Posted by: schmoffly | April 7, 2010

Article 1, Section 4

The times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

This clause allows the states to make all laws regarding the elections for Senators and Representatives.  However, Congress does reserve the right to make uniform national rules.  Congress has done this by setting aside the Tuesday following the first Mondat in November as national election day for Senators and Representatives.  The Supreme Court interpreted “manner” to mean “matters like notices, registration, supervision of voting, protection of voters, prevention of fraud and corrupt practices, counting of votes, duties of inspectors and canvassers, and making and publication of election returns.”

The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

This was intended to guarantee that Congress would have a certain meeting day in the event that communication and transportation would be difficult.  This was written in 1787, so I’m sure this was often the case in those times.  Now, Congress is in session nearly year round.


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