Elections and Voting Procedures


As you undoubtedly know Nova Roma is a Republic and the right to vote in elections, as a member of their various comitia is guaranteed by our Constitution.

Nova Roman  citizens elect a variety of magistrates, for a term of one year, to conduct official business. The two Censors are elected for a term of two years but are elected on a staggered basis. If you have applied and have been granted citizenship you will need to obtain a voter code for use in our elections. You do that by going to the Album Civium page and request your own voter code from there. In addition to electing magistrates the citizens are also called on to enact Lex (Laws)

Nether Rome nor Nova Roma had the concept or practice of  one man one vote. The citizens of Nova Roma are divided into tribes and centuries and do not vote directly for either a candidate or for a proposed law. We vote in our tribes and centuries and if a majority of our tribes votes for a  candidate he or she is elected or the  law is adopted . In Nova Roma as well  as in Rome a voter would vote,  uti rogas,  or for  to support a bill or candidate or you would vote   antiquo, "I vote against," to oppose a bill , or the candidate's name in an election.  A voter can also abstain during a vote. 

One of the issues that have confused citizens in the past is the order in which they vote.

The presiding magistrate chooses, by lot, the "Centuria Praerogativa". This century is the first to vote, and is always a century from the first class. During the first forty-eight hours of voting, only this century is permitted to vote. At the end of that time, the Diribitores will announce the results of the vote as they stand from that century. Next, the entire first class, becomes eligible to vote. Here again, the entire first class votes for forty-eight hours, at the end of which the Diribitores will announce the results of the entire first class. Finally, all the centuries become eligible to vote, for the remainder of the voting period. It's also worth noting that at no time in this do the Centuria Praerogativa or the first class become ineligible to vote. They may vote from the beginning of their voting time to the end of voting.

There are three different legislative bodies based on the ancient Roman Republic.

The Comitia Centuriata (Assembly of Centuries) shall be made up of all of the citizens.

In addition to enacting laws that are binding upon all citizens the Comitia Centuriata is also empower try legal cases in a citizen  is suject to permanent removal of citizenship.

The Comitia Plebis Tributa (Assembly of the Plebeians) shall be made up of all non-patrician citizens, grouped into their respective tribes. It elects both our Plebeian Aediles and  our Tribunes of the Plebs. It is also empowered to enact  laws binding upon the entire citizenry called plebiscites and to try legal cases solely involving members of the plebeian order that do not involve permanent removal of citizenship.

The Comitia Populi Tributa (Assembly of the People) shall be made up of all citizens, grouped into their respective tribes.  It is empowered to elect our Quaestor and our Curule Aediles; To enact laws and  to try legal cases that do not involve permanent removal of citizenship.

Elections for Magistrates are held ,according to the Nova Roman Constitution, in the fall of each year and must be completed by Dec 15. During this elections a person may stand as a candidates for one magistracy ( office)  that they are not currently holding. Roman practice did not allow for the holding of more that one magistracy at a time.

The presiding magistrate, Consul, Praetor or Tribune will issue a call for candidates if  holding an election for a magistrate and will issue an edict that will establish the duration of voting.  A contia   will be part of each election and is basically the "campaign/debate period before voting. All Nova Roman  elections start and stop according to the current time in the City of Rome. If an elected official resigns the responsible magistrate will schedule a special election to fill the vacancy, so elections may take place at anytime of the year.  

The officials that count the ballots in an election are called  Diribitores. Two  other officials called Custodes are  responsible for certifying the tally of votes in elections as reported to them by the diribitores. They also  break any ties among the centuries and tribes, and provide the results of elections to the magistrates presiding over the elections.

Special thanks goes to  Quaestor Tiberius Galerius Paulinus and Diribitor Q. Caecilius Metellus for their assistance in writing this article.

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