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ALBANY, N. Y., Tuesday, August 31, 1915, 11 a. m.
The President - The Convention will please be in order. Prayer will be offered by the Rev. Chas. S. Hager.
The Rev. Mr. Hager - Oh, God, our Father, we thank Thee that this State has had the service of so many men of experience and judgment, interested in public welfare, who have been gathered here for this important work throughout the summer. We thank Thee for the progress that has been made. We thank Thee for the encouragement that goes out to the State in the reports of this Convention, and we ask Thee, Heavenly Father, that the work here done may be of such character as shall command the enthusiastic support of the whole State, bring to all the people a new interest in their government, and provide by the instrument herein proposed for the orderly, progressive development of the State, and for the greatest welfare of its citizens. May the same spirit that has guided this Assembly be in its deliberations this day. We ask it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Are there any amendments to be proposed to the Journal as printed and distributed?
Mr. Lincoln-Mr. President, is it in order to call attention at this time to an error in the Record of August 26th, which has just come to my attention. At the bottom of page 3084, the Record of August 26th, it appears that I introduced an amendment providing for mileage at three cents a mile to the members of the Legislature. As a matter of fact I think that was introduced by my friend, Mr. Leggett, of Allegany county, and I desire him to take whatever credit or opprobrium there may be in connection with the matter.
The President Without objection the Record will be corrected by cutting off "Lincoln" and adding "Leggett."
Are there any further amendments to be proposed? No amendments being proposed the Journal stands approved as printed.
Presentation of memorials and petitions.
Mr. Dahm-Mr. President, I offer the following petition on behalf of the Spanish War Veterans and ask that it be referred to the Committee on Civil Service.
Referred to the Committee on Civil Service.
The Chair lays before the Convention a communication from the secretary of the Committee on Constitutional Amendments, Spanish War Veterans Civil Service Association, which will be referred to the Committee on Civil Service. Also a communication from a committee of engineers, which will be referred to the Committee on Governor and Other State Officers.
Are there any further memorials or petitions?
Communications from the Governor and other State officers.
Notices, motions and resolutions. The Secretary will call the roll of districts.
The Secretary - First district, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, sixteenth
Mr. Tanner Mr. President, I rise to a question of personal privilege. Last evening the statement was made by my friend, Senator Wagner, that he thought that the majority was entirely unappreciative of the work of the minority in this Convention. I don't know what remark in the Record he based that on nor in the strenuous days that we have spent have I had time to look at the Record which has just come 'before me, but before I leave the Convention I should like to say that if such an opinion was derived by my friends on the other side, I think it should be corrected. I think they have worked hard and faithfully, and with very great ability towards perfecting the articles which we have from the first day here tried to perfect and I should be quite unwilling to leave the Convention without an expression of appreciation to that extent. I am compelled, Mr. President, to ask to be excused for at least the coming week. I greatly regret it. I would much prefer to stay here, but I do not believe that I can do so, and therefore, I ask to be excused for the next week.
The Chairman All in favor of granting the excuse to Mr. Tanner will say Aye. Contrary, No. The excuse is granted.
The Secretary Seventeenth district, eighteenth,
Mr. Olcott Mr. Chairman, a telegraphed memorial from the Spanish War Veterans which I desire to put on record.
The President - The memorial will be received.
The Secretary-Nineteenth district, twentieth, twenty-first, twenty-second, twenty-third, twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth, twenty-sixth, twenty-seventh, twenty-eighth, twenty-ninth, thirtieth, thirty-first, thirty-second, thirty-third, thirty-fourth, thirty-fifth, thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh, thirty-eighth, thirtyninth, fortieth, forty-first, forty-second, forty-third, forty-fourth, forty-fifth, forty-sixth, forty-seventh, forty-eighth.
Mr. Lincoln Mr. President, if this is the proper order of business, I wish to call up the motion made by me some days ago to discharge the Committee on Revision from further consideration of the amendment generally known as the registration measure, printed No. 804, now Print No. 814. I presume that is in order at this time, is it not?
Mr. Rodenbeck Mr. President, 'I think the bill referred to by Mr. Lin
coln was reported last night by the Committee on Revision with a slight amendment, and the Committee on Revision was about to report it 'this morning in engrossed form.
Mr. Lincoln-Well, Judge Rodenbeck, the motion made about two weeks ago was 'to discharge the Committee on Revision for the purpose of making the amendment in the present print of the bill, and the bill was reprinted No. 814.
Mr. Rodenbeck - Yes, we held the bill for about two weeks and upon looking up the Record I found that the bill was not recalled from the Committee on Revision but that your motion 'to recall the bill was laid on the table and the bill was directed by the Convention to be reprinted for the information of the members of the Convention, but the bill was not recalled from the Committee on Revision and last night we reported it with a change, of the word "voters" to electors ".
Mr. Lincoln-Well, my motion now is to take the bill from the table and consider it at the present time.
Mr. Wickersham - Mr. President, I ask that order be preserved in the chamber. It is impossible to hear what is going on.
Mr. Rodenbeck - Mr. President, the bill is really in the Committee on Revision and Engrossment. It was reported last night with amendments, has been reprinted and is now in the hands of the Committee on Revision and Engrossment.
Mr. Lincoln —Mr. President, if that is correct, I move to take the bill from the table and then I presume I may discuss it after taking it from the table.
The President - The Chairman of the Committee states that the bill is still in the hands of the Committee on Revision.
Mr. Lincoln-I now move to discharge the Committee on Revision from further consideration of the bill and to amend it as in Printed No. 814.
The President Will Mr. Lincoln send the indication of the amendment to the desk?
Mr. Lincoln - Mr. President, may I suggest that the Clerk read the amendment indicated in the bill.
The President - The Clerk is struggling with the bill now. The Clerk will read the bill as amended, Print No. 814. The Secretary will read the bill as Mr. Lincoln proposes to have it amended.
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
To amend section four of article two of the Constitution, in respect to the enactment of election and registration laws.
The People of the State of New York, in Convention assembled, do propose as follows:
Section 4. Laws shall be made for the regulation of elections and for ascertaining by proper proofs the electors who shall be entitled to the right of suffrage hereby established and for their annual registration, which shall be completed at least fifteen days before each general election. Such registration shall not be required for town and village elections except by
express provision of law. In cities and villages having five thousand inhabitants or more, according to the last preceding State enumeration of inhabitants, electors shall be registered upon personal application only. Laws shall be made providing for special registration therein on personal application before such boards or officers as the Legislature shall designate, on a day or days not more than five months prior to the day of election, of such electors as shall then declare under oath that they are engaged in a regular vocation or occupation which will occasion their absence from the county during each of the regular days of registration. Such laws shall require electors so specially registered to establish, on the first regular day of registration, their continued right to vote in the election district for which they were registered but shall not require further personal appearance. Electors not residing in such cities or villages shall not be required to apply in person for registration at the first meeting of the officers having charge of the registry of voters.
Mr. Lincoln - This amendment, as indicated in italics on page 2 of the proposed amendment just read by the clerk is intended to take care of the demand which we all know still exists on the part of commercial travelers and other persons whose vocation takes them away from their place of residence upon the days now usually assigned for registration. As we all know, this subject came up two or three weeks ago on an entirely different line, that is, under amendments which were proposed for the registration of these voters by affidavit to be filed, as some bills provided, before, and, as others provided, after, the day of registration. It seemed to be the consensus of opinion in this House that registration by affidavit was not desirable and for that reason the other amendments which were pending were defeated. I have introduced this amendment in a further attempt to take care of this situation, but to take care of it in a different manner. That is, to provide for registration of these individuals and classes who are interested in this subject personally but upon days other than days now provided by law. In other words this amendment permits the Legislature to enact appropriate legislation for the purpose of enabling these voters to register upon days to be fixed, not more than five months prior to the days of registration. That would permit registration under this special provision as early as the month of June.
I am told by representatives of commercial travelers' organizations that a large percentage of the men in those lines of work have their vacations or at least their times of least stress in the month of June, and that more of them would be accommodated by permission to register in June than in any other month of the year. However, the amendment as proposed by me permits the Legislature to fix a day or days in any of the months during the five months preceding registration, that is, they might follow out the sugges tion of the proposed statute which Mr. Hinman mentioned here the other day, which I believe provided for a single day of registration in July, another in August, and another in September. That would be perfectly feasible under this proposed amendment.
It is necessary, however, to put some limitation upon the powers of the Legislature in this respect and those limitations are imposed in the words