CHAPTER 127 - PRIMARY ELECTIONS

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 58 OF THE REVISED CODE OF DELAWARE, 1935, RELATING TO PRIMARY ELECTIONS.

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

Section 1. That Chapter 58 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby amended, by striking out and repealing all of 1772. Sec. 4. thereof, and by inserting in lieu thereof, a new section, to be styled 1772. Sec. 4., as follows:

1772. Sec. 4. Inspectors And Judges, How Appointed:—The inspectors and judges of all primary elections held in this State, under the direction of any political party, organization or association, shall be appointed by the regularly organized and constituted County Committee or governing authority of the political party, organization or association holding such primary election.

The term of office of said inspectors and judges shall be for one year. Said Committee or governing authority shall designate which persons shall act as inspectors, and which persons shall act as judges of such primary elections. The persons so appointed shall be residents of the primary election district for which they are appointed. In cases when primary election officers are appointed as herein provided, representatives of the interests of each candidate shall be as nearly equally divided as possible upon the board of election officers.

If any person appointed to be inspector or judge of any primary election shall die, remove from his primary election district, or be for any reason physically unable to attend in his primary election district at any primary election held by his political party, organization or association, then the regularly organized and constituted County Committee or governing authority of the political party, organization or association holding such primary election, shall appoint an inspector or judge, as the case may be, to fill the vacancy thereby created.

In case of refusal or neglect on the part of any person appointed pursuant to the provisions hereof to be an inspector or judge, as the case may be, of any primary election, to qualify according to the requirements of this Chapter, or to serve, or to act, he shall be liable to a penalty of Two Hundred Dollars, recoverable by the County Treasurer, by civil action in any court of record, in the name of the County Treasurer and for the use and benefit of the County; and the failure on the part of any such person to comply with any of the requirements of this Chapter preliminary to opening the polls, or to attend on the day of any primary 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 within the meaning of this Chapter.

The election officers, whose appointment is provided for in this Section, shall be appointed at least two weeks before such primary election is to be held.

Section 2. That Chapter 58 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby further amended, by striking out and repealing all of 1776. Sec. 8. thereof, and by inserting in lieu thereof, a new Section, to be styled 1776. Sec. 8., as follows:

1776. Sec. 8. Voting Books Of Qualified Voters For Primary Elections; How Prepared; Supplementary Or Duplicate Books:—Beginning with the year 1942, the registration officers of each election district in New Castle County shall be furnished by the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District comprising New Castle County, and the registration officers of each election district in Kent County shall be furnished by the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District comprising Kent County, and the registration officers of each election district in Sussex County shall be furnished by the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District comprising Sussex County, as described in 1706. Sec. 1. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, with two books, to be known as Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, before the first day of any registration of voters in such election district.

And also in each year, after the year 1941, in which a municipal election is held in the City of Wilmington, as provided for in Section 38 of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, and in Section 12 of this Chapter, the registration officers of each election district within the said City of Wilmington shall be furnished by the said Board of Registration of the Registration Department District comprising New Castle County, as aforesaid, with two books, to be known as Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, before the first day of any registration of voters in such election district.

The Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections used in the year 1940, (and in the year 1941 in the said City of Wilmington), shall be used in making subsequent registrations for primary elections, until they shall become so filled with entries that they can no longer be conveniently used for such purpose; or until replaced by Supplementary or Duplicate Books, as hereinafter in this Chapter provided.

Said books shall be ruled in parallel columns and so arranged as to admit of the convenient entry, in alphabetical order, of the name of every person who may be entered on the Registers of said election district as a registered voter, and in the parallel column, opposite the name of said person, the following particulars, to-wit:

First:—His or her residence.

Second - date of registration.

Said books shall contain twelve parallel columns for the entry of the word "voted", together with the date of voting.

It shall be the duty of the registration officers of each election district to make up the Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections as follows:

They shall enter in the said books, in its proper alphabetical order, the name of every person whose name appears as a registered voter in the Registers and Voting Books of Registered Voters of said election district, (except the name of a person already appearing as a registered voter in the said books), and also his or her residence and the date of registration, so that the said Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections shall contain the names of all the qualified voters of said election district who were registered during the general registration in the year 1940, and any supplementary registration up to and including the last registration day in the month of August of the year in which said books are made up. They shall, within three days after the last registration day in the month of August aforesaid, complete the making up of said books and shall compare the same with the Registers, and append to each of said books a certificate, verified by oath or affirmation, that they contain an accurate alphabetical list of the names of all persons whose names appear as registered voters in the Registers and Voting Books of Registered Voters of said election district.

And it shall be the duty of the registration officers of each election district within the City of Wilmington to make up the Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, on the registration day in each year in which a municipal election is held in the said City, beginning with the year 1943, which registration day shall be the third Saturday of April next before the day set for holding the election for municipal officers in the said City, as provided in Section 38, of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended; and the said registration officers shall make up the said Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections as follows:

They shall enter in said books, in its proper alphabetical order, the name of every person whose name appears as a registered voter in the Registers and Voting Books of Registered Voters of said election district, (except the name of a person already appearing as a registered voter in the said books), and also his or her residence and date of registration, so that the said Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections of said election district shall contain the names of all the qualified voters of said election district who were registered during each and all of the five general registration days, in the year 1940, and also during any supplementary registration up to and including the last registration day in the month of April of the year in which a municipal election is held in said City and in which year said books are made up. They shall within three days after the said registration day on the third Saturday in April aforesaid, complete the making up of said books and shall compare the same with the Registers and Books of Registered Voters of said election district, and shall append to each of said books a certificate, verified by oath or affirmation, that they contain an accurate alphabetical list of the names of all persons whose names appear as registered voters in the Registers and Voting Books of Registered Voters of said election district.

It shall be the duty of the Registrar of each election district in New Castle County, including the City of Wilmington, and the Registrar of each election district in Kent County, and the Registrar of each election district in Sussex County, within (me secular clay after the certification by the registration officers, as herein required, to deliver to the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District of their respective Counties, the two Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, who shall safely keep the same.

If at the completion of the registration in any year, it shall appear that the Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections in any election district will not be available for a supplementary registration, either from lack of space or because the said Books, or either of them, have become worn, or for any other reason whatever, it shall be the duty of the registration officers to immediately certify this fact to the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District in which the election district is situated. It shall be the duty of the said Boards of Registration of the Registration Department Districts of the several counties to examine all such Books immediately after their delivery to them, as in this Chapter provided, in order to determine whether any and what supplementary books will be required for subsequent registration in any election district in their respective Registration Department Districts.

And in addition to the Books required to be furnished by the said Boards of Registration of the Registration Department Districts of the several counties, as in this Chapter provided, the registration officers of each election district of the several counties shall be furnished by the said Boards of Registration of the Registration Department Districts of the several counties, on or before the first day of any registration of voters in any year in such election district, with all such Books needed by any such election district for subsequent registration as aforesaid, of the form and design hereinbefore provided; and said Books so furnished and delivered shall become and be, and shall be known as, Supplementary Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections for the district for which they were furnished and shall be so endorsed, and all the provisions of this Chapter relative to Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Election shall apply to them.

And it shall be the duty of each of the said Boards of Registration of the Registration Department Districts of the several Counties to examine all such Books immediately after the delivery to them, as in this Chapter provided; and if they shall find that any Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections or Supplementary Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections of any election district are missing or mutilated or defaced, so that they are no longer available for the purposes for which they were intended then, and in all such cases, the Board of Registration of each Registration Department District shall furnish all such duplicate Books that may be needed for any of the causes above stated in any election district in its Registration Department District, on or before the first day of any registration of voters in any year in such election district. The said Books shall be of the same form and design as hereinbefore described. The said Books shall be known as the Duplicate Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections or Duplicate Supplementary Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, as the case may be, for _______ Election District of _______ Representative District of _________ County, and the Registrar shall endorse on the back and at the head of the first page of each of said books the same entry as in the case of the original books, except that he shall prefix the word "duplicate" at the beginning of such endorsement, and he shall add the date on which the said book or books were received by him and shall sign each endorsement.

It shall be the duty of the registration officers to make up the Duplicates aforesaid from the Registers, so that the said Duplicates will contain, at any primary election, the names of all the persons who, according to the Registers and Books of Registered Voters of said District, are entitled to vote at such primary election, and all the provisions of this Chapter relative to Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections shall apply to such Duplicate Books.

The two Assistant Registrars shall be paid Seven Dollars and Fifty Cents each for their services in connection with the said Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, and the Registrar shall be paid Twelve Dollars and Fifty Cents for his services in connection with and for the delivery of said books, said compensation to be paid by the State.

Provided, however, that no such compensation .shall be paid to the registration officers of any election district within the City of Wilmington, until after the last registration day in the month of April in the year immediately succeeding the year of the last preceding general election, beginning with the year 1943, and not until the said registration officers have completed the making up of the said books of their election district and have compared the same and duly certified to the accuracy of the same, as in this Section provided; and provided, further, that no such compensation shall be paid to the registration officers of any election district outside of the City of Wilmington until after the last registration day in the month of August in the year of a general election, beginning with the year 1942, and not until the said registration officers have completed the making up of the said books of their election district and have compared the same and duly certified to the accuracy of the same, as in this Section provided.

Section 3. That Chapter 58 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby further amended, by striking out and repealing all of 1786. Sec. 18. thereof, and by inserting in lieu thereof a new Section, to be styled 1786. Sec. 18., as follows:

1786. Sec. 18. Department Of Elections, Or Sheriff, Or Clerk Of The Peace, To Deliver Primary Election Books; To Whom; Failure To Deliver, Misdemeanor; Penalty:—The Department of Elections for New Castle County, the Sheriff of each County in this State, the Clerk of the Peace of each County in this State, or any other person or persons, having in its, his or their possession or tinder its, his or their control, any Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, or any other books, papers, documents or articles or property of any description used in connection with Primary Elections in the year 1940 or in the year 1941, shall, on or before the fifteenth day of March, 1942, deliver the same to the President of the said Board of Registration of the Registration Department District of its, his or their County, or to such person or persons as the said President shall designate, to be safely kept by the said Board of Registration, subject to public inspection at all reasonable times, as other public records.

If the said Department of Elections for-New Castle County, or any member thereof, or the Sheriff or the Clerk of the Peace, of any County in this State, or any other person or persons, having in its, his or their possession or under its, his or their control, any Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections, or any other books, papers, documents or articles or property of any description used in connection with Primary Elections, in the year 1940 or the year 1941, as aforesaid, shall willfully neglect, refuse or fail to deliver the same or any of them, to the President of the said Board of Registration of the Registration Department District of its, his or their County, or to such person or persons as the said President shall designate, as aforesaid, on or before the fifteenth day of March, 1942, and within five days after demand in writing made therefor, any such member of the said Department, or the said Sheriff or the said Clerk of the Peace or any other person or persons, as aforesaid, so neglecting, refusing or failing to deliver the same or any part thereof, as aforesaid, shall be 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 neglect, refusal or failure to deliver the said Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections or other books, papers, documents or articles or property of any description used in connection with said Primary Elections or any of them, as aforesaid, and such conviction shall of itself forfeit his office.

And it shall be the duty of the Board of Registration of the Registration Department District, comprising all of any County in this State, as described in 1706. Sec. 1. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, to deliver to each Inspector of any primary election to be held within such County by any political party, organization or association, in accordance with the provisions of 1781. Sec. 13. of this Chapter, the two Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections provided for in this Chapter, for each general election district that may be contained in the primary election district to which such Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections shall apply. And it shall be the duty of the said Inspector to have the same at the place of holding the primary election at the time of opening the polls on primary election day.

If the members of any such Board of Registration of any Registration Department District, comprising any County of this State, as aforesaid, in which such primary election is to be held, as referred to in 1781. Sec. 13. of Chapter 56 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, as amended, as aforesaid, shall refuse, neglect, or fail to deliver to each Inspector of any primary election to be held within such County by any political party, organization or association, as aforesaid, the two Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections provided for in this Chapter, for each general election district that may be contained in the primary election district to which such Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections shall apply; or if any Inspector shall refuse, neglect or fail to have the said Voting Books of Qualified Voters for Primary Elections at the place of holding the primary elections for any general or special election or any municipal election in the City of Wilmington, at the time designated in this Chapter, each member of such Board of Registration of such Registration Department District as aforesaid, so refusing, neglecting or failing as aforesaid, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof before any Justice of the Peace, shall be punished for each such offense by a fine of One Hundred Dollars for each and every day of such refusal, neglect or failure, and such conviction shall of itself work a forfeiture of his office; and any Inspector so refusing neglecting or failing as aforesaid, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of 1781. Sec. 13. of this Chapter.

Section 4. That Chapter 58 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby further amended by striking out and repealing all of 1788. Sec. 20. thereof, as amended, and by substituting in lieu thereof a new Section, to be styled 1788. Sec. 20., as follows:

1788. Sec. 20. Ballot Boxes; Delivery At Polling Places; Description Thereof; White Flag For Each Polling Place:— The Department of Elections for New Castle County, and the Department of Elections for Kent County, and the Department of Elections for Sussex County, shall provide and deliver, or cause to be provided and delivered, to the officers of every polling place in their respective Counties, where a primary election is to be held, (including primary elections in the City of Wilmington to nominate officers to be voted for at subsequent municipal elections), a ballot box, the same to be provided with a lock and key; the said ballot box to be not less than twelve inches long, nine and one-half inches wide, and nine inches high; both sides of said box shall be entirely of clear glass and shall have a lid so constructed that the said lid will slide with ease. The lid of said ballot box shall have an opening in the top not more than one inch long and not more than three sixteenths of an inch wide; the opening to be entirely closed with iron, steel or tin, which material shall be securely fastened to the lid. The said Departments shall also furnish to the officers holding any primary election in their respective Counties, as aforesaid, a box of sufficient size to hold the ballots cast at such primary election.

At the time of the delivery of the ballot boxes, as aforesaid, the said Departments shall furnish for each polling place in their respective Counties, as aforesaid, a white muslin flag, preferably staffed, of suitable size for the lettering thereon in four-inch letters, the following words:

Primary Polling Place

Election District

Representative District

Section 5. That Chapter 58 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby further amended, by striking out and repealing the word "Sheriff" as it appears in 1791. Sec. 23. of the said Chapter 58, and by inserting in lieu thereof the words: "Department of Elections".

Section 6. That Chapter 58 of the Revised Code of Delaware, 1935, be and the same is hereby further amended, by striking out and repealing all of 1793. Sec. 25. thereof.

Section 7. That all acts or parts of acts inconsistent with the provisions of, or any of the provisions of, this Act, be and the same are hereby repealed to the extent, and only to the extent, of any such inconsistency.

Section 8. That this Act shall not become operative until the first day of January, 1942.

Approved May 12, 1941.