Page images





(1) SECTION 1. In all elections, every male inhabitant of this state, being a citizen of the United States; every male inhabitant residing in this state on the twenty-fourth day of June, eighteen hundred thirtyfive; every male inhabitant residing in this state on the first day of January, eighteen hundred fifty; every male inhabitant of foreign birth who, having resided in the state two years and six months prior to the eighth day of November, eighteen hundred ninety-four, and having declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States two years and six months prior to said last named day; and every civilized male inhabitant of Indian descent, a native of the United States and not a member of any tribe, shall be an elector and entitled to vote; but no one shall be an elector or entitled to vote at any election unless he shall be above the age of twenty-one years, and has resided in this state six months and in the township or ward in which he offers to vote twenty days next preceding such election: Provided, That no qualified elector in the actual military service of the United States or of this state, or in the army or navy thereof, in time of war, insurrection or rebellion, or any student while in attendance at any institution of learning, or any member of the legislature while in attendance at any session of the legislature, or commercial traveler, shall be deprived of his vote by reason of his absence from the township, ward or state in which he resides; and the legislature shall provide by law the manner in which and the time and place at which such absent electors may vote, and for the canvass and return of their votes.

Amendment proposed by C. R. 9 of 1913 and ratified at the November election of 1914. QUALIFICATION OF ELECTORS: The source of all authority to vote at popular elections is the constitution; the electorate is constituted by the fundamental law; and the qualifications of electors must be uniform throughout the state.-Coffin v. Election Commissioners, 97/189; Att'y Gen. v. Abbott, 121/545. As to uniformity, see also, Att'y Gen. v. Common Council, 58/216; Maynard v. Canvassers, 84/239. The qualifications of voters at school meetings have never been identical with those of electors as defined in the constitution.-Belles v. Burr, 76/1.

TOWNSHIP OR WARD: No one can vote anywhere but in the township, or ward where he resides, except as now provided in the case of soldiers.-People v. Blodgett, 13/127;

People v. Maynard, 15/463; Att'y Gen. v. Holihan, 29/116; Att'y Gen. v. Common Council, 58/213; Warren v. Board of Registration, 72 / 401. For election purposes each ward is made by the constitution equivalent to a township.-Allor v. Wayne Auditors, 43/76. The intention of the voter is an important factor in determining residence.Harbaugh v. Cicott, 33/241, 250.

CONSOLIDATION OF TOWNSHIPS : The electors of a disorganized township, the disorganization taking effect one day before the annual township election, have a right to exercise in the new township the franchise possessed by them in the old.-Att'y Gen. v. McColeman, 144/67.

(2) SEC. 2. No elector shall be deemed to have gained or lost a residence by reason of his being employed in the service of the United States or of this state, nor while engaged in the navigation of the waters of this state or of the United States or of the high seas, nor while a student at any institution of learning, nor while kept at any almshouse or other asylum at public expense, nor while confined in any public prison; except that honorably discharged soldiers, seamen and marines who have served in the military or naval forces of the United States or of this state and who reside in soldiers' homes established by this state may acquire a residence where such home is located.

A student at college, having no other domicile, may, in good faith, become a resident of the city where the college is located, entering the institution as a citizen thereof.People v. Osborn, 170 / 143.

(3) SEC. 3. No soldier, seaman or marine in the army or navy of the United States shall be deemed a resident of this state in consequence of being stationed in any military or naval place within the state.

(4) SEC. 4. Whenever any question is submitted to a vote of the electors which involves the direct expenditure of public money or the issue of bonds, every woman having the qualifications of male electors who has property assessed for taxes in any part of the district or territory to be affected by the result of such election shall be entitled to vote thereon. (5) SEC. 5. Every elector in all cases, except for treason, felony or breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during his attendance at elections and in going to and returning from the same.

(6) SEC. 6. No elector shall be obliged to do militia duty on the day of election, except in time of war or public danger, or to attend court as a suitor or witness.

(7) SEC. 7. All votes shall be given by ballot, except for such township officers as may be authorized by law to be otherwise chosen.

BALLOT: People v. Blodgett, 13/143; Belles v. Burr, 76/23; Maynard v. Canvassers, 84/234; Att'y Gen. v. May, 99/547. The object of this provision was to secure the entire independence of the electors, to enable them to vote according to their own individual convictions of right and duty.-People v. Cicott, 16/312. The ballot is a constitutional method which cannot be changed.-Att'y Gen. v. Detroit Com. Council, 58/213, 217.

(8) SEC. 8. Laws shall be passed to preserve the purity of elections and guard against abuses of the elective franchise, and to provide for the recall of all elective officers, except judges of courts of record and courts of like jurisdiction upon petition of twenty-five per centum of the number of electors who voted at the preceding election for the office of governor in their respective electoral districts.


Amendment proposed by C. R. 6 of 1913 and ratified at the April election of 1913. People v. Blodgett, 13/177; Att'y Gen. v. Detroit Com. Council, 58/215; Att'y Gen. v. Detroit, 78/552; Common Council v. Rush, 82/537; Att'y Gen. v. May, 99 / 547; Todd v. Election Commissioners, 104 / 474. Registration is imperative and must be complied with before the elector can vote; and the failure of the board of registration to meet is of no avail to the elector.-People v. Kopplekom, 16/342. The legislature may regulate but may not destroy the enjoyment of the elective franchise.-Brown v. Bd. of Elec. Com'rs, 174/477. For the various statutory provisions as to registration, etc., see sections 84-121.



(9) SECTION 1. The legislative power of the state of Michigan is vested in a senate and house of representatives; but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose legislative measures, resolutions and laws; to enact or reject the same at the polls independently of the legislature; and to approve or reject at the polls any act passed by the legislature, except acts making appropriations for state insti tutions and to meet deficiencies in state funds. The first power reserved by the people is the initiative. At least eight per cent of the legal voters of the state shall be required to propose any measure by petition: Provided, That no law shall be enacted by the initiative that could not under this constitution be enacted by the legislature. Initiative petitions shall set forth in full the proposed measure and shall be filed with the secretary of state not less than ten days before the commencement of any session of the legislature. Every petition shall be certified to as herein provided as having been signed by qualified electors of the state equal in number to eight per cent of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election, at which a governor was elected. Upon receipt of any initiative petition, the secretary of state shall canvass the same to ascertain if such petition has been signed by the requisite number of qualified electors, and if the same has been so signed, the secretary of state shall transmit such petition to the legislature as soon as it convenes and organizes. The law proposed by such petitions shall be either enacted or rejected by the legislature without change or amendment within forty days from the time such petition is received by the legislature.

If any law proposed by such petition shall be enacted by the legis lature it shall be subject to referendum, as hereinafter provided. If any law so petitioned for be rejected, or if no action is taken upon it by the legislature within said forty days, the secretary of state shall submit such proposed law to the people for approval or rejection at the next ensuing general election. The legislature may reject any so proposed by initiative petition, and propose a different measure upon the same subject by a yea and nay vote upon separate roll calls, and in such event both measures shall be submitted by the secretary of state to the electors for approval or rejection at the next ensuing general election. All said initiative petitions last above described shall have printed thereon in twelve point, black face type the following: "Initiative measure to be presented to the legislature."

The second power reserved to the people is the referendum. No act passed by the legislature shall go into effect until ninety days after the final adjournment of the session of the legislature which passed such act, except such acts making appropriations and such acts immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health or safety, as have been given immediate effect by action of the legislature.

Upon presentation to the secretary of state within ninety days after

the final adjournment of the legislature, of a petition certified to as herein provided, as having been signed by qualified electors equal in number to five per cent of the total vote cast for all candidates for governor at the last election at which a governor was elected, asking that any act, section or part of any act of the legislature, be submitted to the electors for approval or rejection, the secretary of state, after canvassing such petition as above required, and the same is found to be signed by the requisite number of electors, shall submit to the electors for approval or rejection such act or section or part of any act at the next succeeding general election, and no such act shall go into effect until and unless approved by a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon.

Any act submitted to the people by either initiative or referendum. petition and approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon at any election shall take effect ten days after the date of the official declaration of the vote by the secretary of state. No act initiated or adopted by the people, shall be subject to the veto power of the governor, and no act adopted by the people at the polls under the initiative provisions of this section, shall be amended or repealed except by a vote of the electors unless otherwise provided in said initiative measure, but the legislature may propose such amendments, alterations or repeals to the people. Acts adopted by the people under the referendum provision of this section may be amended by the legislature at any subsequent session thereof: Provided, however, If two or more measures approved by the electors at the same election conflict, the measure receiving the highest affirmative vote shall prevail. The text of all measures to be submitted shall be published as constitutional amendments are required by law to be published.

Any initiative or referendum petition may be presented in sections, each section containing a full and correct copy of the title and text of the proposed measure. Each signer thereto shall add to his signature, his place of residence, street and number in cities having street numbers, and his election precinct. Any qualified elector of the state shall be competent to solicit such signatures within the county in which he is an elector. Each section of the petition shall bear the name of the county or city in which it is circulated, and only qualified electors of such county or city shall be competent to sign such section. Each section shall have attached thereto the affidavit of the person soliciting signatures to the same, stating his own qualifications and that all the signatures to the attached section were made in his presence, that each signature to the section is the genuine signature of the person signing the same, and no other affidavit thereto shall be required. Such petitions so verified shall be prima facie evidence that the signatures thereon are genuine and that the persons signing the same are qualified electors.

Each section of the petition shall be filed with the clerk of the county in which it was circulated, but all said sections circulated in any county shall be filed at the same time. Within twenty days after the filing of such petition in his office the said clerk shall forward said petition to the secretary of state. Within forty days from the transmission of the said petition to the secretary of state, a supplemental

petition identical with the original as to the body of the petition, but containing supplemental names, may be filed with the county clerk, and such supplemental petition shall be forwarded to the secretary of state by said clerk within ten days after the filing of the same.

Amendment proposed by C. R. 4 of 1913 and ratified at the April election of 1913. People v. Collins, 3/343; State Tax Law Cases, 54/350, 398, 455; King v. Concordia Ins. Co., 140/267; Albert v. Gibson, 141/700; Att'y General V. Bolger, 128 / 362; People v. Salisbury, 134 / 544; People v. Dettenthaler, 118 / 602.

(10) SEC. 2. The senate shall consist of thirty-two members. Senators shall be elected for two years and by single districts. Such districts shall be numbered from one to thirty-two, inclusive, each of which shall choose one senator. No county shall be divided in the formation of senatorial districts, unless such county shall be equitably entitled to two or more senators.

Hunt v. Buhrer, 133/113; Williams v. Sec'y of State, 145 / 447.

DIVISION OF COUNTY : The only counties affected by this provision are Wayne and


(11) SEC. 3. The house of representatives shall consist of not less than sixty-four nor more than one hundred members. Representatives shall be chosen for two years and by single districts, which shall contain as nearly as may be an equal number of inhabitants and shall consist of convenient and contiguous territory; but no township or city shall be divided in the formation of a representative district. When any township or city shall contain a population which entitles it to more than one representative, then such township or city shall elect by general ticket the number of representatives to which it is entitled. Each county, with such territory as may be attached thereto, shall be entitled to a separate representative when it has attained a population equal to a moiety of the ratio of representation. In every county entitled to more than one representative, the board of supervisors shall assemble at such time and place as shall be prescribed by law, divide the same into representative districts equal to the number of representatives to which such county is entitled by law, and shall cause to be filed in the offices of the secretary of state and clerk of such county a description of such representative districts, specifying the number of each district and population thereof according to the last preceding enumeration.

CONTIGUOUS TERRITORY: This does not require contact by land, but portions of territory, although separated by wide reaches of navigable deep waters, may be considered contiguous.Supervisors v. Sec'y of State, 92 / 638.

GENERAL TICKET: No township has ever come under this provision and only three cities, Detroit, Grand Rapids and Saginaw.

SUBDIVISION OF COUNTY: The power to divide the county into representative districts is vested in the board of supervisors and not in the legislature. Supervisors v. Sec'y of State, 92/638. When a county has attained one-half of the legislative ratio, it is entitled to a separate representative. -Stevens v. Secretary of State, 181 / 199.

See Smith v. Saginaw, 81/123; Maynard v. Canvassers, 84/228; Hunt V. Buhrer, 133 / 113.

(12) SEC. 4. At the session in nineteen hundred thirteen, and each tenth year thereafter, the legislature shall by law rearrange the senatorial districts and apportion anew the representatives among the counties and districts according to the number of inhabitants, using as the basis for such apportionment the last preceding United States census of this state. Each apportionment so made, and the division of any

« PreviousContinue »