election for delegates to a Convention of the people of the State shall be held in the several counties thereof at the same time and places, and that said election shall be held at all the precincts and voting places established by law, and shall be managed and conducted by the Commissioners of Registration and other proper officers of the counties respectively, in the same manner and under the same rules and regulations that members of the General Assembly are now elected. And it is hereby declared to be the duty of the Governor to issue his proclamation to the several Commissioners of Registration of the State immediately after the passage of this act, requiring them to hold and conduct the same as herein provided. The said Commissioners of Registration shall advertise the time and places of said election as in cases of members of the General Assembly.

SEC. 4. Be it further enacted, That the whole number of delegates elected to said Convention shall be seventy-five.

SEC. 5. Be it further enacted, That each one of the Representative Districts, as established by the apportionment act of 19th of February, 1852, shall constitute a district, and elect and send to said Convention exactly the same number of delegates that they have Representatives in the General Assembly by said act of apportionment.

SEC. 6. Be it further enacted, That each one of the Floaterial Districts, as established by said act of apportionment, shall constitute a district, and elect and send to said Convention one delegate.

SEC. 7. Be it further enacted, That the votes in the several

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Representative and Floaterial Districts shall be compared at the
several places where the votes for members of the General As-
sembly were compared in the last August election.

SEC. 8. Be it further enacted, That no person shall be eligible to
a seat in said Convention who is not twenty-one years of age, and
who has not been a citizen of the State for twelve months, and of
the county and district from which he is elected six months im-
mediately preceding the election.

SEC. 9. Be it further enacted, That all laws requiring test-oaths to enable persons to become candidates for office, or requiring Judges and Clerks of elections to take such oaths, shall not apply to the election under this act.

SEC. 10. Be it further enacted, That in case of the death, refusal to serve, resignation or removal from this State of any delegate, the vacancy occasioned thereby shall be filled in the same manner prescribed by law for the filling of vacancies in the representation to the General Assembly.

SEC. 11. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Commissioner of Registration of each county in the State, immediately after said election, to make a complete return to the Seeretary of State of the votes cast "for Convention” or “no Convention,” and for delegates in his county. The certificate of election of the returning officer or officers of the county or districts, shall be prima facie evidence of the right of any delegate to a seat in said Convention, subject, if contested, to be decided in the manner the Convention may prescribe.

SEC. 12. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the Governor and Secretary of State to compare the returns made by the Commissioners of Registration, and if a majority of those vot- ing be in favor of a Convention, it shall be the duty of the Governor immediately to issue his proclamation announcing the result, and said Convention shall convene in the city of Nashville, on the second Monday in January, 1870; and when so assembled, said del

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