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a qualified elector and entitled to vote, if registered, unless disqualified by some one of the clauses of section one of this article.
Sec. 3. In all elections by the people the electors shall vote by ballot. The secrecy of the ballot shall be preserved in violate, and the General Assembly shall provide laws for that purpose. On the day of an election held by the people no elector shall be subject to arrest or any civil process. The General Assembly shall pass adequate laws to prevent the sale of intoxicating liquors on the day on which any election by the people may be held.
|Submitted to the people for ratification March 3, 1873, and declared ratified by proclamation of the Governor April 19, 1873. The act of January 23, 1873, providing for the submission of the amendment, declared that if the amendment should be ratified, it should be substituted and known as Article VIII.]
CONSTITUTION OF ARKANSAS—1874* a
We, the people of the State of Arkansas, grateful to Almighty God for the privilege of choosing our own form of Government; for our civil and religious liberty; and desiring to perpetuate its blessings and secure the same to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution.
We do declare and establish, ratify and confirm the following as the permanent boundaries of the State of Arkansas, that is to say: Beginning at the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River, on the parallel of thirty-six degrees of north latitude, running thence west with said parallel of latitude to the middle of the main channel of the Saint Francis River; thence up the main channel of said last-named river to the parallel of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes of north latitude; thence west with the southern boundary-line of the State of Missouri to the southwest corner of said last-named State; thence to be bounded on the west to the north bank of Red River, as by act of Congress and treaties existing January 1, eighteen hundred and thirty-seven, defining the western limits of the Territory of Arkansas, and to be bounded across and south of Red River by the boundary-line of the State of Texas as far as to the northwest corner of the State of Louisiana; thence easterly with the northern boundarv-line of said last-named State to the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence up the middle of the main channel of said last-named river, including an island in said river known as “Belle Point Island," and all other land originally surveyed and included as a part of the Territory or State of Arkansas to the thirty-sixth degree of north latitude, the place of beginning.
* Verified from Judge Rose's edition of the Constitution of Arkansas, 1836, pp. 18–144.
a This constitution was framed by a convention which assembled July 14, 1874. It was submitted to the people and ratified October 1:3, 1874. See bibliography:
72.31-VOL 1-07- -21
SEAT OF GOVERNMENT
The seat of government of the State of Arkansas shall be and remain at Little Rock, where it is now established.
DECLARATION OF RIGHTS
SECTION 1. All political power is inherent in the people, and government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit; and they have the right to alter, reform, or abolish the same in such manner as they may think proper.
SEC. 2. All men are created equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights; amongst which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty; of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation; and of pursuing their own happiness. To secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
Sec. 3. The equality of all persons before the law is recognized, and shall ever remain in violate; nor shall any citizen ever be deprived of any right, privilege, or immunity, nor exempted from any burden or duty, on account of race, color, or previous condition.
Sec. 4. The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition, by address or remonstrance, the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged.
SEC. 5. The citizens of this state shall have the right to keep and bear arms, for their common defense.
Sec. 6. The liberty of the press shall forever remain inviolate. The free communication of thoughts and opinions is one of the invaluable rights of man; and all persons may freely write and publish their sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of such right. In all criminal prosecutions for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the jury; and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous is true, and was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party charged shall be acquitted.
Sec. 7. The right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate, and shall extend to all cases at law, without regard to the amount in controversy; but a jury-trial may be waived by the parties in all cases, in the manner prescribed by law.
Sec. 8. No person shall be held to answer a criminal charge unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases of impeachment, or cases such as the general assembly shall make cognizable by justices of the peace, and courts of similar jurisdiction; or cases arising in the Army and Navy of the United States; or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; and no person, for the same offense, shall be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty; but if in any criminal prosecution the jury be divided in opinion, the court before which the trial shall be had may, in its discretion, discharge the jury, and commit or bail the accused for trial, at the same or the piest term of said court; nor shall any person be compelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty or property withont due process of law. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses, when the proof is evident or the presumption great.
SEC. I. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor shall excessive fines be imposed; nor shall cruel or unusual punishments be inflicted; nor witnesses be unreasonably detained.
Sec. 10. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the county in which the crime shall have been committed : Provided, That the venue may be changed to any other county of the judicial district in which the indictment is found, upon the application of the accused, in such manner as now is, or may be prescribed by law; and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, and to have a copy thereof; and to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor; and to be heard by himself and his counsel.
Sec. 11. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended; except by the general assembly, in case of rebellion, insurl'ection, or invasion, when the public safety may require it.
SEC. 12. No power of suspending or setting aside the law or laws of the State, shall ever be exercised, except by the general assembly.
SEC. 13. Every person is entitled to a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries or wrongs he may receive in his person, property or character; he ought to obtain justice freely, and without purchase; completely and without denial; promptly and without delay; conformably to the laws.
SEC. 14. Treason against the State shall only consist in levying and making war against the same, or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason wless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
SEC. 153. The right of the people of this State to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and Seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue, except upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or thing to be seized.
Sec. 16. No person shall be imprisoned for debt in any civil action, on mesne or final process, unless in cases of fraud.
Sec. 17. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts shall ever be passed; and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate.
Sec. 18. The general assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.
Sec. 19. Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a republic, and shall not be allowed; nor shall any hereditary emoluments, privileges or honors ever be granted or conferred in this State.
SEC. 20. No distinction shall ever be made by law, between resident aliens and citizens, in regard to the possession, enjoyment, or descent of property:
SEC. 21. No person shall be taken or imprisoned, or disseized of his estate, freehold, liberties or privileges; or outlawed, or in any manner destroyed, or deprived of his life, liberty, or property, except by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land; nor shall any person, under any circumstances, be exiled from the State.
SEC. 22. The right of property is before and higher than any constitutional sanction; and private property shall not be taken, appropriated, or damaged for public use, without just compensation therefor.
Sec. 23. The State's ancient right of eminent domain, and of taxation, is herein fully and expressly conceded; and the general assembly may delegate the taxing power, with the necessary restriction, to the State's subordinate, political, and municipal corporations, to the extent of providing for their existence, maintenance and well-being, but no further.
SEC. 24. All men have a natural and indefeasible right to worship Almighty God according to the dictates of their own consciences; no man can of right be compelled to attend, erect, or support any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry against his consent. No human authority can, in any case or manner whatsoever, control or interfere with the right of conscience; and no preference shall ever be given by law to any religious establishment, denomination, or mode of worship above any other.
Sec. 25. Religion, morality, and knowledge being essential to good government, the general assembly shall enact suitable laws to protect every religious denomination in the peaceable enjoyment of its own mode of public worship.
Sec. 26. No religious test shall ever be required of any person as a qualification to vote or hold office; nor shall any person be rendered incompetent to be a witness on account of his religious belief; but nothing herein shall be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations.
Sec. 27. There shall be no slavery in this State, nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime. No standing army shall be kept in time of peace; the military shall at all times be in strict subordination to the civil power; and no soldier shall be quartered in any house or on any premises without the consent of the owner in time of peace; nor in time of war, except in a manner prescribed by law.
SEC. 28. All lands in this State are declared to be allodial; and feudal tenure of every description, with all their incidents, are prohibited.
SEC. 29. This enumeration of rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people, and to guard against any encroachments on the rights herein retained, or any transgression of any of the higher powers herein delegated, we declare that everything in this article is excepted out of the general powers of the government, and shall forever remain in violate; and that all laws contrary thereto, or to the other provisions herein contained, shall be void.
FRANCHISE AND ELECTIONS
SECTION 1. Every male citizen of the United States, or male person who has declared his intention of becoming a citizen of the same, of the age of twenty-one years, who has resided in the State twelve months, and in the county six months, and in the voting precinct or ward one month, next preceding any election, where he may propose to vote, shall be entitled to vote at all elections by the people.
SEC. 2. Elections shall be free and equal. No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage; nor shall any law be enacted whereby the right to vote at any election shall be made to depend upon any previous registration of the elector's name; or whereby such right shall be impaired or forfeited, except for the commission of a felony at common law, upon lawful conviction thereof.
SEC. 3. All elections by the people shall be by ballot. Every ballot shall be numbered in the order in which it shall be received, and the number recorded by the election officers, on the list of voters, opposite the name of the elector who presents the ballot. The election officers shall be sworn or affirmed not to disclose how any elector shall have voted, unless required to do so as witnesses in a judicial proceeding, or a proceeding to contest an election.
Sec. 4. Electors shall in all cases (except treason, felony, and breach of the peace) be privileged from arrest during their attendance at elections, and going to and from the same.
Sec. 5. No idiot or insane person shall be entitled to the privileges of an elector.
Sec. 6. Any person who shall be convicted of fraud, bribery, or other wilful and corrupt violation of any election law of this state, shall be adjudged guilty of a felony, and disqualified from holding any office of trust or profit in this State.
SEC. 7. No soldier, sailor, or marine, in the military or naval service of the United States, shall acquire a residence by reason of being stationed on duty in this State.
SEC. 8. The general elections shall be held biennially, on the first Monday of September; but the general assembly may by law fix a different time.
Sec. 9. In trials of contested elections and in proceedings for the investigation of elections, no person shall be permitted to withhold his testimony on the ground that it may criminate himself, or subject him to public infamy; but such testimony shall not be used against him in any judicial proceeding, except for perjury in giving such testimony.
Sec. 10. No person shall be qualified to serve as an election officer, who shall hold, at the time of the election, any office, appointment, or employment in or under the Government of the United States, or of this State, or in any city or county, or any municipal board, commission or trust, in any city, save only the justices of the peace and aldermen, notaries public, and persons in the militia service of the State. Nor shall any election officer be eligible to any civil oflice to be filled at an election at which he shall serve, save only to such subordinate municipal or local offices, below the grade of city or county officers, as shall be designated by general law.
Sec. 11. If the officers of any election shall unlawfully refuse or fail to receive, count, or return the vote or ballot of any qualified elector, such vote or ballot shall nevertheless be counted upon the trial of any contest arising out of said election.
Sec. 12. All elections by persons acting in a representative capacity shall be rilat roce.