Chapt. 54. - An Act giving the consent of the State of Virginia to the county of Berkeley being admitted into and becoming part of the State of West Virginia.
Passed January 31, 1863.
Whereas, By the constitution for the state of West Virginia, ratified by the people thereof, it is provided that additional territory may be admitted into and become part of said state with the consent of the legislature thereof, and it is represented to the general assembly that the people of the county of Berkeley are desirous that said county should be admitted into and become part of the said state of West Virginia; now, therefore,
1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That polls shall be opened and held on the fourth Thursday of May next at the several places for holding elections in the county of Berkeley, for the purpose of taking the sense of the qualified voters of said county on the question of including said county in the state of West Virginia.
2. The poll books shall be headed as follows, viz: "Shall the county of Berkeley become a part of the state of West Virginia," and shall contain two columns, one headed "aye" and the other "no," and the names of those who vote in favor of said county becoming part of the state of West Virginia shall be entered in the first column, and the names of those who vote against it shall be entered in the second column.
3. The said polls shall be superintended and conducted according to the laws regulating general elections, and the commissioners superintending the same at the court house of the said county, shall within six days from the commencement of the said vote examine and compare the several polls taken in the county, strike therefrom any votes which are by law directed to be stricken from the same, and attach to the polls a list of the votes stricken therefrom and the reasons for so doing. The result of the polls shall then be ascertained, declared and certified as follows: The said commissioners shall make out two returns in the following form, or to the following effect: - "We, commissioners for taking the vote of the qualified voters of Berkeley county on the question of including the said county in the state of West Virginia, do hereby certify that the polls for that purpose were opened and held the fourth Thursday of May, in the year eighteen hundred and sixty three, within said county pursuant to law, and that the following is a true statement of the result as exhibited by the poll books, viz: for the county of Berkeley becoming part of the state of West Virginia, __ votes; and against it, ___ votes. Given under our hands this ___ day of ___, 1863;" which returns written in words, not in figures, shall be signed by the commissioners; one of said returns shall be filed in the clerk's office of the said county, and the other shall be sent under the seal of the secretary of this commonwealth within ten days from the commencement of the said vote, and the governor of this state, if of opinion that the said vote has been opened and held, and the result ascertained and certified pursuant to law, shall certify the result of the same under the seal of this state to the governor of the said state of West Virginia.
4. If the governor of this state shall be of opinion that the said polls cannot be safely and properly opened and held in the said county of Berkeley on the fourth Thursday of May next, he may by proclamation postpone the same, and appoint in the same proclamation or by one to be thereafter issued another day for opening and holding the same.
5. If a majority of the votes given at the polls opened and held pursuant to this act be in favor of the said county of Berkeley becoming part of the state of West Virginia, then shall the said county become part of the said state of West Virginia when admitted into the same with the consent of the legislature thereof.
6. This act shall be in force from its passage.
Timeline of West Virginia: Civil War and Statehood: January 1863