LEX FABIA DE RATIONE COMITIORVM CENTVRIATORVM
- All previous laws relating to the Comitia Centuriata are hereby
rescinded as they apply to the election of magistrates and the voting
of leges by the Comitia Centuriata. This Lex Fabia de Ratione
Comitiorum Centuriatorum is hereby enacted to define the procedures
by which the Comitia Centuriata shall conduct the business of
electing magistrates, voting on leges, and voting to convict or
acquit citizens brought to trial before the Comitia Centuriata.
- Calling the Comitia to Order.
Either a Consul or Praetor may, as described in the constitution,
call the Comitia to order to hold a vote on a lex or leges, to hold
an election, or to conduct a trial. The magistrate who calls the
Comitia to order shall be referred to herein as the presiding
- This shall be done by making a public proclamation announcing the
call in those public fora which shall have been designated for such
purpose, in which must be included:
- The names of candidates for office and the office for which they
are running (when the Comitia are being called for an election);
- Date of Citizenship of each candidate.
- The full text of any leges, which are being voted on (when the
Comitia are being called to legislate);
- The dates and time when the members of the Comitia shall begin and
- Any special instructions that pertain to the mechanics of the vote.
- In the case of a trial, the name of the accused, and the charges
and specifications of which they are accused.
- The presiding magistrate shall have the responsibility for taking
all reasonable precautions to ensure that candidates for a vote hold
whatever qualifications are required by law. The Censors shall assist
in such efforts as to the best of their ability.
- Timing of the vote.
- The edictum containing the call to vote must be issued at least
120 hours (5 days) prior to the start of the vote. This period shall
be known as the Contio, and shall be used for formal discussion of
the issues and/or candidates before the People for vote.
- In the event that, in an election for a magisterial office, there
are not enough candidates elected to fill all vacancies in that
office, the presiding magistrate may call for a follow-up election
among those same candidates who failed to obtain that office in the
previous election. For these follow-up elections, the 120-hour
(5-day) requirement for the length of the Contio (official discussion
period) shall be shortened to 24 hours.
- During the Contio, the following conditions shall apply:
- Those constitutionally empowered to do so may exercise their
powers of intercessio or obnuntiatio.
- Intercessio may be exercised against either the entire election or
vote, or against one or more individual items on the ballot. If there
are any items on the ballot that have not been subjected to
intercessio, voting on them shall proceed normally. The removal of an
item from the ballot due to intercessio shall not prevent that item
from being placed upon the ballot for a different vote at a later
- The exercise of obnuntiatio shall extend the Contio, postponing the
start and end dates of the voting period by 24 hours, during which
time obnuntiatio may again be exercised.
- Should the exercise of nuntatio cause the voting period to move
such that it conflicts with calendrical restrictions as defined by
the Collegium Pontificum, the presiding magistrate may change or
extend the dates of the vote and/or contio at his discretion.
- A member of the Collegium Augurum shall be invited by the
presiding magistrate to seek favorable auspices for the conduct of
the vote, subject to those rules and regulations the Collegium
Augurum shall set forth by decreta. Should the presiding magistrate
himself be a member of the Collegium Augurum, he may take the
auspices for the vote himself.
- In the case of a vote on a lex, the period between the start and
end of the voting must last no fewer than 120 hours (5 days).
- In the case of a vote on the guilt or innocence of an accused
citizen tried before the Comitia Centuriata, the period between the
start and end of the voting must last no fewer than 192 hours (8 days).
- The ability to vote during the voting period may be impacted
and/or suspended due to calendrical issues as enacted by decreta of
the Collegium Pontificum.
- The diribitores shall tally the vote and shall deliver the results
to the presiding magistrate within 48 hours of the close of the
voting period; in the cases of a magisterial election, the diribitores
shall also announce in the appropriate public fora various running
tallies as provided in V.B below.
- The presiding magistrate shall announce the results of the vote
within 24 hours of receiving the results from the diribitores in at
least the same venues as the original announcement calling the comitia
- Voting procedures.
- The censors shall issue to each citizen a unique voter
identification code. This code shall be used to maintain anonymity in
the voting process, and to minimize the possibility of vote fraud. In
a timely fashion prior to the vote, the censors shall make available
to the diribitores a list of valid voter identification codes and the
centuries with which they are associated. The diribitores shall not
have access to the names of the citizens associated with particular
voter identification codes.
- In consultation with the diribitores, the magister aranearius shall make
available a cista, a secure web-based form, to allow citizens to vote
directly through the official Nova Roma web site. This form shall
record the voter identification number and desired vote(s) of the
individual. The information thus collected will either be forwarded
to the diribitores as it is gathered, or at the end of the process, at
their discretion. Alternative methods of voting may be enacted by
other legislation as required.
- In the case of a magisterial election, each voter shall have the
option to mark the each candidate "yes (uti rogas)" or to leave
the candidate unmarked; each ballot shall carry the following
direction: "you may vote for as many candidates as you wish,
but you are advised to vote only for those candidates you strongly
support." In the case of legislation, for each proposed law, each
voter shall have the option to vote "yes (uti rogas)" or "no (antiquo)."
In the case of a trial each voter shall have the option to vote "absolvo"
(I absolve, innocent), or "condemno" (I condemn, guilty). 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 one recorded shall be used
when tallying the vote.
- Procedures for counting votes.
- Votes shall be counted by centuries.
- In the case of a magisterial election, the votes of each century
shall be calculated as follows. For each century, the candidates
shall be ordered by the number of 'yes' votes they receive from
voters in that century, the candidate who receives most 'yes' votes
(ties being decided by lot) being numbered 1, and so on in descending
order. If any candidates have no 'yes' votes from voters in that
century, those candidates shall not be listed.
- In the case of a vote on a lex, each century shall vote in favor
of the lex if a majority of the votes received by members of the
century are in favor. Otherwise, the century shall be considered to
have voted against the proposed lex.
- In the case of a vote on the guilt or innocence of a citizen tried
before the Comitia Centuriata, each century shall vote for conviction
if a majority of the votes received from members of that century are
marked "condemno." Ties within a century will result in that century
voting to acquit.
- The custodes may decide how decisions by lot shall be made in a
fair manner. In the case of trials, no decisions will be made by lot.
- In the case of a magisterial election, voting shall be sequential.
- A century from the first class shall be selected by lot by the
diribitores to vote first. No century containing only one member shall
be selected for this purpose. For the first 48 hours of the voting
period only members of that century shall be permitted to vote.
- Twenty-four (24) hours after the beginning of the voting period,
the diribitores shall tally the votes of all those who have voted so far
according to the method set out in A.1 above, and shall announce
the result no later than 48 hours after the beginning of the voting period.
- Forty-eight (48) hours after the beginning of the voting period, the
rest of the centuries in the first class shall be permitted to vote; members
of the century selected under B.1 above who have not yet voted shall
still be permitted to vote.
- Ninety-six (96) hours after the beginning of the voting period,
the diribitores shall tally the votes of all those who have voted so
far according to the method set out in A.1 above, and shall announce
the results no later than 120 hours after the beginning of the voting period.
- One hundred twenty (120) hours after the beginning of the voting period,
everyone who is eligible to vote but has not yet done so shall be permitted to
vote. All voting shall cease no less than 216 hours after the beginning of the
- Results shall be counted by century.
- In the case of a magisterial election, the results are
calculated as follows.
- In the first round, the first (number one) preferences of the
centuries are compared. If at this stage any candidate is the
first preference of more than fifty per cent of the centuries (not
including any 'void' centuries - centuries in which no 'yes' votes
were cast), that candidate is elected. If no candidate has a majority of
first-preference votes, then the candidate who is the number one choice
of fewest centuries (ties being decided by lot) is eliminated. The
election or elimination of a candidate ends the first round.
- If there still are vacancies to be filled, there is a second round
in which each century which voted for the elected or eliminated
candidate as its first choice is given to its second choice
candidate. If any such century has no second choice, that century
becomes 'void'. As before, if any candidate now has a majority of the
centuries (not including any 'void' centuries), he or she is elected.
If not, the candidate with the fewest centuries is eliminated. This
concludes the second round.
- If there are still vacancies to be filled, each century held by
the candidate who was elected or eliminated in the previous round is
given to its second choice candidate or, if that candidate has been
elected or eliminated, to its third choice candidate. Any century
having no candidate as its next choice becomes 'void'. Any candidate
who now has a majority of centuries (not including 'void' centuries)
is elected, and if no candidate has a majority then the candidate
with the fewest centuries is eliminated, ending the third round.
- This procedure is repeated until all the vacancies are filled.
- If at the end of any round the number of candidates is equal to
the number of vacancies and all the candidates have the same number
of centuries, the tie is decided by lot, but rather than eliminate
the loser, the winner is elected, and the round ends.
- In the case of a vote on a lex, a simple majority of the centuries
casting votes must vote in favor for the lex to be adopted.
- In the case of a trial before the Comitia Centuriata, a majority
of the centuries most vote in favor of conviction in order for the
accused to be convicted.
- In the case of a magisterial elections, a "majority" is defined as
"one half of the number of centuries (not including 'void' centuries)
plus one, fractions being rounded down".
- In the case of a vote on a lex, a "simple majority" is hereby
defined as "one half of the number of centuries casting votes, plus
one, fractions being rounded down". A century in which no voters cast
votes shall not be counted toward this total.
- In the case of a trial before the Comitia Centuriata, a "majority"
is defined as "one half of the total number of centuries, plus one,
fractions being rounded down."
Even those centuries in which no voters cast votes shall be counted,
as implicit votes for acquittal, toward the total.
- Votes may be tallied by automated means should the diribitores
determine such is preferable to, and at least as accurate as, a
- Only the aggregate votes of the centuries shall be delivered to
the presiding magistrate; the votes of individual citizens shall be
[In accordance with the Lex Equitia de Vigintisexviris and praetorian edictum,
the titles of rogatores and curator araneum have here been changed to the current and
more correct diribitores, custodes, and magister aranearius. The rogatores are now
registrars of new citizens working in the censor's office; the diribitores count votes,
and the custodes break ties and certify elections].
[A. Tullia Scholastica, interpres linguae Latinae, scriba praetoris et magistri araneari,
Passed by Comitia Centuriata, Yes-38; No-9; Abstain-0
08 October MMDCCLVI