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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > About Indiana - History and Trivia > Explore Indiana History by Topic > Indiana Documents Leading to Statehood > Constitution of 1851 as originally written > Article 5 - Executive Article 5 - Executive

Section 1. The executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor. He shall hold his office during four years, and shall not be eligible more that four years, in any period of eight years.

Section 2. There shall be a Lieutenant Governor, who shall hold his office during four years.

Section 3. The Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be elected at the times and places of choosing members of the General Assembly.

Section 4. In voting for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the electors shall designate, for whom they vote as Governor, and for whom as Lieutenant Governor. The returns of every election for Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall be sealed up and transmitted to the seat of government, directed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall open and publish them in the presence of both Houses of the General Assembly.

Section 5. The persons, respectively, having the highest number of votes for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, shall be elected; but in case two or more persons shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for either office, the General Assembly shall, by joint vote, forthwith proceed to elect one of the said persons Governor or Lieutenant Governor, as the case may be.

Section 6. Contested elections for Governor or Lieutenant Governor, shall be determined by the General Assembly, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Section 7. No person shall be eligible to office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor, who shall not have been five years a citizen of the United States, and also a resident of the State of Indiana during the five years next preceding his election; nor shall any person be eligible to either of the said offices, who shall not have attained the age of thirty years.

Section 8. No member of Congress, or person holding any office under the United States or under this State, shall fill the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor.

Section 9. The official term of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall commence on the second Monday of January, in the year one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three; and on the same day every fourth year thereafter.

Section 10. In case of the removal of the Governor from office, or of his death, resignation, or inability to discharge the duties of the office, the same shall devolve on the Lieutenant Governor; and the General Assembly shall, by law, provide for the case of removal from office, death, resignation, or inability, both of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, declaring what officer shall then act as Governor; and such officer shall act accordingly, until the disability be removed or a Governor be elected.

Section 11. Whenever the Lieutenant Governor shall act as Governor, or shall be unable to attend as President of the Senate, the Senate shall elect one of its own members as President for the occasion.

Section 12. The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces, and may call out such forces, to execute the laws, or to suppress insurrection or to repel invasion.

Section 13. He shall from time to time, give to the General Assembly information touching the condition of the State, and recommend such measures as he shall judge to be expedient.

Section 14. Every bill which shall have passed the General Assembly, shall be presented to the Governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; but if not, he shall return it, with his objections, to the House in which it shall have originated; which House shall enter the objections, at large, upon its journals, and proceed to reconsider the bill. If, after such reconsideration, a majority of all the members elected to that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, with the Governor's objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and, if approved by a majority of all the members elected to that House, it shall be a law. If any bill shall not be returned by the Governor within three days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law, without his signature, unless the general adjournment shall prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law, unless the Governor, within five days next after such adjournment, shall file such bill, with his objections thereto, in the office of Secretary of State; who shall lay the same before the General Assembly at its next session, in like manner as if it had been returned by the Governor. But no bill shall be presented to the governor, within two days next previous to the final adjournment of the General Assembly.

Section 15. The Governor shall transact all necessary business with the officers of government, and may require information in writing from the officers of the administrative department, upon any subject relation to the duties of their respective offices.

Section 16. He shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.

Section 17. He shall have the power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, after conviction, for all offences except treason and cases of impeachment, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. Upon conviction for treason, he shall have power to suspend the execution of the sentence, until the case shall be reported to the General Assembly, at its next meeting; when the General Assembly shall either grant a pardon, commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve. He shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and shall report to the General Assembly, at its next meeting, each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, and also the names of all persons in whose favor remission of fines and forfeitures shall have been made, and the several amounts remitted: Provided, however, that the General Assembly may, by law, constitute a council, to be composed of officers of State, without whose advice and consent the Governor shall not have power to grant pardons, in any case, except such as may, by law, be left to his sole power.

Section 18. When, during a recess of the General Assembly, a vacancy shall happen in any office, the appointment to which is vested in the General Assembly; or when, at any time, a vacancy shall have occurred in any other State office, or in the office of Judge of any court; the Governor shall fill such vacancy, by appointment, which shall expire, when a successor shall have been elected and qualified.

Section 19. He shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may have occurred in the General Assembly.

Section 20. Should the seat of government become dangerous from disease or a common enemy, he may convene the General Assembly at any other place.

Section 21. The Lieutenant Governor shall, by virtue of his office, be President of the Senate; have a right, when in committee of the whole, to join in debate, and to vote on all subjects; and, whenever the Senate shall be equally divided, he shall give the casting vote.

Section 22. The Governor shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished, during the term for which he shall have been elected.

Section 23. The Lieutenant Governor, while he shall act as President of the Senate, shall receive, for his services, the same compensation as the Speaker of the House of Representatives; and any person, acting as Governor, shall receive the compensation attached to the office of Governor.

Section 24. Neither the Governor nor Lieutenant Governor shall be eligible to any other office, during the term for which he shall have been elected.