- Published: 24 November 2011
Numbers I through X
ARTICLE I. If any bill or resolve shall be objected to, and not approved by the governor; and if the general court shall adjourn within five days after the same shall have been laid before the governor for his approbation, and thereby prevent his returning it with his objections, as provided by the constitution, such bill or resolve shall not become a law, nor have force as such.
ART. II. The general court shall have full power and authority to erect and constitute municipal or city governments, in any corporate town or towns in this commonwealth, and to grant to the inhabitants thereof such powers, privileges, and immunities, not repugnant to the constitution, as the general court shall deem necessary or expedient for the regulation and government thereof, and to prescribe the manner of calling and holding public meetings of the inhabitants, in wards or otherwise, for the election of officers under the constitution, and the manner of returning the votes given at such meetings. Provided, that no such government shall be erected or constituted in any town not containing twelve thousand inhabitants, nor unless it be with the consent, and on the application of a majority of the inhabitants of such town, present and voting thereon, pursuant to a vote at a meeting duly warned and holden for that purpose. And provided, also, that all by-laws, made by such municipal or city government, shall be subject, at all times, to be annulled by the general court.
ART. III. Every male citizen of twenty-one years of age and upwards, excepting paupers and persons under guardianship, who shall have resided within the commonwealth one year, and within the town or district in which he may claim a right to vote, six calendar months next preceding any election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senator, or representatives,a [and who shall have paid, by himself, or his parent, master, or guardian, any state or county tax, which shall, within two years next preceding such election, have been assessed upon him, in any town or district of this commonwealth; and also every citizen who shall be, by law, exempted from taxation, and who shall be, in all other respects, qualified as above mentioned, shall have a right to vote in such election of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives; and no other person shall be entitled to vote in such elections.]b
ART. IV. Notaries public shall be appointed by the governor in the same manner as judicial officers are appointed, and shall hold their offices during seven years, unless sooner removed by the governor, with the consent of the council, upon the address of both houses of the legislature.
c [In case the office of secretary or treasurer of the commonwealth shall become vacant from any cause, during the recess of the general court, the governor, with the advice and consent of the council, shall nominate and appoint, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law, a competent and suitable person to such vacant office, who shall hold the same until a successor shall be appointed by the general court.]
Whenever the exigencies of the commonwealth shall require the appointment of a commissary-general, he shall be nominated, appointed, and commissioned, in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe.
All officers commissioned to command in the militia may be removed from office in such manner as the legislature may, by law, prescribe.
ART. V. In the elections of captains and subalterns of the militia, all the members of their respective companies, as well those under as those above the age of twenty-one years, shall have a right to vote.
ART. VI. d Instead of the oath of allegiance prescribed by the constitution, the following oath shall be taken and subscribed by every person chosen or appointed to any office, civil or military, under the government of this commonwealth, before he shall enter on the duties of his office, to wit :--
"I, A. B., do solemnly swear, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and will support the constitution thereof. So help me, GOD."
Provided, That when any person shall be of the denomination called Quakers, and shall decline taking said oath, he shall make his affirmation in the foregoing form, omitting the word "swear" and inserting, instead thereof, the word "affirm," and omitting the words "So help me, God," and subjoining, instead thereof, the words, "This I do under the pains and penalties of perjury."
ART. VII. No oath, declaration, or subscription, excepting the oath prescribed in the preceding article, and the oath of office, shall be required of the governor, lieutenant-governor, councillors, senators, or representatives, to qualify them to perform the duties of their respective offices.
ART. VIII. No judge of any court of this commonwealth, (except the court of sessions,) and no person holding any office under the authority of the United States, (postmasters excepted,) shall, at the same time, hold the office of governor, lieutenant-governor, or councillor, or have a seat in the senate or house of representatives of this commonwealth; and no judge of any court in this commonwealth, (except the court of sessions,) nor the attorney-general, solicitor-general, county attorney, clerk of any court, sheriff, treasurer, and receiver-general, register of probate, nor register of deeds, shall continue to hold his said office after being elected a member of the Congress of the United States, and accepting that trust; but the acceptance of such trust, by any of the officers aforesaid, shall be deemed and taken to be a resignation of his said office; and judges of the courts of common pleas shall hold no other office under the government of this commonwealth, the office of justice of the peace and militia offices excepted.
ART. IX. If, at any time hereafter, any specific and particular amendment or amendments to the constitution be proposed in the general court, and agreed to by a majority of the senators and two-thirds of the members of the house of representatives present after voting thereon, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be entered on the journals of the two houses, with the yeas and nays taken thereon, and referred to the general court then next to be chosen, and shall be published; and if, in the general court next chosen as aforesaid, such proposed amendment or amendments shall be agreed to by a majority of the senators and two-thirds of the members of the house of representatives present and voting thereon, then it shall be the duty of the general court to submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the people; and if they shall be approved and ratified by a majority of the qualified voters, voting thereon, at meetings legally warned and holden for that purpose, they shall become part of the constitution of this commonwealth.
ART. X. The political year shall begin on the first Wednesday of January, instead of the last Wednesday of May; and the general court shall assemble every year on the said first Wednesday of January, and shall proceed, at that session, to make all the elections, and do all the other acts, which are by the constitution required to be made and done at the session which has heretofore commenced on the last Wednesday of May. And the general court shall be dissolved on the day next preceding the first Wednesday of January, without any proclamation or other act of the governor. But nothing herein contained shall prevent the general court from assembling at such other times as they shall judge necessary, or when called together by the governor. The governor, lieutenant-governor and councillors, shall also hold their respective offices for one year next following the first Wednesday of January, and until others are chosen and qualified in their stead.
e [The meeting for the choice of governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives, shall be held on the second Monday of November in every year; but meetings may be adjourned, if necessary, for the choice of representatives, to the next day, and again to the next succeeding day, but no further. But in case a second meeting shall be necessary for the choice of representatives, such meetings shall be held on the fourth Monday of the same month of November.]
All the other provisions of the constitution. respecting the elections and proceedings of the members of the general court, or of any other officers or persons whatever, that have reference to the last Wednesday of May, as the commencement of the political year, shall be so far altered, as to have like reference to the first Wednesday of January.
This article shall go into operation on the first day of October, next following the day when the same shall be duly ratified and adopted as an amendment of the constitution; and the governor, lieutenant-governor, councillors, senators, representatives, and all other state officers, who are annually chosen, and who shall be chosen for the current year, when the same shall go into operation, shall hold their respective offices until the first Wednesday of January then next following, and until others are chosen and qualified in their stead, and no longer; and the first election of the governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, and representatives, to be had in virtue of this article, shall be had conformably thereunto, in the month of November following the day on which the same shall be in force, and go into operation, pursuant to the foregoing provision
All the provisions of the existing constitution, inconsistent with the provisions herein contained, are hereby wholly annulled.
a See amendments, Arts. XXX. and XXXII.
b For educational qualification, see amendments, Art. XX. For provision as to those who have served in the army or navy in time of war, see amendments, Art. XXVIII. See also amendments, Art. XXIII., which was annulled by amendments, Art. XXVI.
c This clause superseded by amendments, Art. XVII.
d Oath to be taken by all officers. See Const., Ch. VI., Art. I.
e This clause superseded by amendments, Art. XV.