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Bacon's Laws of Maryland
Volume 75, Page 303   View pdf image (33K)
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On Death or
Removal of a
Member, the
Writ of Election
shall issue
on the Speaker's 

All professed
Papists are
declared incapable
Voting, unless
they first
qualify by
taking the
Oaths, &c.

Sheriffs, &c.
may tender
the Oaths to
Persons suspected
of Popery,
and on
their Refusal,
may set aside
their Votes.

But shall not
hinder Quakers
their Votes.

Sheriffs, &c.
making undue
shall be liable
to the Penalties
in the original

    II.  Be it Enacted, by the Right Honourable the Lord Proprietary, by and
with the Advice and Consent of his Lordship's Governor, and the Upper and Lower
Houses of this present General Assembly, and the Authority of the same, That
whensoever any Vacancy shall happen by the Death or Removal of any Member
of the Lower house of Assembly, Writs of Election shall immediately issue,
upon the Honourable Speaker, for the Time being, his issuing his Warrant
to the Secretary to prepare such Writ or Writs, directed to the several
Persons or Bodies Public, to whom the Execution of such Writ or Writs
shall belong, who are hereby authorized and impowered immediately to proceed
to the Execution of such Writ or Writs, according to the Directions of
the aforementioned Law, without any Regard had to the Space of Time betwixt
the Test and Return of such Writ or Writs, so as public Notice be
given of the Election in a County, according to the Directions of the said Law;
and Four Days Notice of the Election, in each City or Borough.

    III.  And whereas notwithstanding all the Measures that have been hitherto
taken for preventing the Growth of Popery within this Province, it is very obvious,
that not only protest Papists still multiply and increase in Number, but
that there are also too great Numbers of others that adhere to and espouse their
Interest, in Opposition to the Protestant Establishment:  And being under just
Apprehensions (from what Steps they have already taken) that if Papists
should continue to be allowed their Vote in electing of Delegates, they, with
their Adherents, and those under their Influence, will make such a Party at
the Elections of many of the Counties within this Province, as well as the
City of Annapolis, as to determine the Choice in some of their great Favourites
and Adherents, which if they should accomplish, how much it would
tend to the Discouragement and Disturbance of his Lordship's Protestant Government,
is not easy to imagine:  It is therefore humbly prayed, that it may
be Enacted; And be it Enacted, by the Authority aforesaid, by and with the
Advice and Consent aforesaid, that all profest Papists whatsoever, be (and are
hereby Declared) uncapable of giving their Vote in any Election of a Delegate
or Delegates within this Province, either for Counties, Cities or Boroughs,
unless they first qualify themselves for so doing, by taking the several
Oaths appointed to be taken by an Act of Assembly of this Province, entitled,
An Act for the better Security of the Peace and Safety of his Lordship's Government,
and the Protestant Interest within this province, and subscribe the
Oath of Abjuration and Declaration therein mentioned.

    IV.  And further, inasmuch as too many Persons that are wither really Papists, 
or Popishly inclined, act in Disguise, and will not make any public Profession
of their Principles, for the better and more effectual carrying on their
wicked and malicious Designs, for the undermining and subverting our present
Establishment; Be it therefore further Enacted, by the Authority, Advice
and Consent aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for the Sheriff, or
other Judges of Elections, and such Sheriff, or other Judges, are hereby required,
as often as any of them shall see needful (or upon the Information of
any other Person duly qualified to vote) to tender and administer the Oaths
and Subscriptions aforesaid, to any person or persons suspected to be Papists,
or Popishly inclined, and upon their Refusal, to set aside such Vote or Votes.

    V.  Provided always, That nothing in this Act be construed to debar or
hinder any of the People called and generally repute Quakers, from their
Votes in Elections, they being otherwise duly qualified.
    See an Explanation of this Clause in 1724, ch. 18.

    VI.  And be it likewise Enacted, That in case any Sheriff, or Body Politic,
shall make any undue Return, contrary to the true Intent and Meaning of the
Act aforementioned, or this present Act, such Sheriff, or Body Politic, shall
be liable to the same Penalties and Forfeitures as Sheriffs are made liable to 

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Bacon's Laws of Maryland
Volume 75, Page 303   View pdf image (33K)
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