CHAPTER 125 - DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS FOR KENT COUNTY

AN ACT CREATING A DEPARTMENT OF ELECTIONS FOR KENT COUNTY AND DESCRIBING ITS POWERS AND DUTIES.

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

Section 1. That there is hereby created a Department of Elections for Kent County, which shall consist of three members appointed by the Governor.

Section 2. That the Governor, at the same time when he is required to appoint members of the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District of Kent County, in accordance with the provisions of 1706 A. Sec. 1 A. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, shall select and appoint three persons who shall constitute the said Department of Elections for Kent County, which said three persons shall be the same persons who constitute the said Board of Registration of the said Registration Department District of Kent County, as aforesaid; and the members of the said Department of Elections and the members of the said Board of Registration shall, thereafter, consist of persons who shall constitute both the said Department of Elections and the said Board of Registration.

The members of the said Department, before entering upon their duties and within ten days from the time of their appointment, shall each take and subscribe the oath or affirmation prescribed by the Constitution.

Commencing within ten clays after their appointment in the year 1942, and biennially thereafter, the members of the said Department shall meet and organize by electing one of their number to be President of the said Department. They shall also elect a Secretary, who shall be the same person who is, from time to time, Secretary of the said Board of Registration, as provided for in 1706 A. Sec. 1 A. of Chapter 66 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended.

The term of office of the President shall be two years from the date of such organization and until his successor is elected.

Two members of the said Department shall be sufficient for organization and shall constitute a quorum in all cases for the transaction of business. The said Department shall have full power and authority to make and adopt rules for its government not inconsistent with the Constitution and laws of this State.

Each member of the said Department and the Secretary of the said Department shall receive no additional compensation for their services in connection with the said Department, other than the compensation that they receive as members and Secretary of the said Board of Registration, as provided for in 1706 A. Sec. 1 A. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended.

Section 3. That the said Department shall use and occupy one and the same office, with the said Board of Registration of the Registration Department District of Kent County, which shall be furnished by the Levy Court of Kent County and properly fitted up with all necessary equipment as a permanent office for the use of the said Department of Elections and the said Board of Registration as provided for in 1706 B. Sec. 1 B. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended.

Section 4. That the said Department of Elections for Kent County and the said Board of Registration shall designate and appoint a polling place and a place of registry in each election district of Kent County; and at the places so designated and appointed all elections, excepting primary elections, shall be held and the work of registration performed.

The said Department shall furnish for each of such places of registry and places of election, a white muslin flag, preferably staffed, of suitable size for the lettering thereon in four-inch black letters, the following words:

Registration And Polling Place

Election District

Representative District

At every registration and election, excepting primary elections, during the time the aforesaid places are open in accordance with the law, the said flag shall be displayed at or near the entrance to such place of registry and election so as to be readily seen. The said Department shall also hire all such places and cause the same to be fitted up, heated, lighted and cleaned; such place shall be in the most public, orderly and convenient portion of the district; no building or part of building shall be designated or used as a place of registration or polling place, in any part of which spirituous or intoxicating liquor is or has been sold within sixty days next preceding the time of using the same.

Section 5. That the said Department of Elections for Kent County shall prepare and furnish all necessary maps, forms, oaths, certificates, blanks and instruments for the use of the local registration officers in the various registration and election districts of Kent County, and provide for furnishing such officers therewith and with all necessary supplies, and also a copy of the registration and election laws. The said Department of Elections and the said Board of Registration shall have and retain the custody of all books, maps, forms, oaths of office and of removal, blanks, instructions, and all other records and supplies of every kind or description pertaining to said Department.

Section 6. That the said Department of Elections for Kent County shall, after the appointment of local registration officers of each and all of the election districts in said Kent County, as provided in 1706 G. Sec. 1 G. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, select and appoint, for each election district in said Kent County, 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 and appointed to be such Election Officer shall, on receipt of notice thereof, appear within ten days thereafter, before the said Department of Elections of Kent County, for the purpose of examination, and if found qualified shall, unless excused by the 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 or she is appointed. The failure on the part of any such person to present himself or herself for examination within the time prescribed, or to comply with any of the requirements of this Section preliminary to receiving his or her certificate of appointment, or to attend on the day of any election during his or her 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 said 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 the said 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 or her 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 Officer is 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 Officer sought to be removed, which notice shall set forth clearly and distinctly the reasons for his or her removal. Any person appointed to fill any vacancy shall serve for the unexpired term of the person whose office he or she 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.

The said Department of Elections shall have power to dismiss any such Election Officer at any time and supply his or her 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 the said Board of Registration of the Registration Department District, comprising all of said Kent County, in accordance with 1706 G. Sec. 1 G. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended as aforesaid, by the political party from which said appointment was made for the office so become vacant.

The said Election Officers, when they have met on the clay 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 Election District, the Chairman shall be selected by lot. After such organization, the Election Officer so selected as Chairman of the 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 the said Election District.

From and after the appointment of the Election Officers for the respective Election Districts in said Kent County, as provided for in this Act, the terms and powers of office of the Inspectors of Election for said Kent County who shall then be in office shall be and the same are hereby declared to be terminated and ended.

Section 7. That the compensation of Inspectors of Election or other persons authorized by law to hold the same, Judges of Election, and Clerks of Election, as provided in 1881. Sec. 72. of Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, and the costs and expense of all necessary notices, posters, maps, advertisements, books, blanks, warming, lighting, cleaning and safekeeping of all places of registration and polling places, carting ballot boxes, and of all supplies of every kind and nature for elections in Kent County, shall be paid as other election expenses are paid, by the Levy Court of Kent County, on warrants signed by the President and Secretary of the said Department of Elections for Kent County.

Section 8. That the Department of Elections for Kent County shall, during the month of October, in each year in which a general election is held, appoint in each election district in Kent 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 of whom shall be a member of the other leading political party in 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 said 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 for each appointment so accredited, from which lists the said Department of Elections shall appoint the Clerks of Election as aforesaid.

Provided, however, that if the said lists of names are not furnished as aforesaid, then in that event the said Department of Elections shall appoint some suitable person or persons of such political party as aforesaid, having all the qualifications provided by this Section.

The Clerks of Election 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), all duties which are now or hereafter may be by law imposed upon Clerks of Elections. Any vacancies occurring in the office of Clerks of Election in any election district in the said County shall be filled by the said Department of Elections for the unexpired term, and when filling such vacancies the said Department of Elections shall select some person of the same political party as the Clerk who has been originally appointed.

If any Clerk of Election, 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 or she shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall pay a fine of not less than Fifty Dollars nor more than One Hundred Dollars.

Section 9. That it shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Peace of Kent County, Delaware, the Sheriff of the said County, or any other officer or officers, person or persons, in the said County, having in his or their possession or custody, or in any manner under his or their care or control, any registration books, known as "Registers" or "Books of Registered Voters", or any other papers, documents, lists of qualified or unqualified voters, election notices, posters, maps, books, blanks, stationery, or any other equipment, paraphernalia or other property of any kind or description, intended for use at any registration or general or special election in the said County, to deliver the same, on or before the tenth day of March, 1942, to the President of the said Department of Elections for Kent County, or to such person or persons as the said President shall designate; provided, however, that if the said officers or persons, in this section mentioned, or any of them, has or have previously delivered the said items or property in this section mentioned, or any of them, to the President of the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District comprising said Kent County, (in accordance with Section 13 of An Act of the General Assembly of this State, passed at the One Hundred And Eighth Session thereof, being an amendment to Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, and providing for a permanent registration of voters), or to such person or persons as the said President shall have named, as provided by the said Act, then and in such event such officer or officers, person or persons, shall deliver to the said President of the said Department of Elections for said Kent County or to such person or persons as the said President shall designate, only such of the said items or property as have not been previously delivered as aforesaid.

Section 10. That if the Clerk of the Peace for Kent County, Delaware, or the Sheriff of the said County, or any other officer or officers, person or persons, in the said County, having in his or their possession or custody, or in any manner under his or their care or control, any of the said items or property mentioned in Section 9 of this Act, and not previously delivered as stated in said Section 9 of this Act, shall refuse or neglect to deliver them or any of them to the President of the said Department of Elections for Kent County or to such person or persons as the said President shall designate, as aforesaid, within five days after demand in writing made therefor, each and every one of them, so refusing and neglecting, as aforesaid, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof before any Justice of the Peace, shall be punished by a fine of One Hundred Dollars for each and every day of such refusal or neglect to deliver the said items or property or any of them, as aforesaid.

Section 11. That on and after the appointment of the members of the said Department of Elections for said Kent County, as in this Act provided for, the said Department of Elections for said Kent County shall, during the month of October, and before the twenty-seventh day thereof, in the year of holding the general election, deliver to the Inspector of each Election District or other officer, authorized by law to hold the election therein, in said Kent County, two suitable ballot boxes, as described in 1832. Sec. 23. of Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, with a piece of tape and sealing wax, together with a list of all the officers to be chosen at the then next General Election, written or printed forms of tally lists, of certificates of election in said election district, of the oath or affirmation of the Inspector or other officer authorized by law to hold the election therein, and persons selected as Judges of Election, and also of the Clerks chosen to act at such election, and of the certificates of administering such oaths or affirmations, with printed or written directions as to correcting, completing and signing such oath or affirmation, and certificate of administering the same, and shall also deliver to each Inspector or other officer authorized by law to hold the election as afore, said, a book of blank forms of oaths (or affirmations) provided for in Section 53 of Chapter 60 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, and all other election supplies of every kind and description heretofor delivered to such Inspectors or other officers authorized by law to hold such elections in said Kent County, by the Sheriff or by any other officer of said Kent County prior to a general election in said Kent County; the cost and expense of each and all of the above mentioned articles and equipment and the cost of furnishing the same, as aforesaid, shall be paid by the Levy Court of Kent County, on warrants or vouchers signed by the President and Secretary of the said Department of Elections for Kent County.

Section 12. That all acts or parts of acts, inconsistent with the provisions or any of the provisions of this Act, are hereby changed and modified to conform to the provisions of this Act, or repealed to the extent, and only to the extent, of any such inconsistency.

Section 13. That this Act shall not become effective until the first day of January, 1942.

Approved May 12, 1941.