Report on Suffrage

January 31, 1868


Hunnicutt releases a proposed universal suffrage bill that highlights the details and limitations of the bill drafted in the Virginia Convention.


REPORT ON SUFFRAGE. Mr. Hunnicutt, from the Committee on Elective Franchise, &c., submitted a majority report. In submitting it he stated that Messrs. Marye, Gibson, "Wilson, and Liggatt, would offer, in a day or so, a minority report. The following is the majority report; "Article -. "The Elective Franchise. "Section 1. Every male citizen of the United States twenty-one years old who shall have been a resident of this State six months, and of the county, city, or town in which be shall offer to vote one month next preceding any election Shall be entitled to vote upon all questions submitted to the people at such election: Provided, That no officer, soldier, seaman, or marine of the United States army or navy shall be considered a resident of this State by reason of being stationed therein: And provided also, That the following persons shall be excluded from voting: "1. Idiots and lunatics. "2. Persons convicted of bribery in any election, embezzlement of public funds, treason, or felony. "3. Any person who shall challenge another, or accept a challenge to fight a duel, or act as second to any person about to engage in a duel. "4. All persons who, by the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States known as article fourteen, or by the reconstruction acts, are prohibited from holding office or from registering? to vote for delegates to the Convention to frame a Constitution. Provided, That the General Assembly may, by a twothirds vote of both Houses, remove the disability imposed by this clause. "Section 2. All elections shall be by ballot; and all persons entitled to vote shall be eligible to any office within the gift of the people, except as restricted in this Constitution. "Section 3, All persons entitled to vote and hold office, and none other, shall be eligible to sit as jurors. "Section 4. The General Assembly shall, at its first session under this Constitution, enact a general registration law,"Section 5. No person shall be deprived of voting at any election because of nonpayment of any tax that may be imposed by law. "Section 6. No voter, during the time of holding any election at which he is entitled to vote, shall be compelled to perform military service, except in time of war or public danger; to work upon the public roads; or to attend any court as suitor, juror, or witness. And no voter shall be subject to arrest under any civil process during his attendance at elections or in going to or returning from them." "Oath of Office. "All persons, before entering upon the discharge of any function as officers of this State, must take and subscribe the following oath or affirmation: "I,-, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Virginia; that I recognize and accept the civil and political equality of all men before the law; and that I will faithfully perform the duty of- to the best of my ability. So help me God." Mr. Maddox offered a minority report as a substitute for the one submitted by the committee. The report and substitute were laid on the table to be printed.
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Mallory Haskins




“Report on Suffrage,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed May 24, 2022,