Select Statutes and Other Documents: Illustrative of the History of the United States, 1861-1898

By William MacDonald | Go to book overview

No. 54. Franchise in the District of Columbia
January 8, 1867

A BILL to regulate the elective franchise in the District of Columbia was introduced in the Senate, December 4, 1865, by Wade of Ohio, and reported with amendments on the 20th. January 10, 1866, the bill was recommitted, and on the 12th again reported with an amendment. It was not taken up until June 28, when further consideration was postponed until December. The bill was taken up December 10, and on the 13th passed the Senate, the vote being 32 to 13. On the 14th the bill passed the House by a vote of 127 to 46, 18 not voting. January 7, 1867, President Johnson vetoed the bill. The bill was passed over the veto by the Senate on the 7th, by a vote of 29 to 10, and by the House on the 8th, by a vote of 112 to 38, 41 not voting.

REFERENCES . -- Text in U.S. Statutes at Large, XIV, 375, 376. For the proceedings see the House and Senate Journals, 39th Cong., 2d Sess., and the Cong. Globe. A minority report in the House, December 19, 1865, is House Report 2, 39th Cong., 1st Sess.

AN ACT to regulate the elective franchise in the District of Columbia.

Be it enacted. . ., That, from and after the passage of this act, each and every male person, excepting paupers and persons under guardianship, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, who has not been convicted of any infamous crime or offence, and excepting persons who may have voluntarily given aid and comfort to the rebels in the late rebellion, and who shall have been born or naturalized in the United States, and who shall have resided in the said District for the period of one year, and three months in the ward or election precinct in which he shall offer to vote next preceding any election therein, shall be entitled to the elective franchise, and shall be deemed an elector and entitled to vote at any election in said District, without any distinction on account of color or race.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That any person whose duty it shall be to receive votes at any election within the District of Columbia, who shall wilfully refuse to receive, or who shall wilfully reject, the vote of any person entitled to such right under this act, shall be liable to an action of tort by the

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