CHAPTER 115

DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS FOR THE CITY OF WILMINGTON

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 57 OF THE REVISED CODE OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, 1935, ENTITLED "DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS FOR THE CITY OF WILMINGTON" BY PROVIDING FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS FOR NEW CASTLE COUNTY.

Be it enacted by the Senate 'and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:

Section 1. That 1745. Sec. 1, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1745 Sec. 1. For the objects and purposes hereinafter set forth, the Governor shall, in the manner and at the times and for the terms set forth in 1746. Sec. 2 of this Chapter, appoint five persons of the City of Wilmington and four persons, residents of New Castle County, but not residing in the City of Wilmington, who shall constitute a Department of Elections for New Castle County, and with the powers and duties prescribed in the sections following.

Section 2. That Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by inserting a new section to be known as 1745A. Sec. 1A. as follows:

1745A. Sec. 1A. That on and after the effective date of this Act, the Department of Elections for the City of Wilmington, as now established and constituted, be and the same is hereby abolished and a Department of Elections for New Castle County is hereby established and constituted.

Said Department of Elections for New Castle County, as established and constituted by this Act, shall be composed of nine (9) members and the following persons be and they hereby are appointed members of said Department of Elections for New Castle County for the respective terms hereinafter indicated, viz.:

Walter G. Tatnall, Jr., for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the first day of April, A. D. 1941;

Alvin Satterthwaite for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the first day of April, A. D. 1941; Harry K. Hoch for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the first day of April, A. D. 1941;

Thomas M. Adamson for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the first day of April, A. D. 1941;

Wayne C. Brewer for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the first day of April, A. D. 1941;

T. Muncy Keith for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the tenth day of August, A. D. 1941;

Leroy F. Hawke for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the tenth day of August, A. D. 1941;

William F. Hayes for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the first day of April, A. D. 1943;

J. Frank Davis for a term commencing with the effective date of this Act and ending on the tenth day of August, A. D. 1943.

The Department of Elections for New Castle County established and constituted as aforesaid shall have a full and complete jurisdiction over all and every the matters and things now vested by law in the Department of Elections for the City of Wilmington as at present constituted and shall possess, enjoy, and exercise all and every the rights, powers, and privileges which are now held, possessed, enjoyed and exercised by the Department of Elections for the City of Wilmington, as fully and completely as the said Department of Elections now by law is authorized so to do, and such other rights, powers, and privileges as by this Act conferred, and by any law of this State now or hereafter enacted, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter.

It shall be the duty of the Department of Elections for the City of Wilmington and every member thereof, and every officer, clerk, or agent thereof, and every other person having possession or control of any records, books, papers, or other property of or relating to and connected with said Department of Elections, immediately after the organization of the Department of Elections for New Castle County as provided by this Act, to surrender and deposit the same with the President of the Department of Elections for New Castle County or with such other persons as the President shall order and direct.

Section 3. That Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by striking out 1746. Sec. 2 and inserting in lieu thereof a new section to be known as 1746. Sec. 2, as follows:

1746. Sec. 2. Commencing with the month of April, 1941, and on or before the first day thereof, and every sixth year thereafter, the Governor shall appoint five members of the Department of Elections for New Castle County for a term of six years; and in the month of August, 1941, and on or before the tenth day thereof, and every sixth year thereafter, the Governor shall appoint two members of the said Department of Elections for a term of six years; and in the year 1943, commencing with the month of April, and on or before the first day thereof, and every sixth year thereafter, the Governor shall appoint one member of the Department of Elections for a term of six years; and in the year 1943, in the month of August, and on or before the tenth day thereof, and every sixth year thereafter, the Governor shall appoint one member of the said Department of Elections for a term of six years.

No person shall be eligible to appointment as a member of the said Department of Elections who is not a citizen of the United States of America and a resident in the county for which he is appointed, and who has not resided therein for a term of five years next preceding his appointment. No member of said Department shall hold or be a candidate for any elective office during his membership in said Department, nor until the expiration of six months after he shall have ceased to be a member of the said Department.

When any vacancy occurs in said Department for any cause, other than expiration of a term, the Governor aforesaid shall fill the vacancy by appointment for the residue of the term; provided, that each of the two principal political parties shall at all times be represented by at least two members of the Department. Each of said members shall, before entering upon his duties, and within one month from the time of his appointment, take and subscribe and file in the Office of the Clerk of Peace of New Castle County, the oath or affirmation prescribed by the Constitution. Commencing on the fourth Monday of April A. D. 1939, and biennially thereafter, the members of the Department of Elections for New Castle County shall meet and organize said Department by electing one of their number to be President of the Department; and they shall at the same time elect a Secretary. The term of office of the President shall be two years from the date of such organization. FiVe members shall be sufficient for the purpose of organization, and shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. The said Department shall have power to make rules for its government, not inconsistent with the Constitution and Laws of the State.

Each member of said Department of Elections shall receive as compensation for his services, a salary of five hundred dollars per annum; the salary of the Secretary shall be three thousand dollars per annum. The salary of the members of the Department of Elections and the Secretary thereof shall be paid by the Levy Court of New Castle County in the same manner as county officers are paid; provided, however; in every year in which a Municipal Election is held in the City of Wilmington, the salary of the members and of the Secretary, shall be paid in the same manner as by law provided fur the payment of officers of the said City of Wilmington.

Section 4. That 1747. Sec. 3, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof, as follows:

1747. Sec. 3. The Public Building Commission for the City of Wilmington and New Castle County shall provide suitable and convenient office space in the Public Building at Wilmington, Delaware, for the use and occupancy of the Department of Elections for New Castle County, and the Levy Court of New Castle County shall furnish and supply all necessary equipment for the said office.

Section 5. That 1750. Sec. 6, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1750. Sec. 6. The Department of Elections shall, on or before the first day of June, in every year in which a General Registration is held, divide New Castle County, including the City of Wilmington, into as many election districts as they may deem necessary and shall establish the boundaries thereof. Each of said election districts shall be entirely within one representative district.

On or before the first day of June, commencing with the year 1942 and biennially thereafter, the said such of Elections may divide such election districts, and such only as, by the election last preceding such division, shall be found to contain a greater number of voters than can be conveniently voted therein. They shall designate each election district by appropriate titles or distinctions.

When any boundary of any election district in New Castle County shall be changed as aforesaid, a new general registration shall be held in each election district affected by such change of boundary; and the department of elections for New Castle County shall, at least ten days prior to the first day set for the registration, give public notice by advertisements posted in ten or more of the most public places in each election district affected by any change of boundary, that it has become necessary to have a new general

registration in such election district, the place where the registration officers shall sit for the registration of voters and the day or days when they shall sit in such place. All the provisions relating to the registration of voters in general as provided in Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, shall apply as far as pertinent, and the duties of the registration officers shall be the same as those prescribed in relation to other registration days.

Section 6. That 1752. Sec. 8, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1752. Sec. 8. They shall hereafter appoint all registration officers in New Castle County, including the City of Wilmington, and shall make all necessary removals of registration officers and fill all vacancies which from any cause occur.

Section 7. That 1753. Sec. 9, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1753. Sec. 9. The Department of Elections for New Castle County shall, in the month of June in each year in which a General Election is held appoint for each election district in New Castle County, three capable persons who shall be voters and residents in the election district for which they shall be appointed, who shall be the registration officers of the election districts for which they are appointed; one of whom shall be designated as "Registrar," and the other two "Assistant Registrars" and not more than two of them shall be of the same political faith; provided, however, that the total number of registration officers in each representative district shall be divided as equally as possible between the two leading political parties, as the same shall be determined upon by the Department of Elections at the time of making the appointment. The County Executive Committee of each of the two principal political parties as determined by the Department of Elections shall, on or before the first day of May of the year in which said appointments are made, furnish the Department of Elections with a list of six names of properly qualified persons for each election district in New Castle County, outside the City of Wilmington, as the nominees of such political party for the registration officers of such election district, and the City Executive Committee of each of the two principal political parties as determined by the Department of Elections shall, on or before the first day of May of the year in which said appointments are made, furnish the Department of Elections with a list of six names of properly qualified persons for each election district in the City of Wilmington, as the nominees of such political party for the registration officers of such election districts; and from the respective lists submitted as herein provided, the Department of Elections shall make its appointments respectively. If the said lists of names are not furnished as aforesaid, then and in that event the Department of Elections shall appoint some suitable person or persons, of such political faith having all the qualifications provided by this section.

The terms of office of such registration officers shall begin on the first day of July next after their appointment and shall continue for two years thereafter and until their successors shall be duly chosen and qualified unless sooner removed as provided in this Chapter.

Section 8. That 1754. Sec. 10, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1754. Sec. 10. They shall also, when appointing Registration Officers for the several election districts of New Castle County, at the same time appoint in each election district in the said County one capable person, who shall be a voter and resident in the election district for which he shall be appointed to be "Alternate Registrar" for the said election district. The term of office of said "Alternate Registrar" shall be the same as that of the Registrar; and whenever the Registrar provided for by this Chapter shall be incapable from any cause whatsoever of performing the duties required of him by the laws of this State, the Alternate Registrar in

the same election district shall act in his stead, and while acting shall possess all the powers and do and perform all the duties of the Registrar.

Section 9. That 1756. Sec. 12, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1756. Sec. 12. If any vacancy or vacancies should occur in the office of Registrar, Assistant Registrar or Alternate Registrar, before the expiration of such term, from any cause whatsoever, the said Department of Elections Shall appoint some suitable person or persons to fill such vacancy or vacancies who shall serve for the residue of such unexpired term or terms, and who shall possess the same qualifications and be qualified in the same manner, possess the same powers and perform the same duties as the original appointee or appointees. Each Registrar, Assistant Registrar, and Alternate Registrar, before entering upon the duties of his office shall take and subscribe before the said Department of .Elections the following oath or affirmation:

"I residing in

Election District of Representative District in

County, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will

support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution
of the State of Delaware, and that I will faithfully discharge the
duties of the office of Registrar (Assistant Registrar or Alternate

Registrar) for Election District in

Representative District in County, according to

the best of my ability."

Any member of or the Secretary of said Department of Elections is authorized and empowered to administer such oath or affirmation; provided that no fee be charged for administering such , oaths or affirmation.

Section 10. That 1759. Sec. 15, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1759. Sec. 15. The said Department of Elections shall designate and appoint a place or places of registry and a polling place in each Election District in New Castle County; at the places so designated all elections shall be held and the work of registration performed. The said Department shall hire all such places a-0 cause the same to be fitted up, warmed, lighted and cleaned; such place shall be in the most public, orderly and convenient portion of the district.

Section 11. That 1762. Sec. 18, Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1762. Sec. 18. The compensation of Inspector of Election or other persons authorized by law to hold same, Poll Clerks and other officers of election, in New Castle County, the costs and expense of all necessary election notices, posters, maps, advertisements, books, blanks, stationery, the rent and cost of fitting up, warming, lighting, cleaning and safekeeping of all places of registration and polling places, of carting ballot boxes, and of all supplies of every kind and nature for elections in said County, shall be paid as other general election expenses are paid, and upon proper warrants and vouchers made by the said Department of Elections.

Section 12. That 1763. Sec. 19, Chapter 57, of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1763. Sec. 19. It shall be the duty of the Department of Engineering and Surveying of the City of Wilmington to furnish to the Department of Elections for New Castle County, upon its request, a map or maps of the several wards of the City, or of any and all portions thereof; the Department of Engineering for New Castle County shall furnish the said Department of Elections, upon

its request, a map or maps of the several hundreds of New Castle County, or of any or all portions thereof.

Section 13. That 1765. Sec. 21, Chapter 57, of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby repealed and a new Section substituted in lieu thereof as follows:

1765. Sec. 21. That the Department of Elections for New Castle County shall, sometime in the month of October in each year in which a general election is held, appoint in each Election District of the said County two capable persons who shall be clerks of election of the election district for which they are appointed; one of whom in each election district shall be a member of one of the leading political parties in said County, and the other shall be a member of the other leading political party of said County. For each appointment of Clerk accredited to any political party under this Section, the County Executive Committee of such party shall furnish said Department of Elections for New Castle County, on or before the first day of September of the year in which the appointment is to be made a list of three names of properly qualified persons, from which lists the said Department of Elections shall appoint the Clerks of Elections as aforesaid. Provided, however, that if the said lists of names are not furnished as aforesaid, then and in that event, the said Department of Elections shall appoint some suitable person or persons of such political party as aforesaid, and having all the qualifications provided by this Section. The terms of the said Clerks of Elections shall be two years commencing on the date of their appointment.

The Clerks of Elections shall during their term of office discharge and perform at all elections held in the Election District for which they are appointed (other than primary elections and elections for members of the Board of Public Education) all duties which are now or hereafter may be by law imposed on Clerks of Elections. Any vacancies occurring in the office of Clerks of Elections in any election district in New Castle County shall be filled by said Department of Elections for the unexpired term, and when filling such vacancies the said Department of Elections shall select some suitable person of the same political party as the Clerk who has been originally appointed.

If any Clerk of Elections, who having been appointed under the provisions of this Section, shall refuse to qualify or having qualified shall fail or refuse to perform any of the duties of said office, he shall be deemed guilty of misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall pay a fine of not less than Fifty nor more than One Hundred Dollars.

Section 14. That Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by inserting a new section to be known as 1765A. Sec. 21A. as follows:

1765A. Sec. 21A. If any person, firm, corporation or employer existing or doing business in this State shall hinder, coerce, or intimidate or shall attempt to hinder, coerce, or intimidate any person who has been appointed a Registration Officer, Election Officer or Clerk of Election under the laws of this State from qualifying and performing his duties as such by threats of depriving such person of employment or occupation, absolutely or contingently, directly or indirectly, he or they shall be liable to a penalty of Five Hundred Dollars, recoverable by the Attorney General by civil action in any Court of competent jurisdiction in the name of "The Attorney General of the State of Delaware," and for the use and benefit of The State of Delaware.

In any trial under the provisions of this section, the act or acts of any officer of a corporation, so far as they affect an employee or servant of such corporation, shall be taken and held to be the act or acts of the corporation, whether special or general authority as to such act or acts from the corporation, is shown or not. Nothing herein contained shall be construed to relieve any officer of a corporation from individual liability under the provisions of this Section.

Section 15. That Chapter 57 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended by inserting a new Section to be known as 1765B. Sec. 21B. as follows:

1765B. Sec. 21B. The Department of Elections for New Castle County shall, at the same time when they are required to appoint Registration Officers, and from the lists furnished them by the County Executive Committees and City Executive Committees, respectively, of the two leading political parties, as provided in Section 9 of this Chapter, as amended, select and appoint from the lists so furnished by the County Executive Committees for each election district in New Castle County, outside of the City of Wilmington, and from the lists so furnished by the City Executive Committees for each election district in the City of Wilmington, three persons as Election Officers, who shall become Inspector and Judges of Election, as hereinafter provided, which three persons shall be the same persons who are appointed Registrar and Assistant Registrars for said Election District. Every person so selected to be such Election Officer shall, on receipt of notice thereof, appear within ten days thereafter, before said Department, for the purpose of examination, and if found qualified, shall, unless excused by said Department by reason of ill health or other good and sufficient cause, be bound to serve as such officer at every election for the term for which he is appointed. The failure on the part of any such person to present himself for examination within the time prescribed, or to comply with any of the requirements of this section preliminary to receiving his certificate of appointment, or to attend on the day of any election during his term, unless prevented by sickness or other sufficient cause, the burden of proof of which shall be upon the delinquent, shall be deemed a refusal to comply with the requirements of this section or to serve or to act as election officer within the meaning of this section. The Department of Elections shall deliver a certificate of appointment to whomsoever shall be nominated, approved and sworn into office, by it as such election officer, said certificate to be in such form as shall be prescribed by such Department of Elections, specifying the Election District in and for which the person to whom the same is issued is appointed to serve, and the date of the expiration of his term of office. The persons so appointed Election Officers under the provisions of this section shall, respectively, hold office for the term of two years unless sooner removed for want of requisite qualifications or for cause; in either of which cases such removal, unless made while such Election Officers are actually on duty on a day of election and for improper conduct as an Election Officer, shall only be made after notice in writing to the officers sought to be removed, which notice shall set forth clearly and distinctly the reasons for his removal. Any person appointed to fill any vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term of the person whose office he is appointed to fill. The neglect or refusal of any person so appointed Election Officer as aforesaid to appear and qualify as such Election Officer within the time herein prescribed shall be deemed to create a vacancy in said office.

Said Department of Elections shall have power to dismiss any such Election Officer at any time and supply his place with another person and to make all necessary removals and transfers of said Election Officers and fill all vacancies which from any cause may occur. Whenever from any cause there shall exist a vacancy in the office of such Election Officer, a person shall be appointed to fill such vacancy from the unused names, if any there be, upon the list so furnished said Department of Elections as aforesaid by the political party from which the said Department of Elections made the appointment for the office so become vacant.

Said Election Officers, when they have met on the day of holding any general or special election at the place designated for holding such election in their respective election districts, shall organize as a Board by selecting one of their number to act as Chairman, but in case of failure to so organize by the time fixed for the opening of the polls in such District, the Chairman shall be selected by lot. After such organization the Election Officer so selected as Chairman of said Board of Election Officers shall be the Inspector of Elections of said Election District, and the remaining two Election Officers shall respectively be the Judges of Election of said Election District.

From and after the effective date of this Ad, the terms and powers of office of the Inspectors of Election for New Castle County who shall then be in office shall be and the same are hereby declared to be terminated and ended.

Section 16. This Act shall take effect immediately upon its passage and approval by the Governor, or upon its final passage, without the approval of the Governor, as provided by law.

Section 17. All acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed.

Note: This bill became a law on April 14, 1939 without the approval of the Governor and in accordance with Section 18, Article 3 of the Constitution of Delaware.