TITLE 15

Elections

Special, Municipal and Other Elections

CHAPTER 77. CONVENTION TO ACT UPON AMENDMENTS TO FEDERAL CONSTITUTION


Whenever the Congress of the United States proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the United States and proposes that the same shall be valid when ratified by conventions in three fourths of the several States, the Governor of this State shall fix by proclamation the date of an election for the purpose of electing delegates to such convention of this State. Such election may be either at a special election or may be held at the same time as a general election or special, but shall be held at least as soon as the next general election occurring more than 3 months after the amendment has been proposed by the Congress.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 1; Code 1935, § 6206; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7701.;

(a) If the election of delegates is held at the same time as a general election, all persons qualified to vote at such general elections for representatives to the General Assembly of this State shall be entitled to vote.

(b) If such election is held at a time other than at the same time as a general election, all persons qualified to vote for representatives to the General Assembly of this State at the last general election next preceding such special election shall be entitled to vote.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 2; Code 1935, § 6207; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7702.;

(a) If the election of delegates is to be held at a date other than the date of a general election, there shall be 1 or more registration days prior to such election. The Governor shall fix the date or dates of such registration and shall include an announcement of the registration dates in the Governor's proclamation, fixing the date of the election. No registration shall be held within 10 days next prior to such special election.

(b) On the registration day or days persons whose names are not on the list of registered voters established by law for the last general election may apply for registration, and on such registration day or days applications may be made to strike from the registration list names of persons on such list who are not eligible to vote at such election.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 2; Code 1935, § 6207; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7703; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Except as in this chapter otherwise provided, the election of delegates shall be conducted and the results thereof ascertained and certified in the same manner as in the case of the election of electors of President and Vice-President in this State and the Governor shall, without delay, examine the certificates and ascertain the delegates to such convention chosen and make known the same by proclamation and cause notice to be given to each delegate so elected of the delegate's election as a delegate. All provisions of the laws of this State relative to elections, except as far as inconsistent with this chapter, shall be applicable to such election.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 3; Code 1935, § 6208; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7704; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The number of delegates to be chosen to such convention shall be 17, to be elected from the State at large. Seven of such delegates shall be residents of New Castle County, 5 of such delegates shall be residents of Kent County, and 5 of such delegates shall be residents of Sussex County.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 4; Code 1935, § 6209; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7705.;

Candidates for the office of delegate to the convention shall be citizens and qualified voters of this State. Nominations shall be by petition and not otherwise. A single petition may nominate any number of candidates not exceeding the total number of delegates to be elected from each county, and all candidates on any such petition shall be residents of the same county and shall reside in the county which said candidates propose to represent at such convention and every such petition shall be signed by not less than 100 persons who are qualified voters of the county wherein such candidates reside. Nominating petitions shall be filed with the department of elections of the county which such candidates propose to represent. Nominations shall be without party or political designation, but the nominating petitions shall contain a statement as to each nominee to the effect that the nominee favors ratification or that the nominee opposes ratification or that the nominee remains uncommitted to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and no nominating petition shall contain the name of any nominee whose position as stated therein is inconsistent with that of the position of any other nominee as stated therein.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 5; Code 1935, § 6210; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7706; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Candidates for the office of delegate to the convention shall be citizens and qualified voters of this State. Nominations shall be by petition and not otherwise. A single petition may nominate any number of candidates not exceeding the total number of delegates to be elected from each county, and all candidates on any such petition shall be residents of the same county and shall reside in the county which said candidates propose to represent at such convention and every such petition shall be signed by not less than 100 persons who are qualified voters of the county wherein such candidates reside. Nominating petitions shall be filed with the Department. Nominations shall be without party or political designation, but the nominating petitions shall contain a statement as to each nominee to the effect that the nominee favors ratification or that the nominee opposes ratification or that the nominee remains uncommitted to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, and no nominating petition shall contain the name of any nominee whose position as stated therein is inconsistent with that of the position of any other nominee as stated therein.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 5; Code 1935, § 6210; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7706; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 102.;

The sixteenth day before the day fixed for the holding of the election of delegates shall be the last day for the filing of nominating petitions with the respective departments of election or, if such sixteenth day falls upon a Sunday or a legal holiday, the day following shall be the last day for the filing of such nominating petitions, and thereafter nominations for the office of delegate to such convention shall be closed. After the closing of such nominations, the respective departments of election shall forthwith count and determine the number of signatures which each candidate for nomination as delegate to such convention has obtained upon the candidate's or the departments' respective nominating petition or petitions. In making such count and determination, the respective departments of election shall only count the signatures of those persons who are qualified voters of the county which the candidates propose to represent at such convention. A signature to such nominating petition shall be prima facie evidence that the person purporting to sign the same did actually sign the same and that such person is a qualified voter of the same county as the county of residence of the candidate or candidates whose names appear in such nominating petition, and all signatures to such nominating petitions shall be counted by the respective departments of election, unless, within 5 days after the closing of nominations, evidence satisfactory to the department of elections shall have been produced before him or her that a person whose name purports to have been signed to a nominating petition is either a fictitious person or not a qualified voter of the county of residence of the candidate or candidates whose nominating petition the person purports to have signed. After the closing of nominations all nominating petitions shall be open to the inspection of any qualified voter of the county in which such petitions have been filed.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 6; Code 1935, § 6211; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7707; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The sixteenth day before the day fixed for the holding of the election of delegates shall be the last day for the filing of nominating petitions with the Department or, if such sixteenth day falls upon a Sunday or a legal holiday, the day following shall be the last day for the filing of such nominating petitions, and thereafter nominations for the office of delegate to such convention shall be closed. After the closing of such nominations, the Department shall forthwith count and determine the number of signatures which each candidate for nomination as delegate to such convention has obtained upon the candidate's or the Department's nominating petition or petitions. In making such count and determination, the Department shall only count the signatures of those persons who are qualified voters of the county which the candidates propose to represent at such convention. A signature to such nominating petition shall be prima facie evidence that the person purporting to sign the same did actually sign the same and that such person is a qualified voter of the same county as the county of residence of the candidate or candidates whose names appear in such nominating petition, and all signatures to such nominating petitions shall be counted by the Department, unless, within 5 days after the closing of nominations, evidence satisfactory to the Department shall have been produced before him or her that a person whose name purports to have been signed to a nominating petition is either a fictitious person or not a qualified voter of the county of residence of the candidate or candidates whose nominating petition the person purports to have signed. After the closing of nominations all nominating petitions shall be open to the inspection of any qualified voter of the county in which such petitions have been filed.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 6; Code 1935, § 6211; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7707; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 102.;

No nominations shall be effective except those of the 7 candidates from New Castle County in favor of ratification, the 7 candidates from New Castle County against ratification and the 7 candidates from New Castle County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment, the 5 candidates from Kent County in favor of ratification, the 5 candidates from Kent County against ratification and the 5 candidates from Kent County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment, the 5 candidates from Sussex County in favor of ratification, the 5 candidates from Sussex County against ratification and the 5 candidates from Sussex County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment, whose nomination petitions have respectively been signed by the largest number of qualified persons, ties to be decided by lot drawn by the respective departments of election.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 7; Code 1935, § 6212; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7708; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23.;

No nominations shall be effective except those of the 7 candidates from New Castle County in favor of ratification, the 7 candidates from New Castle County against ratification and the 7 candidates from New Castle County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment, the 5 candidates from Kent County in favor of ratification, the 5 candidates from Kent County against ratification and the 5 candidates from Kent County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment, the 5 candidates from Sussex County in favor of ratification, the 5 candidates from Sussex County against ratification and the 5 candidates from Sussex County not committed to either ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment, whose nomination petitions have respectively been signed by the largest number of qualified persons, ties to be decided by lot drawn by the Department.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 7; Code 1935, § 6212; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7708; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 102.;

After the nominees for delegates to the convention are determined by the departments of election, each department of elections shall certify to the other departments of election in this State the names of the nominees from their respective counties to such convention and shall further certify which nominees from their respective counties were nominated as in favor of ratification, which nominees from their respective counties were nominated as opposed to ratification and which nominees from their respective counties were nominated as uncommitted either to ratification or rejection of the proposed amendment.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 8; Code 1935, § 6213; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7709; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23.;

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 8; Code 1935, § 6213; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7709; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; repealed by 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 102, eff. July 1, 2015. ;

Candidates for nomination not nominated as provided in §§ 7706-7709 of this title shall be deemed to be alternates to the nominees in their respective groups in the order of the number of signatures which they have respectively received upon their nominating petitions and in the event of the death, resignation or removal of any nominee, the first alternate shall take his or her place as nominee, and so on, ties to be decided by lot drawn by the respective departments of election. In the event of such death, resignation or removal, the department of elections of the county from which such nominee was nominated shall forthwith certify to the other departments of election the fact of such death, resignation or removal, together with the name of the new nominee. In the event of the death, resignation or removal of any nominee after the printing of the ballots for such election, the departments of election shall provide the election officers of each election district with a number of pasters containing only the name of such nominee, at least equal to the number of ballots provided for each election district and the clerks of election shall put 1 of such pasters in a careful and proper manner in the proper place on each ballot before they shall deliver the same to voters.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 9; Code 1935, § 6214; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7710; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Candidates for nomination not nominated as provided in §§ 7706-7708 of this title shall be deemed to be alternates to the nominees in their respective groups in the order of the number of signatures which they have respectively received upon their nominating petitions and in the event of the death, resignation or removal of any nominee, the first alternate shall take his or her place as nominee, and so on, ties to be decided by lot drawn by the Department. In the event of the death, resignation or removal of any nominee after the printing of the ballots for such election, the Department shall provide the election officers of each election district with a number of pasters containing only the name of such nominee, at least equal to the number of ballots provided for each election district and the clerks of election shall put 1 of such pasters in a careful and proper manner in the proper place on each ballot before they shall deliver the same to voters.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 9; Code 1935, § 6214; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7710; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 102.;

The department of elections of each county shall cause to be printed and distributed the ballots for the election of delegates in the quantity and in the manner provided by law for general elections; provided that such ballots as are required under the election laws to be delivered to the chairs of the various political parties shall, in lieu thereof, be distributed to the various nominees as equally as possible, and provided further that the department of elections in each county, in addition to the ballots mentioned in this section, shall cause to be printed such further number of ballots as shall be directed by any nominee in any county; provided, however, that the department of elections shall not have printed any ballots upon the order or request of any nominee, unless the request shall have been made to him or her in writing at least 10 days prior to the holding of the election at which the ballots are to be used, nor unless a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the ballots be made at the time they are ordered. The ballots so ordered by the nominees shall be delivered to the nominees or to their agents upon their request or order at least 5 days before the election at which the ballots are to be used.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 10; Code 1935, § 6215; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7711; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The Department shall cause to be printed and distributed the ballots for the election of delegates in the quantity and in the manner provided by law for general elections; provided that such ballots as are required under the election laws to be delivered to the chairs of the various political parties shall, in lieu thereof, be distributed to the various nominees as equally as possible, and provided further that the Department, in addition to the ballots mentioned in this section, shall cause to be printed such further number of ballots as shall be directed by any nominee in any county; provided, however, that the Department shall not have printed any ballots upon the order or request of any nominee, unless the request shall have been made to him or her in writing at least 10 days prior to the holding of the election at which the ballots are to be used, nor unless a deposit sufficient to cover the cost of the ballots be made at the time they are ordered. The ballots so ordered by the nominees shall be delivered to the nominees or to their agents upon their request or order at least 5 days before the election at which the ballots are to be used.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 10; Code 1935, § 6215; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7711; 61 Del. Laws, c. 480, § 23; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 275, § 102.;

The election shall be by ballot, separate from any ballot to be used at the same election. Such ballot, if used at a general election, shall be enclosed in the same envelope as the ballot for use at such general election, otherwise each ballot cast shall be enclosed in a separate envelope. The ballot shall first state the substance of the proposed amendment. This shall be followed by appropriate instructions to the voter. It shall then contain perpendicular columns of equal width headed respectively in plain type "For Ratification," "Against Ratification" and "Uncommitted." In the column headed "For Ratification" shall be placed the names of the nominees nominated from the entire State as in favor of ratification, in alphabetical order. In the column headed "Against Ratification" shall be placed the names of the nominees nominated from the entire State as against ratification, in alphabetical order. In the column headed "Uncommitted" shall be placed the names of the nominees nominated from the entire State as uncommitted to either ratification or rejection, in alphabetical order. The voter shall indicate that voter's own choice by making 1 or more cross marks in the appropriate spaces provided on the ballot. No ballot shall be held void because any such cross mark is irregular in character. The ballot shall be so arranged that the voter may by making a single cross mark, vote for the entire group of nominees whose names are comprised in any column. The ballot shall be as like as possible to the form of the official ballot now used in this State and substantially in the following form:

Delegates to the Convention to Ratify the Proposed Amendment.

The Congress has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the United States which provides (insert here the substance of the proposed amendment).

The Congress has also proposed that the amendment shall be ratified by Conventions in the States.

Do not vote for more than 17 candidates.

To vote for all candidates in favor of Ratification of the proposed amendment, or for all candidates against Ratification of the proposed amendment, or for all candidates who intend to remain uncommitted to either Ratification or Rejection of the proposed amendment, make a cross mark in the Block at the head of the list of candidates for whom you wish to vote. If you do this, make no other mark.

To vote for an individual candidate make a cross mark in the Block at the left of the name.

RATIFICATION For Delegates to the Convention AGAINST RATIFICATION For Delegates to the Convention UNCOMMITTED For Delegates to the Convention
JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE
JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE
JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE
JOHN DOE JOHN DOE JOHN DOE

All ballots used at elections for ratifying conventions shall be printed as outlined in this section. However, the Governor may, if the Governor deems it expedient, in the Governor's own proclamation calling for election of delegates to a ratifying convention, direct that there be printed on the ballots additional information that will be more informative to the electorate on the subject which is being voted upon.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 11; Code 1935, § 6216; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7712; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The 17 nominees who receive the highest number of votes shall be the delegates to the convention. If there is a vacancy in the convention caused by the death or disability of any delegate or any other cause, the same shall be filled by appointment by the majority vote of the delegates comprising the group from which such delegate was elected and, if the convention contains no other delegate of that group, shall be filled by the Governor.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 12; Code 1935, § 6217; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7713.;

The delegates to the convention shall meet in the Senate Chamber at the State House in Dover on the twenty-eighth day after their election at 12:00 noon, and shall thereupon constitute a convention to pass upon the question of whether or not the proposed amendment shall be ratified.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 13; Code 1935, § 6218; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7714.;

The convention may elect its president, secretary and other officers and adopt its own rules.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 14; Code 1935, § 6219; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7715.;

The convention shall keep a journal of its proceedings in which shall be recorded the vote of each delegate on the question of ratification of the proposed amendment.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 15; Code 1935, § 6220; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7716.;

(a) After the sense of the majority of the total number of delegates composing the convention is taken upon the question of the ratification of the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States, the convention shall certify a resolution of its vote over the hand of the president, attested by the secretary and signed by all of the members of the convention. Such resolution shall be so certified in duplicate originals. The duplicate originals shall then be delivered by the convention to the Secretary of State together with the journal and any other records of the convention.

(b) If it appears from the resolutions so certified to the Secretary of State that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States has been ratified by the convention, the Secretary of State of Delaware shall send to the Secretary of State of the United States 1 of the duplicate originals certified under the Delaware Secretary of State's hand and the seal of the State. The remaining duplicate original shall be proclaimed by publication and shall be deposited together with the journal and any other records of the convention in the Delaware Public Archives. If it appears from the resolutions so certified to the Secretary of State that the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States has not been ratified, the resolution shall be proclaimed by publication and the duplicate originals of the resolution together with the journal and any other record of the convention shall be deposited in the Delaware Public Archives.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 16; Code 1935, § 6221; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7717; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 91, § 9.;

Every delegate to the convention shall receive $10 for every day that delegate is in attendance at such convention, not exceeding 3, and in addition thereto, 10 cents for each mile necessarily travelled by the delegate in making 1 round trip from the place of that delegate's residence to Dover. The president, secretary and other officers shall receive such compensation as may be fixed by the convention not in excess of $25 for any such officer, in addition to their compensation as such delegates. Disbursements for the purposes mentioned in this and for other necessary expenses of the convention, when approved by the convention and signed by the president, shall be paid by the State Treasurer out of any moneys not otherwise appropriated. The expenses of holding a special election shall be borne as provided by law for the holding of a general election.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 17; Code 1935, § 6222; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7718; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

If at or about the time of submitting any such amendment, Congress shall, either in the resolution submitting the same or by a statute, prescribe the manner in which the conventions shall be constituted, and shall not except from the provisions of such statute or resolution such states as may theretofore have provided for constituting such conventions, the provisions of this chapter shall be inoperative, the convention shall be constituted and shall operate as the resolution or act of Congress shall direct, and all officers of this State who may by the resolution or statute be authorized or directed to take any action to constitute such a convention for this State shall act thereunder and in obedience thereto with the same force and effect as if acting under a statute of this State.

38 Del. Laws, c. 5, § 18; Code 1935, § 6223; 15 Del. C. 1953, § 7719.;