Legislature to provide for registration procedure after January 1, 1903; procedure for registration prior to January 1, 1903.
The legislature shall provide by law for the registration, after the first day of January, nineteen hundred and three, of all qualified electors. Until the first day of January, nineteen hundred and three, all electors shall be registered under and in accordance with the requirements of this section, as follows:
First - Registration shall be conducted in each county by a board of three reputable and suitable persons resident in the county, who shall not hold any elective office during their term, to be appointed, within sixty days after the ratification of this Constitution, by the governor, auditor, and commissioner of agriculture and industries, or by a majority of them acting as a board of appointment. If one or more of the persons appointed on such a board of registration shall refuse, neglect, or be unable to qualify or serve, or if a vacancy or vacancies occur in the membership of the board of registrars from any cause, the governor, auditor, and commissioner of agriculture and industries, or a majority of them, acting as a board of appointment, shall make other appointments to fill such board. Each registrar shall receive two dollars per day, to be paid by the state, and disbursed by the several judges of probate, for each entire day's attendance upon the session of the board. Before entering upon the performance of the duties of his office, each registrar shall take the same oath required of the judicial officers of the state, which oath may be administered by any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The oath shall be in writing and subscribed by the registrar, and filed in the office of the judge of probate of the county.
Second - Prior to the first day of August, nineteen hundred and two, the board of registrars in each county shall visit each precinct at least once, and oftener if necessary, to make a complete registration of all persons entitled to register, and shall remain there at least one day from eight o'clock in the morning until sunset. They shall give at least twenty days' notice of the time when, and the place in the precinct where, they will attend to register applicants for registration, by bills posted at five or more public places in each election precinct, and by advertisement once a week for three successive weeks in a newspaper, if there be one published in the county. Upon failure to give such notice, or to attend any appointment made by them in any precinct, they shall, after like notice, fill new appointments therein; but the time consumed by the board in completing such registration shall not exceed sixty working days in any county, except that in counties of more than nine hundred square miles in area, such board may consume seventy-five working days in completing the registration, and except that in counties in which there is any city of eight thousand or more inhabitants, the board may remain in session, in addition to the time hereinbefore prescribed, for not more than three successive weeks in each of such cities; and thereafter the board may sit from time to time in each of such cities not more than one week in each month, and except that in the county of Jefferson the board may hold an additional session of not exceeding five consecutive days' duration for each session, in each town or city of more than one thousand and less than eight thousand inhabitants. No person shall be registered except at the county site or in the precinct in which he resides. The registrars shall issue to each person registered a certificate of registration.
Third - The board of registrars shall not register any person between the first day of August, nineteen hundred and two, and the Friday next preceding the day of election in November, nineteen hundred and two. On Friday and Saturday next preceding the day of election in November, nineteen hundred and two, they shall sit in the courthouse of each county during such days, and shall register all applicants having the qualifications prescribed by section 180 of this Constitution and not disqualified under section 182, who shall have reached the age of twenty-one years after the first day of August, nineteen hundred and two, or who shall prove to the reasonable satisfaction of the board that, by reason of physical disability or unavoidable absence from the county, they had no opportunity to register prior to the first day of August, nineteen hundred and two, and they shall not on such days register any other persons. When there are two or more courthouses in a county, the registrars may sit during such two days at the courthouse they may select, but shall give ten days' notice, by bills posted at each of the courthouses, designating the courthouse at which they will sit.
Fourth - The board of registrars shall hold sessions at the courthouse of their respective counties during the entire third week in November, nineteen hundred and two, and for six working days next prior to the twentieth day of December, nineteen hundred and two, during which sessions they shall register all persons applying who possess the qualifications prescribed in section 180 of this Constitution, and who shall not be disqualified under section 182. In counties where there are two or more courthouses the board of registrars shall divide the time equally between them. The board of registrars shall give notice of the time and place of such sessions by posting notices at each courthouse in their respective counties, and at each voting place and at three other public places in the county, and by publication once a week for two consecutive weeks in a newspaper, if one be published in the county; such notices to be posted and such publications to be commenced as early as practicable in the first week of November, nineteen hundred and two. Failure on the part of the registrars to conform to the provisions of this article as to the giving of the required notices shall not invalidate any registration made by them.
Fifth - The board of registrars shall have power to examine, under oath or affirmation, all applicants for registration, and to take testimony touching the qualifications of such applicants. Each member of such board is authorized to administer the oath to be taken by the applicants and witnesses, which shall be in the following form, and subscribed by the person making it, and preserved by the board, namely: "I solemnly swear (or affirm) that in the matter of the application of ... for registration as an elector, I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God." Any person who upon such examination makes any willfully false statement in reference to any material matter touching the qualification of any applicant for registration shall be guilty of perjury, and upon conviction thereof, shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years.
Sixth - The action of the majority of the board of registrars shall be the action of the board, and a majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business. Any person to whom registration is denied shall have the right of appeal, without giving security for costs, within thirty days after such denial, by filing a petition in the circuit court or court of like jurisdiction held for the county in which he seeks to register, to have his qualifications as an elector determined. Upon the filing of the petition the clerk of the court shall give notice thereof to any solicitor authorized to represent the state in said county, whose duty it shall be to appear and defend against the petition on behalf of the state. Upon such trial the court shall charge the jury only as to what constituted the qualifications that entitled the applicant to become an elector at the time he applied for registration, and the jury shall determine the weight and effect of the evidence and return a verdict. From the judgment rendered an appeal will lie to the supreme court in favor of the petitioner, to be taken within thirty days. Final judgment in favor of the petitioner shall entitle him to registration as of the date of his application to the registrars.
Seventh - The secretary of state shall, at the expense of the state, have prepared and shall furnish to the registrars and judges of probate of the several counties, a sufficient number of registration books and of blank forms of the oath, certificates of registration and notices required to be given by the registrars. The cost of the publication in newspapers of the notices required to be given by the registrars shall be paid by the state, the bills therefor to be rendered to the secretary of state and approved by him.
Eighth - Any person who registers for another, or who registers more than once, and any registrar who enters the name of any person on the list of registered voters, without such person having made application in person under oath on a form provided for that purpose, or who knowingly registers any person more than once, or who knowingly enters a name upon the registration list as the name of a voter, without any one of that name applying to register, shall be guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be imprisoned in the penitentiary for not less than one nor more than five years.