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V. SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS.
Article VII should be considered in connection with the provisions of Article II, Section 18, that "all elections shall be free and equal”.
With respect to Section 1 of Article VII, a material change will be proposed, granting suffrage to women. It will be unnecessary to discuss here the subject of woman suffrage, as a statement regarding the situation in Illinois and in other states will be found in the pamphlet upon the “Constitutional Convention in Illinois”, second edition, pages 107-111. The rapid progress being made toward the ratification of the proposed federal amendment will probably result in full suffrage for women in this state in the near future; although a proposed amendment to the constitution of Illinois, if promptly adopted, may come into effect before the adoption of the federal amendment.
With respect to Section 1, the question may also present itself as to whether there is need for continuing the provisions regarding those who were electors in the year 1848. This provision was adopted for the purpose of saving the right to vote to certain persons who would not otherwise have been qualified under the constitutions of 1848 and 1870, and is probably now unnecessary, although its retention would do no harm, and there may be a few cases of voters qualified before 1848 who would not be qualified under present constitutional provisions. The clause in this section with respect to naturalization is now unnecessary.
Certain other questions may present themselves with respect to the suffrage article. In connection with Section 1, the matter of compulsory voting may be urged. A discussion of this subject will be found in the Massachusetts constitutional convention Bulletin No. 24. An amendment was proposed by the Massachusetts constitutional convention and adopted by the people of that state in 1918 that "the general court shall have authority to provide for compulsory voting at elections, but the right of secret voting shall be preserved”.
In connection with Article VII, Section 2, it is now clear that the requirements of a ballot means a requirement of secret voting. The supreme court of this state has held that the provisions that "all votes shall be by ballot" does not forbid the use of a voting machine, and that the primary purpose of the provision is to require secrecy in voting. Amendments have been adopted to some constitutions expressly authorizing the use of voting machines, in order to overcome decisions of courts against the use of such machines. However, there is no difficulty of this character in Illinois, if it is desired to use voting machines, and the requirement of secrecy of voting is sufficiently preserved by the existing constitutional provisions.
1 A full review of woman suffrage in the United States will be found also in Massachusetts constitutional convention Bulletin No. 3, Woman Suffrage in the United States,
In connection with Article VII, Sections 4 and 5, it may be deemed proper to place in the constitution an express provision authorizing absent voting. However, such a provision seems unnecessary and there is little doubt as to the constitutionality of present absent voting legislation in this state.
Article VII, Section 6, provides that no person “shall be elected or appointed to any office in this state, civil or military, who is not a citizen of the United States and who shall not have resided in this state one year next preceding the election or appointment”. In the case of People v. McCormick, 261 Ill. 413, the supreme court has said:
"It may be true that many persons having constitutional qualifications are wholly unfit to discharge the duty of many offices within the state, but if the legislature possesses the power to vary the constitutional qualifications for office by adding new requirements or imposing additional limitations, then eligibility to office and freedom of elections depend not upon constitutional guarantees, but upon legislative forbearance. If the legislature may alter the constitutional requirements, its power is unlimited, and only such persons, may be elected to office as the legislature may permit. In our judgment, when the constitution undertakes to prescribe qualifications for office its declaration is conclusive of the whole matter, whether in affirmative or negative form
The expression of the disabilities specified excludes others. The declaration in the constitution that certain persons are not eligible to office implies that all other persons are eligible.”
Some change must, therefore, be made in this section, if it is desired to permit the general assembly to prescribe specific qualifications for certain offices.
Article VII, Section 7., says that "the general assembly shall pass laws excluding from the right of suffrage persons convicted of infamous crimes”. In accordance with the general rules of constitutional construction, as laid down in the McCormick case just referred to, this specification is also exclusive, and constitutional change will be necessary if it is desired to permit the exclusion from the suffrage of other persons than those convicted of infamous crimes. (Christie v. People, 206 Ill. 337 1903).
The constitution of some states contain expressions requiring legislation to preserve the purity of the ballot or prevent corrupt practices. Such provisions are of little value, for legislative power is ample without them.
VI. PREAMBLE, BOUNDARY, DISTRIBUTION OF
POWERS, AND SCHEDULE.
Little need be said about any of these subjects. No change has been suggested with respect to the preamble or with respect to the article dealing with state boundaries. The principle of the separation of powers as stated in the constitution is in terms subject to such exceptions as may be made elsewhere in the constitution, and no change in this article is necessary, even though specific changes may be made in the actual powers of the three departments.
A schedule is, of course, necessarily adapted to each specific constitution, and changes in the schedule are necessary to adjust existing conditions to a new constitution if one is adopted or to constitutional amendments if such amendments make material changes in existing constitutional provisions. A number of the sections of the schedule are obsolete. A number of the sections can be used in a new constitution without material change. One provision of the schedule (Section 18) is a permanent provision, and should properly not be in the schedule, but should be elsewhere among the permanent provisions of the constitution.
APPENDIX-ILLINOIS CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS.
We, the People of the State of Illinois-grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He hath so long permitted us to enjoy, and looking to Him for a blessing upon our endeavors to secure and transmit the same unimpaired to succeeding generations—in order to form a more perfect government, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the State of Illinois.
ARTICLE I-BOUNDARIES The boundaries and jurisdictions of the State shall be as follows, to-wit: Beginning at the mouth of the Wabash River, thence up the same, and with the line of Indiana to the northwest corner of said State; thence east with the line of the same state, to the middle of Lake Michigan; thence north along the middle of said lake to north latitude forty-two degrees, and thirty minutes, thence west to the middle of the Mississippi River, and thence down along the middle of that river to its confluence with the Ohio River, and thence up the latter river along its northwestern shore to the place of beginning: Provided, that this State shall exercise such jurisdiction upon the Ohio River as she is now entitled to, or such as may hereafter be agreed upon by this State and the state of Kentucky.
ARTICLE II-BILL OF RIGHTS § 1. All men are by nature free and independent, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights—among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure these rights and the protection of property, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
$ 2. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.
$ 3. The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be guaranteed; and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent, nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.
§ 4. Every person may freely speak, write and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that liberty; and in all trials for libel, both civil and criminal, the truth when published with good motives and for justifiable ends, shall be a sufficient defense.
$ 5. The right of trial by jury, as heretofore enjoyed, shall remain inviolate ; but the trial of civil cases before justices of the peace, by a jury of less than twelve men, may be authorized by law.
$ 6. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue without probable cause, supported by affidavit, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the person or things to be seized.
37. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except for capital offenses where the proof is evident or the presumption great; and the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.
$ 8. No person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense, unless on indictment of a grand jury, except in cases in which the punishment is by fine, or imprisonment otherwise than in the penitentiary, in cases of impeachment, and in cases arising in the army and navy, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger: Provided, that the grand jury may be abolished by law in all cases.
$ 9. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to appear and defend in person and by counsel; to demand the nature and cause of the accusation, and to have a copy thereof, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have process to compel the attendance of witnesses in his behalf, and a speedy public trial by an impartial jury of the county or district in which the offense is alleged to have been committed.
$ 10. No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to give evidence against himself, or to be twice put in jeopardy for the same offense.
§ 11. All penalties shall be proportioned to the nature of the offense; and no conviction shall work corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate; nor shall any person be transported out of the State for any offense committed within the same.
$ 12. No person shall be imprisoned for debt, unless upon refusal to deliver up his estate for the benefit of his creditors, in such manner as shall be prescribed by law; or in cases where there is strong presumption of fraud.
$ 13. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation. Such compensation, when not made by the State, shall be ascertained by a jury, as shall be prescribed by law.