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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 2 - Suffrage and Election Article 2 - Suffrage and Election

Section 1. All elections shall be free and equal.

Section 2. In all elections, not otherwise provided for by this Constitution, every white male citizen of the United States, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, who shall have resided in the State during the six months immediately preceding such election; and every white male, of foreign birth, of the age of twenty-one years and upwards, who shall have resided in the United States one year, and shall have resided in the State during the six months immediately preceding such election, and shall have declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States, conformably to the laws of the United States on the subject of naturalization; shall be entitled to vote, in the township or precinct where he may reside.

Section 3. No soldier, seaman, or marine, in the army or navy of the United States, or of their allies, shall be deemed to have acquired a residence in the State, in consequence of having been stationed within the same; nor shall any such soldier, seaman, or marine, have the right to vote.

Section 4. No person shall be deemed to have lost his residence in the State by reason of his absence, either on business of this State or of the United States.

Section 5. No Negro or Mulatto shall have the right of suffrage.

Section 6. Every person shall be disqualified from holding office, during the term for which he may have been elected, who shall have given or offered a bribe, threat, or reward, to procure his election.

Section 7. Every person who shall give or accept a challenge to fight a duel, or who shall knowingly carry to another person such challenge, or who shall agree to go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be ineligible to any office of trust or profit.

Section 8. The General Assembly shall have power to deprive of the right of suffrage, and to render ineligible, any person convicted of an infamous crime.

Section 9. No person holding a lucrative office or appointment, under the United States or under this State, shall be eligible to a seat in the General Assembly; nor shall any person hold more than one lucrative office at the same time, except as in this Constitution expressly permitted: Provided, that offices in the militia to which there is attached no annual salary, and the office of Deputy Postmaster, where the compensation does not exceed ninety dollars per annum, shall not be deemed lucrative: And provided, also, that counties containing less than one thousand polls, may confer the office of Clerk, Recorder, and Auditor, or any two of said offices, upon the same person.

Section 10. No person who may hereafter be a collector or holder of public moneys, shall be eligible to any office of trust or profit, until he shall have accounted for, and paid over, according to law, all sums for which he may be liable.

Section 11. In all cases in which it is provided, that an office shall not be filled by the same person more than a certain number of years continuously, an appointment pro tempore shall not be reckoned a part of that term.

Section12. In all cases, except treason, felony, and breach of the peace, electors shall be free from arrest, in going to elections, during their attendance there, and in returning from the same.

Section 13. All elections by the People shall be by ballot; and all elections by the General Assembly, or by either branch thereof, shall be viva voce.

Section 14. All general elections shall be held on the second Tuesday in October.