Senatus consultum ultimum on the election rules to be used in the Comitia centuriata, the Comitia populi tributa and the Comitia plebis tributa
SENATUS CONSULTUM ULTIMUM ON THE ELECTION RULES TO BE USED IN THE COMITIA CENTURIATA, THE COMITIA POPULI TRIBUTA AND THE COMITIA PLEBIS TRIBUTA
I. This Senatus consultum ultimum is issued by the Senate under the authority granted to it under section V.E of the Constitution of Nova Roma and under the constitutional authority of the Senate as the supreme policy-making authority for Nova Roma.
II. THE RULES FOR THE COMITIA
A. Laws remaining effectively repealed include but are not limited to: Lex Fabia de Ratione Comitorium Centuriatorum and the Lex Curiatia Iulia de ratione comitiorum centuriatorum. All previous laws relating to the Comitia Populi Tributa remain rescinded as they apply to the election of magistrates and the promulgation of legislation by the Comitia. The Lex Fabia de ratione comitiorum populi tributorum remains repealed. The Lex Cornelia de ratione comitiorum centuriatorum, the Lex Cornelia de ratione comitiorum populi tributorum and the Lex Pompeia de ratione comitiorum plebis tributorum are overidden.
B.The magistrates so designated under the Constitution for each comitia shall summon them and call them to order and act as presiding magistrate, when such magistrates are available. In cases where the designated magistrate is not available the Senate shall appoint persons to act solely in the role of presiding magistrate, without exercise of any rights, powers and duties of the office of the relevant absent magistrate, other than those required for the purpose of summoning and calling to order the comitia over which they are designated to preside over, and to oversee the conduct of such a proceeding. The required communications from such a Senate designated person relating to the conduct of the comitia they are to preside over shall have the force of edicta equivalent to the edicta of the absent magistrate who they are designated by the Senate to act in place of.
i. The Comitia may be summoned by their presiding magistrate by making a public declaration announcing the summons on any official public fora designated for this purpose by the Senate.
ii. It is recommended that the presiding magistrate seek auspices from a member of the College of Augurs or an appropriate alternative determined by the Pontifex maximus and/or the Princeps senatus If such auspices from the College of Augurs are not practicable to be so obtained. Auspices need not be taken, by either the College of Augurs, or an appropriate alternative, if the Pontifex maximus and/or the Princeps senatus determines that it is not practicable to do so.
iii. The Summons must contain the following information: 1. Subject heading: Official Summons of the Comitia [insert relevant comitia name] 2. In the text of the message must include: a. Candidates, date of citizenship, if they met the Constitutional and legal requirements of the office they are seeking, and The office they are seeking.. b. Full text of leges which are being voted on, draft version is acceptable at this point. c. The dates and time when the members of the Comitia shall begin and end the Contio and the start and end date of the voting period. d. Also, the presiding magistrate shall include any additional special instructions necessary that pertain to the mechanics of the vote. e. In the event of a legal proceeding the presiding magistrate will include all necessary information including but not limited to: f. Name of the petitioner, name of the defendant, the charges specified.
iv. The Timing of the Vote. 1. The Official Summons of each comitia is identified as an edictum. A copy of the Official Summons will be posted on the Website with the corresponding designation. 2. The edictum containing the call to vote must be issued at least 120 hours (5 days) prior to the start of the voting session. This period shall be known as the Contio and during this time formal discussion of the agenda (leges and legal proceeding) and/or candidates shall take place. 3. Any draft legislation to be put to a comitia are subject to the terms and conditions of the SENATUS CONSULTUM ULTIMUM ON THE PROCESS FOR PROPOSED LEGISLATION TO BE PUT BEFORE COMITIA. 4. In voting for a lex, the minimum contio period must last no fewer than 120 hours (5 days). 5. In a legal proceeding the minimum contio period must last no fewer than 192 hours (8 days). 6. Election officials shall tally the vote and deliver the results to the presiding magistrate and/or the Princeps senatus. 7. The presiding magistrate and/or the Princeps senatus have 24 hours to certify the results given by the election officials. They have the ability to review all actions taken by the election officials to ensure accuracy and impartiality. Once the presiding magistrate and/or the Princeps senatus certify the vote and/or election the presiding magistrate and/or the Princeps senatus shall announce the result(s) in the appropriate official public fora. Once completed the presiding magistrate shall bring the Comitia to a close..
C. In elections where the Nova Roman cista is available, such determination to be made by the Senate Information Technology Task Force (ITTF), then the following rules shall apply.
i. Each citizen will receive a unique voter identification code. The voter identification code can be issued via automatic process by the web based secured form used or by the 3rd party alternative. If an automated process is impractical, or non-existent the ITTF shall in a timely manner, prior to vote, issue the voter codes, delivered to the citizens and supply the electoral officers with the list of valid voter codes within each Century.
ii. The ITTF shall make available a cista (a secure web-based form – internal voting platform) that will allow citizens to vote. It is highly recommended that a link is posted on the Nova Roma website, and a link posted in the official public fora before the voting period is open. The ITTF will keep record of the voter identification number and the desired vote of the individual. The information thus collected will be either forwarded to the election officials as it is gathered or at the end of the process, at their discretion.
iii. In the case of a magisterial election, each voter shall have the option to mark each candidate “Yes (uti rogas) or leave the candidate unmarked; instructions shall be posted on the Nova Roman website which carry the following direction: “You may vote for 1 candidate per office vacancy, please select the magistrate you most strongly support.” In the case of legislation, for each proposed law, each voter shall have to option to vote “yes (uti rogas) or “no (antiquo).” In the case of a legal proceeding each voter shall have the option to vote “absolve” (I absolve, innocent) or “condemn” (I condemn, guilty).
iv. Once cast, no vote may be altered, even with the correct voter identification code. Should multiple votes be registered with the same voter identification code, only the first recorded vote shall be used in tallying the vote.
D. In elections where the Nova Roman cista is not available, such determination to be made by the Senate Information Technology Task Force (ITTF), then the ITTF shall determine the technological method to be used and issue the rules under which voting shall be conducted that are most appropriate to the technological method chosen. Such rules issued by the ITTF in such a case where the cista is not available may amend the rules herein.
E. Votes shall be counted by centuries in the comitia centuriata and by tribes in the other comitia,
F. In the case of magisterial election the votes of each century or tribe shall be calculated as follows. For each century or tribe the candidates shall be ranked in order by the number of yes votes they receive. The candidate(s) that receives the most “yes” votes wins the century or tribe. Ties will be decided by using the procedure established in the sections on Breaking of Ties of this Senatus consultum ultimum. If more than one office is vacant the HIGHEST ranked member wins until all offices are filled. If no one in the century or tribe votes, the century or tribe is skipped and the election officials move to the next century or tribe.
G. In the case of a vote on a lex, each century or tribe shall vote in favor of the lex if a majority of votes received by members of that century or tribe are in favor. If no one in the century or tribe votes, the century is skipped and the election officials move to the next century or tribe.
H. In the case of a vote on a legal proceeding before a Comitia, each century or tribe shall vote for conviction if a majority of the votes is received from the members of that century or tribe are marked “condemno.” Ties within a century or tribe will result in that century or tribe voting to acquit. If no one in the century or tribe votes, the century or tribe is skipped and the election officials move to the next century or tribe.
I. The Voting period for the Comitia, shall be no fewer than 168 hours (7 days). All centuries or tribes are allowed to vote at the commencement of the voting period. The presiding magistrate will notify the Comitia the opening of the voting period via the official public fora and a notice will be posted on the website.
J. Results shall be counted by century or tribe.
K. In case of magisterial elections the results are calculated as follows:
Each century or tribe will rank the candidates voting results from highest to lowest. The candidate that wins the most votes is declared the winner of that century or tribe. If there is a tie in deciding who won the century or tribe, ties will be decided by using the procedure established in the sections on Breaking of Ties of this Senatus consultum ultimum (by breaking the tie between the candidates who are tied). Depending on the number of vacancies there could be more than one winner. (If there is more than one vacancy, each century or tribe should have more than one winner, those being the highest and then the second highest vote totals per century or tribe then the third and so forth, until all vacancies are filled.) This process will be completed for each century or tribe that voted. The winner then is determined by which candidate won the most centuries or tribes, until all office vacancies are filled.
L. In the case of a magisterial election, a majority is defined as one the candidate who receives the most centuries or tribes per vacancy (not counting those centuries or tribes that did not vote).
M.. In the case of lex or leges, a simple majority of centuries or tribes casting votes must vote in favor for the lex to be adopted. In the case of a vote on the a lex or leges, a simple majority is defined as one half of the number of centuries or tribes casting votes plus one, fractions being rounded down. If a century or tribe is tied, the century or tribe will be counted as a No vote, there will be no tie breaking procedure. A century or tribe in which no voter cast votes shall not be counted.
N. In the case of a legal proceeding, a majority of the centuries or tribes must vote in favor of conviction in order for the accused to be condemned. A "majority" is defined as one half of the total number of centuries or tribes, plus one, fractions being rounded down. If a century or tribe has no members enrolled the election officials are instructed to remove those centuries from consideration during the vote counting process.
O. Votes may be tallied by automated means should the ITTF determine such is preferable to, and at least as accurate as a manual count.
P. The following are the only three methods to be utilized to determine the results of ties. The process to be used will be in numerical order – in other words no choosing. If a victor is not determined by the method #1 - then #2 will be used and then #3 until a winner shall be determined. This will be utilized for both ties in individual centuries or tribes and in the sum total of all centuries or all tribes of the Comitia concerned.
i. In case of tied candidates the tie is resolved giving the highest position to the candidate who has been a citizen of Nova Roma the longest.
ii. If the above tie breaking process does not resolve the tie situation the winning candidate between the tied candidates will be the one with the most century points.
iii. If the above two tie breaking processes fail to break the tie the result will be determined between the ages of the tied candidates. The oldest candidate will be declared the winner of the tie.
iv. The ITTF has the responsibility and powers to investigate any verifiable concern regarding the vote, within the timeframe. If the ITTF needs additional time, the presiding magistrate and/or the Princeps senatus may grant it. The presiding magistrate and/or the Princeps senatus have the discretion to approve an extension or not. The ITTF certifies the election by sending a notification to the presiding magistrate that they “Approve and sign off on the Comitia results.”
v. If the ITTF fails to sign off on the certification process they are required to explain their rationale to the presiding magistrate and the Princeps senatus. With this notification the Princeps senatus notifies the Senate. The Princeps senatus shall then summon the Senate into Formal Session, as per the SENATUS CONSULTUM DE RATIONE SENATUS MMDCCLXV. The Senate will debate and vote on a draft Senatus consultum ultimum framed around whether the Senate overrides the decision of the ITTF not to certify
vi. If the ITTF fails to respond within the 24 hour timeframe, the ITTF is deemed to have consented and the Comitia results can then be posted by the presiding magistrate.
III. If there are less validated candidate(s) than there are openings available for any elected magistracy, then no vote shall take place on that magistracy and any validated candidate(s) are automatically deemed to be elected to office as if an election had been held.
IV. No "write-in" candidates shall be permitted. Any votes cast for such a "write-in" candidate shall be counted as spoiled and disregarded in the count.
V. For a candidate to be validated they must:
i. Be a Nova Roman citizen ii. Be assidui in respect of the Nova Roman tax iii. Not be an officer, member or supporter of a Competing Organization and the processes for a person claiming to renounce former membership and/or support for a Competing Organization must follow the SENATUS CONSULTUM ULTIMUM ON THE POLICY FOR COMPETING ORGANIZATIONS AND NOVA ROMAN CITIZENS and all other extant legal measures concerning Competing Organizations.. iv. Information received from the chair of the Senate Policy Committee (SPC) regarding an ongoing investigation into a person wishing to stand, or actually standing, as a candidate for elected office, as per the SENATUS CONSULTUM ULTIMUM ON THE POLICY FOR COMPETING ORGANIZATIONS AND NOVA ROMAN CITIZENS, shall result in that person's candidacy being automatically deemed invalid. Such a person shall be removed from the ballot, or if the election is underway shall not have any votes counted for him/her. Such votes cast for him/her shall be counted as spoiled and disregarded in the count. v. The presiding magistrate and/or Princeps senatus shall ensure that the chair of the SPC shall be given the names of all potential declared candidates in order to review them prior to the comitia being summoned for any known breach of section V.iii. No candidate shall be accepted as validated until reviewed and cleared by the chair of the SPC. vi. The presiding magistrate and/or Princeps senatus shall ensure that the chair of the ITTF shall be given the names of all potential declared candidates in order to ensure that no active nota is in force against any candidate. No candidate shall be accepted as validated until reviewed and cleared by the chair of the ITTF. vii. The presiding magistrate and/or Princeps senatus shall ensure that the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) shall be given the names of all potential declared candidates in order to review them prior to the comitia being summoned in order to ensure that all such candidates are assidui and no arrears of the Nova Roman tax exist. viii. If another reason(s) other than those above exist that the Princeps senatus considers would disqualify a person being validated as a candidate the Princeps senatus shall summon a meeting of the Senate in Formal Session to debate and vote upon accepting such a candidacy. No candidate shall be accepted as validated until the Princeps senatus certifies there is no known such other reason to disqualify them from so being validated. ix. If no known fact that would prevent the candidate from being validated can be ascertained, and the candidate is validated, and is elected to office but subsequently a violation of section V.i to viii inclusive is discovered to have existed at the time of the election, then that now magistrate shall be suspended from office and shall not exercise any of the rights and powers of that office until the Princeps senatus summons the a meeting of the Senate in Formal Session to debate and vote on the matter, and the Senate session so called is officially closed.
VI. Where a dispute exists over the meaning and/or affect of any section of this Senatus consultum ultimum and there is sufficient time based on the rules in the SENATUS CONSULTUM DE RATIONE SENATUS MMDCCLXV for the Princeps senatus to call a Formal Meeting of the Senate in Session to discuss and vote on the dispute, without affecting any ongoing election, to determine the final meaning and/or affect, then the Princeps senatus shall so call the Senate. If the Princeps senatus deems that there is not sufficient time then the Princeps senatus shall determine the final meaning and/or affect.
VII. Any failure or refusal by a member of the Senate, or a magistrate, or an official to discharge a duty required under this Senatus consultum ultimum shall constitute CONTEMPT OF THE SENATE for the purposes of the SENATUS CONSULTUM DE RATIONE SENATUS MMDCCLXV.
VIII. Upon enactment of this Senatus consultum ultimum:
A. The only lawful method of subsequently superseding, amending or repealing this Senatus consultum ultimum must be by way of a Senatus consultum ultimum, that must achieve an extraordinary majority before it can be enacted. Any other method or attempt shall be illegal and forbidden. The Princeps senatus may at his/her discretion replace the requirement above for an extraordinary majority with a requirement for a special majority, or a simple majority.
B. No other Senatus consultum ultimum shall be enacted where the proposed content of which conflicts, negates, overrides, limits or otherwise affects in a negative manner the contents and/or purposes of all or any part of this Senatus consultum ultimum, whether directly or indirectly other than by the method at specified at section VIII.A of this Senatus consultum ultimum.
IX. This Senatus consultum ultimum shall terminate on the 31st December 2022, unless it shall be terminated earlier under the process described at section VIII.A of this Senatus consultum ultimum.