official(ish) English

Jeffrey William McKeough jwm at URSOLARIS.SPDCC.COM
Sat Aug 18 06:56:07 UTC 2001

Found this amendment while reading the Massachusetts Constitution
today <>:

     Article XX. No person shall [have the right to vote, or] be
     eligible to office under the constitution of this commonwealth,
     who shall not be able to read the constitution in the English
     language, and write his name: -- provided, however, that the
     provisions of this amendment shall not apply to any person
     prevented by a physical disability from complying with its
     requisitions, nor to any person who now has the right to vote,
     nor to any persons who shall be sixty years of age or upwards at
     the time this amendment shall take effect.

The bracketed section was annulled several times over (and you also
don't have to be Christian anymore to vote or hold office, and they
took out the part that listed the president, professors and lecturers
of Harvard College among those public officeholders who could not
simultaneously be legislators, though surprisingly not the section
that grants the legislature the authority to alter the government of
Harvard as it sees fit), but it would appear that you can't hold
constitutional office in the Commonwealth if you can't read English.

There's no date listed for the amendment, but it's clearly been around
for some time.

Jeffrey William McKeough
jwm at (or

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