Whereas it hath been found inconvenient for the freemen of each precinct to vote for members of assembly; and His Majesty by his royal instruction having been pleased to direct that only the freeholders of this Province should be entitled to vote for members of assembly.
Therefore be it enacted by His Excellency, Gabriel Johnston, Esq., Governour, the Council and General Assembly, That no person hereafter shall be admitted to give his vote in any election for members of assembly for the precincts of this Province, unless such person has been an inhabitant in the precinct where he votes at least six months, and has bona fide a freehold in his own right of at least 50 acres of land in the said precinct which he shall have been possest of three months before he offers to give his vote.
And be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That hereafter no person shall be deemed qualified or admitted to sit in the Assembly, unless he has been one full year an inhabitant of this Province, and is possessed in his own right of at least one hundred acres of freehold land in the precinct where he is elected or chosen.
And it is hereby enacted that those parts of the two clauses in the Act entitled “An Act relating to the biennial and other assemblies; wherein the freemen of the respective precincts of the county of Albemarle, and the freemen in each precinct, in every other County, are empowered to vote for members to sit in the General Assembly; as also that part of the clause in an act entitled “an act for regulating towns and elections of Burgesses” that permit persons to vote who have been resident six months in the precinct where they vote, are hereby declared repealed.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any dispute or challenge shall arise touching the qualification of any person or persons offering his or their vote according to the true intent or meaning of this Act, that then and in such case, it shall and may be lawful for the person who is authorized to take the poll, to administer an oath to such person or persons so offering his or their vote, that he or they are qualified pursuant to this Act; and that the same oath be administered to every candidate upon any challenge made of his being qualified, as is in this act provided, any law heretofore made to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that from and after the ratification of this Act, That all elections of members to sit in General Assembly, shall be held and taken at the Court House in every precinct & in Case there be no Court House in any of the said Precincts, that then and in such case, it shall and may be lawful for the inhabitants of such precinct, to meet and convene at the place appointed for such court house to be built; and if no place for that purpose appointed, then at the usual place in the said precinct to elect as aforesaid; any law custom or usage to the contrary, in anywise notwithstanding.