North Carolina. Secretary of State.

North Carolina manual [serial] (Volume 1967) online

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the county property tax is levied for a special purpose and with



Constitution 75

the special approval of the General Assembly, which may be done
by special or general act: Provided, this limitation shall not apply
to taxes levied for the maintenance of the public schools of the
State for the term required by Article IX, Section 3, of the Con-
stitution: Provided, further, the State tax shall not exceed five
cents (5ci on the one hundred dollars ($100.00) value of property.

Sec. 7. Acts levying taxes shall state objects, etc. Every act of
the General Assembly levying a tax shall state the special object
to which ir is to be applied, and it shall be applied to no other
purpose.

ARTICLE VI

SUFFRAGE AND ELIGIBILITY TO OFFICE

Section. ] . Who may vote. Every person born in the United
States, and every person who has been naturalized, twenty-one
years of age. and possessing the qualifications set out in this Article,
shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people of the State,
except as herein otherwise provided.

Sec. 2. Qualifications of voter. Any person who shall have re-
sided in the State of North Carolina for one year, and in the
precinct, ward or other election district in which such person offers
to vote for thirty days next preceding an election, and possessing
the other qualifications set out in this Article, shall be entitled to
vote at any election held in this State; provided, that removal from
one precinct, ward or other election district to another in this
State shall not operate to deprive any person of the right to vote
in the precinct, ward or other election district from which such
person has removed until thirty days after such removal. No
person who has been convicted, or who has confessed his guilt in
open court upon indictment, of any crime the punishment of which
now is, or may hereafter be, imprisonment in the State's Prison,
shall be permitted to vote unless the said person shall be first
restored to citizenship in the manner prescribed by law.

The General Assembly may, however, reduce the time of residence,
preceding a Presidential Election, for a person possessing all other
qualifications of a voter, in which such person shall be entitled to
vote for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of
the United States only. Any person eligible to vote for electors for
President and Vice President of the United States by reason of a



7t» North Carolina Manual

reduction in time of residence shall not thereby become eligible to
hold office in this State.

Sec 3. Voters to be registered. Every person offering to vote
shall be at the time a legally registered voter as herein prescribed,
and in the manner hereafter provided by law. and the General
Assemblj of North Carolina shall enact general registration laws
to cany into effect the provisions of this Article.

Sec. 4. Qualification tor registration. Every person presenting
himself for registration shall be able to read and write any section
of the Constitution in the English language. But no male person
who was. on January 1, 1867, or at any time prior thereto, entitled
to vote under the laws of any State in the United States wmerein
he then resided, and no lineal descendent of any such person, shall
be denied the right to register and vote at any election in this
State by reason of his failure to possess the educational qualifica-
tions herein prescribed: Provided, he shall have registered in ac-
cordance with the terms of this Section prior to December 1. 1908.
The General Assembly shall provide for the registration of all
persons entitled to vote without the educational qualifications
herein prescribed, and shall, on or before November 1, 1908. pro-
vide for the making of a permanent record of such registration,
and all persons so registered shall forever thereafter have the
right to vote in all elections by the people in this State, unless
disqualified under Section 2 of this Article.

Sec. 5. Indivisible plan; legislative intent. That this amendment
to the Constitution is presented and adopted as one indivisible
plan for the regulation of the suffrage, with the intent and pur-
pose to so connect the different parts, and make them so depend-
ent upon each other, that the whole shall stand or fall together.

Sec. 6. Elections by people and (General Assembly. All elections
by the people shall be by ballot, and all elections by the General
Assembly shall be viva voce.

Sec. 7. Eligibility to offiee; official oath. Every voter in North
Carolina except as in this Article disqualified, shall be eligible to
office, but before entering upon the duties of the office, he shall
take and subscribe the following oath:

"I» , do solemnly swear tor affirm) that I

will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United



Constitution 77

States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not in-
consistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties
of my office as .... So help me, God."

Sec. 8. Disqualification for office. The following classes of per-
sons shall be disqualified for office: First, all persons who shall
deny the being of Almighty God. Second, all persons who shall
have been convicted or confessed their guilt on indictment pend-
ing, and whether sentenced or not, or under judgment suspended,
of any treason or felony, or of any other crime for which the
punishment may be imprisonment in the penitentiary, since be-
coming citizens of the United States, or of corruption or mal-
practice in office, unless such person shall be restored to the rights
of citizenship in a manner prescribed by law.

Sec. 9. When this chapter ope rat ire. That this amendment to
the Constitution shall go into effect on the first day of July, nine-
teen hundred and two, if a majority of votes cast at the next general
election shall be cast in favor of this suffrage amendment.

ARTICLE VII

U UNICIPAL CORPORATIONS

Section 1. County officers. In each county there shall be elected
biennially by the qualified voters thereof, as provided for the elec-
tion of members of the General Assembly, the following officers:
A treasurer, register of deeds, surveyor, and five commissioners.
(Under authority of the Public Laws of 1935, c. 362, s. 1, pro-
vision was made for the quadrennial election of registers of deeds,
certain counties being exempted.)

Sec. 2. Duty of county commissioners. It shall be the duty of
the commissioners to exercise a general supervision and control
of the penal and charitable institutions, schools, roads, bridges,
levying of taxes, and finances of the county, as may be prescribed
by law. The register of deeds shall be ex officio clerk of the board
of commissioners.

Sec. 3. Counties to be divided into districts. It shall be the duty
of the commissioners first elected in each county to divide the same
into convenient districts, to determine the boundaries and prescribe



78 North Carolina Manual

the name of the said districts, and to report t lie same 10 the General
Assembly before the first day of January. 1869.

Sec I. Townships have corporate powers. Upon the approval
«)l Lhe reports provided lor in the foregoing section by the Gen-
eral Assembly, the said districts shall have corporate powers for
the necessary purposes of local government, and shall be known
as townships.

Sec. •",. Sheriffs. In each county a Sheriff shall be elected by the
qualified voters thereof as is prescribed for members of the General
Assembly, and shall hold his office for a period of four years. In
case of a vacancy existing for any cause in any Sheriff's office, the
governing authority of the county shall fill such vacancy by appoint-
ment for the unexpired term.

Sec. (3. Xo debt or loan except by a majority of voters. No
county, city. town, or other municipal corporation shall contract
any debt, pledge its faith or loan its credit, nor shall any tax be
levied or collected by any officers of the same except for the necessary-
expenses thereof, unless approved by a majority of those who shall
vote thereon in any election held for such purpose.

Sec. 7. No money drawn except by lair. No money shall be
drawn from any county or township treasury, except by authority
of law.

Sec. 8. Charters to remain in force until legally changed. All
charters, ordinances, and provisions relating to municipal corpora-
tions shall remain in force until legally changed, unless inconsistent
with the provisions of this Constitution.

Sec ft. Debts in aid of the rebellion not to be paid. No county,
city. town, or other municipal corporation shall assume or pay.
nor shall any tax be levied or collected for the payment of any
debt, or the interest upon any debt, contracted directly or indirectly
in aid or support of the rebellion.

Sec. 10. Powers of General Assembly over municipal corporations
The General Assembly shall have full power by statute to modify,
change, or abrogate any and all of the provisions of this Article.
and substitute others in their place, except Sections 5. 6. 7. and 9.



Constitution 79

ARTICLE VI 11

CORPORATIONS OTFrER THAN MUNICIPAL

Section 1 Corporations under general laws. No corporation
shall be created, nor shall its charter be extended, altered, or
amended by special act. except corporations for charitable, educa
tional. penal, or reformatory purposes that are to be and remain
under the patronage and control of the State; but the General
Assembly shall provide by general laws for the chartering and
organization of all corporations, and for amending, extending, and
forfeiture of all charters, except those above permitted by special
act. All such general laws and special acts may be altered from
time to time or repealed: and the General Assembly may at any
time by special act repeal the charter of any corporation.

Sec. 2. Debts of corporation*, horn .secured. Dues from corpora-
tions shall be secured by such individual liabilities of the corpora-
tions, and other means, as may be prescribed by law.

Sec. 3. What corporations shall include. The term "corporation"
as used in this Article, shall be construed to include all associa-
tions and joint-stock companies having any of the powers and
privileges of corporations not possessed by individuals or part-
nerships. And all corporations shall have the right to sue, and
shall be subject to be sued, in all courts, in like cases as natural
persons.

Sec. 4. Legislature to provide for organizing cities, towns, etc.
It shall be the duty of the Legislature to provide by general laws
for the organization of cities, towns, and incorporated villages,
and to restrict their power of taxation, assessment, borrowing
money, contracting debts, and loaning their credit, so as to prevent
abuses in assessment and in contracting debts by such municipal
corporations

ARTICLE IX

KIH'CATION

Section 1. Education shall he encouraged. Religion, morality,
and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happi
uess of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever
be encouraged



SO \<>ii i ii Caw)1 in a Mam \i

Sec. 2. General Assembly shall provide for schools; separation
ni the races. The General Assembly, at its tirst session under this
Constitution, shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general
and uniform system of public schools, wherein tuition shall be
tree of charge to all the children of the State between the ages of
six and twenty-one years. And the children of the white race and
the children of the colored race shall be taught in separate public
schools; but there shall be no discrimination in favor of, or to the
prejudice of. either race.

Sec :;. enmities to he divided into districts. Each county of the
Stale shall be divided into a convenient number of districts, in
which one or more public schools shall be maintained at least six
months in every year; and if the commissioners of any county
shall fail to comply with the aforesaid requirements of this Sec-
i ion. they shall be liable to indictment.

Sec. 4. What property derated to educational purposes. The
proceeds of all lands that have been or hereafter may be granted
by the Tinted States to this State, and not otherwise appropriated
by this State or the United States; also all moneys, stocks, bonds,
and other property now belonging to any State fund for purposes
of education; also the net proceeds of all sales of the swamp lands
belonging to the State, and all other grants, gifts or devices that
have been or hereafter may be made to the State, and not other-
wise appropriated by the State, or by the terms of the grant, gift
or devise, shall be paid into the State Treasury, and. together with
so much of the ordinary revenue of the State as may be by law
set apart for that purpose, shall be faithfully appropriated for
establishing and maintaining in this State a system of free public
schools, and for no other uses or purposes whatsoever.

Sec. 5. ('mint ii school fund: proviso. All moneys, stocks, bonds,
and other property belonging to a county school fund: also the
net proceeds from the sale of estrays; also the clear proceeds of
all penalties and forfeitures and of all tines collected in the several
counties for any breach of the penal or military laws of the State;
and all moneys which shall be paid by persons as an equivalent for
exemption from military duty shall belong to and remain in the
several counties, and shall be faithfully appropriated for estab-
lishing and maintaining free public schools in the several coun-



Constitution gl

ties of this State: Provided, that the amount collected in each
county shall be annually reported to the Superintendent of Public
Instruction.

Sec. 6. Election of trustees, and provisions for maintenance, of
the University. The General Assembly shall have power to pro-
vide for the election of trustees of the University of North Caro-
lina, in whom, when chosen, shall be vested all the privileges,
rights, franchises and endowments thereof in any wise granted to
or conferred upon the trustees of said University; and the Gen-
eral Assembly may make such provisions, laws, and regulations
from time to time, as may be necessary and expedient for the
maintenance and management of said University.

Sec. 7. Benefits of the University. The General Assembly shall
provide that the benefits of the University, as far as practicable,
be extended to the youth of the State free of expense for tuition;
also, that all the property which has heretofore accrued to the
State, or shall hereafter accrue, from escheats, unclaimed dividends,
or distributive shares of the estates of deceased persons, shall be
appropriated to the use of the University.

Sec. 8. State Board of Education. The general supervision and
administration of the free public school system, and of the edu-
cational funds provided for the support thereof, except those
mentioned in Section five of this Article, shall, from and after
the first day of April, one thousand nine hundred and forty-five,
be vested in the State Board of Education to consist of the Lieu-
tenant-Governor, State Treasurer, the Superintendent of Public
Instruction, and ten members to be appointed by the Governor,
subject to confirmation by the General Assembly in Joint Session.
The General Assembly shall divide the State into eight educational
districts, which may be altered from time to time by the General
Assembly. Of the appointive members of the State Board of Edu-
cation, one shall be appointed from each of the eight educational
districts, and two shall be appointed as members at large. The first
appointments under this Section shall be: Two members appointed
from educational districts for terms of two years; two members
appointed from educational districts for terms of four years; two
members appointed from educational districts for terms of six
years; and two members appointed from educational districts for
terms of eight years. One member at large shall be appointed



V- North Carolina Manual

for a period of lour years and one member at large shall be
appointed lor a period of eight years. All subsequent appointments
shall be for terms of eighl years. Any appointments to fill vacan-
cies shall be made by the Governor for the unexpired term, which
appointments shall not he subject to confirmation. The State Super-
intendent of Public Instruction shall be the administrative head
if the public school system and shall be secretary of the Board.
The Board shall elect a chairman and vice-chairman. A majority
of the Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of busi-
ng s. The iter diem and expenses of the appointive members shall
he provided by the General Assembly.

Sec. «). Poiios and duties of the Board. The State Board of
Education shall succeed to all the powers and trusts of the Presi-
dent and Directors of The Literary Fund of North Carolina and
the State Board of Education as heretofore constituted. The State
Board of Education shall have power to divide the State into a
convenient number of school districts; to regulate the grade, salary
and qualifications of teachers, to provide for the selection and
adoption of the textbooks to be used in the public schools; to ap-
portion and equalize the public school funds over the State;
and generally to supervise and administer the free public school
system of the State and to make all needful rules and regulations
in relation thereto. All the powers enumerated in this Section shall
be exercised in conformity with this Constitution and subject to
such laws as may be enacted from time to time by the General
Assembly.

Sec. 10 Agricultural department. As soon as practicable after
the adoption of this Constitution, the General Assembly shall
establish and maintain, in connection with the University, a de-
partment of agriculture, of mechanics, of mining, and of normal
instruction.

Sec. 11. Children must attend school The General Assembly is
hereby empowered to enact that every child, of sufficient mental
and physical ability, shall attend the public schools during the
period between the ages of six and eighteen years, for a term of
not less than sixteen months, unless educated by other means.

Sec. 12. Education expense grants and local option. Notwith-
standing any other provision of this Constitution, the General



Constitution 33

Assembly may provide for payment of education expense grants
from any State or local public funds for the private education of
any child for whom no public school is available or for the private
education of a child who is assigned against the wishes of his
parent, or the person having control of such child, to a public
school attended by a child of another race. A grant shall be avail-
able only for education in a nonsectarian school, and in the case
of a child assigned to a public school attended by a child of another
race, a grant shall, in addition, be available only when it is not
reasonable and practicable to reassign such child to a public school
not attended by a child of another race.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, the
General Assembly may provide for a uniform system of local option
whereby any local option unit, as defined by the General Assembly,
may choose by a majority vote of the qualified voters in the unit
who vote on the question to suspend or to authorize the suspension
of the operation of one or more or all of the public schools in that
unit.

No action taken pursuant to the authority of this Section shall
in any manner affect the obligation of the State or any political
subdivision or agency thereof with respect to any indebtedness
heretofore or hereafter created.



ARTICLE N

HOMESTEADS AND EXEMPTIONS

Section 1. Exemptions of personal property. The personal prop
erty of any resident of this State, to the value of five hundred
dollars (,$500.00), to be selected by such resident, shall be and is
hereby exempted from sale under execution or other final process
of any court, issued for the collection of any debt.

Sec. 2. Homestead. Every homestead, and the dwellings and
buildings used therewith, not exceeding in value one thousand
dollars ($1,000.00), to be selected by the owner thereof, or in lieu
thereof, at the option of the owner, any lot in a city, town or vil-
lage with the dwellings and buildings used thereon, owned and
occupied by any resident of this State, and not exceeding the value
of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), shall be exempt from sale
under execution or other final process obtained on any debt. But



M North Carolina Mancai

mi property shall be exempt from sale for taxes, or for payment
of obligations contracted for the purchase of said premises.

Sec. ::. Homestead exemption from debt. The homestead, after
the death of the owner thereof, shall be exempt from the payment
of any debt during the minority of his children, or any of them.

Sec. 1. Laborer's lien. The provisions of Sections one and two
of this Article shall not be so construed as to prevent a laborer's
lien for work done and performed for the person claiming such
exemption, or a mechanic's lien for work done on the premises.

Sec. ."). Benefit of widow. If the owner of a homestead die.
leaving a widow but no children, the same shall be exempt from
the debts of her husband, and the rents and profits thereof shall
inure to her benefit during her widowhood, unless she be the owner
of a homestead in her own right.

Sec. 6. Property of married women secured to them. The real
and personal property of any female in this State acquired before
marriage, and all property, real and personal, to which she may,
after marriage, become in any manner entitled, shall be and remain
the sole and separate estate and property of such female, and shall
not be liable for any debts, obligations or engagements of her
husband, and may be devised and bequeathed and conveyed by her
subject to such regulations and limitations as the General Assembly
may prescribe. Every married woman may exercise powers of
attorney conferred upon her by her husband, including the power
to execute and acknowledge deeds to property owned by herself
and her husband or by her husband.

S.c. 7. Husband may insure Jiis life for the benefit of wife and
children. The husband may insure his own life for the sole use
and benefit of his wife and children, and in case of the death
of the husband the amount thus insured shall be paid over to the
wife and children, or to the guardian, if under age. for her or
their own use. free from all claims of the representatives of her
husband, or any of his creditors. And the policy shall not be sub-
ject to claims of creditors of the insured during the life of the
insured, if the insurance issued is for the sole use and benefit of
the wife and/or children.

Sec 8, How deed for homestead may be made. Nothing con-



Constitution 8">

tained in the foregoing Sections of this Article shall operate to
prevent the owner of a homestead from disposing of the same by
deed; but no deed made by the owner of a homestead shall be
valid without the signature and acknowledgement of his wife.

ARTICLE XI

PUNISHMENTS, PENAL INSTITUTIONS, AND PUBLIC CHABITIES

Section 1. Punishments ; convict labor; proviso. The following
punishments only shall be known to the laws of this State, viz.:
death, imprisonment with or without hard labor, fines, removal
from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of
honor, trust, or profit under this State. The foregoing provision
for imprisonment with hard labor shall be construed to authorize
the employment of such convict labor on public works or high-
ways, or other labor for public benefit, and the farming out there-
of, where and in such manner as may be provided by law; but
no convict shall be farmed out who has been sentenced on a
charge of murder, manslaughter, rape, attempt to commit rape,
or arson: Provided, that no convict whose labor may be farmed
out shall be punished for any failure of duty as a laborer, except
by a responsible officer of the State; but the convicts so farmed
out shall be at times under the supervision and control, as to
their government and discipline, of the penitentiary board or some
officer of this State.

Sec. 2. Death punishment. The object of punishments being not
only to satisfy justice, but also to reform the offender, and thus
prevent crime, murder, arson, burglary, and rape, and these only,
may be punishable with death if the General Assembly shall so
enact.

Sec. 3. Penitentiary. The General Assembly shall, at its first
meeting, make provision for the erection and conduct of a State's



Online LibraryNorth Carolina. Secretary of StateNorth Carolina manual [serial] (Volume 1967) → online text (page 7 of 59)