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State Constitution > Council
Established October 31, 1783 Effective June 2, 1784 As Subsequently Amended and in Force January 2007
 

[Art.] 60. [Councilors; Mode of Election, etc.] There shall be biennially elected, by ballot, five councilors, for advising the governor in the executive part of government. The freeholders and other inhabitants in each county, qualified to vote for senators, shall some time in the month of November, give in their votes for one councilor; which votes shall be received, sorted, counted, certified, and returned to the secretary's office, in the same manner as the votes for senators, to be by the secretary laid before the senate and house of representatives on the first Wednesday following the first Tuesday of January.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 twice changing the council from members of the house and senate elected by the house and senate to individuals elected by voters - one in each county; and changing president to governor.
Amended 1877 twice substituting biennially for annually and November for March.
Amended 1889 substituting January for June.
Amended 1984 changing the first Wednesday to the first Wednesday following the first Tuesday.

[Art.] 6l. [Vacancies, How Filled, if No Choice.] And the person having a plurality of votes in any county, shall be considered as duly elected a councilor: But if no person shall have a plurality of votes in any county, the senate and house of representatives shall take the names of the two persons who have the highest number of votes in each county, and not elected, and out of those two shall elect by joint ballot, the councilor wanted for such county, and the qualifications for councilors shall be the same as for senator.

September 5, 1792
Amended 1912 substituting plurality for majority.

[Art.] 62. [Subsequent Vacancies; Governor to Convene; Duties.] If any person thus chosen a councilor, shall be elected governor or member of either branch of the legislature, and shall accept the trust; or if any person elected a councilor, shall refuse to accept the office, or in case of the death, resignation, or removal of any councilor out of the state, the governor may issue a precept for the election of a new councilor in that county where such vacancy shall happen and the choice shall be in the same manner as before directed. And the governor shall have full power and authority to convene the council, from time to time, at his discretion; and, with them, or the majority of them, may and shall, from time to time hold a council, for ordering and directing the affairs of the state, according to the laws of the land.

September 5, 1792

[Art.] 63. [Impeachment of Councilors.] The members of the council may be impeached by the house, and tried by the senate for bribery, corruption, malpractice, or maladministration.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 changing wording generally and changing mal-conduct to bribery, corruption, malpractice, or maladministration.

[Art.] 64. [Secretary to Record Proceedings of Council.] The resolutions and advice of the council shall be recorded by the secretary, in a register, and signed by all members present agreeing thereto; and this record may be called for at any time, by either house of the legislature; and any member of the council may enter his opinion contrary to the resolutions of the majority, with the reasons for such opinion.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 adding phrases: "by the secretary," "agreeing thereto," and "with the reasons for such opinion."

[Art.] 65. [Councilor Districts Provided for.] The legislature may, if the public good shall hereafter require it, divide the state into five districts, as nearly equal as may be, governing themselves by the number of population, each district to elect a councilor: And, in case of such division, the manner of the choice shall be conformable to the present mode of election in counties.

September 5, 1792
Amended 1912 substituting population for rateable polls.

[Art.] 66. [Elections by Legislature May Be Adjourned From Day to Day; Order Thereof.] And, whereas the elections, appointed to be made by this constitution on the first Wednesday of January biennially, by the two houses of the legislature, may not be completed on that day, the said elections may be adjourned from day to day, until the same be completed; and the order of the elections shall be as follows - the vacancies in the senate, if any, shall be first filled up: The governor shall then be elected, provided there shall be no choice of him by the people: And afterwards, the two houses shall proceed to fill up the vacancy, if any, in the council.

June 2, 1784
Amended 1792 twice changing president to governor and election of the council only if there is a vacancy.
Amended 1877 substituting biennially for annually.
Amended 1889 substituting January for June.

 

 
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