Voting procedure (Nova Roma)

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Nova Roma citizens elect a variety of magistrates, for terms of one year, to conduct official business. The two Censors are elected for a term of two years, but are elected to staggered terms. In addition to electing magistrates the citizens are also called on to enact Leges (Laws).

Nova Roma follows the tradition of Roma Antiqua in that there is no concept or practice of "one citizen one vote". The citizens of Nova Roma do not vote directly for candidates or for proposed laws. For voting purposes, citizens are divided into tribes and centuries. The winner by majority in each tribe or century becomes the "vote" of that tribe or century. The first candidate to earn enough of these tribe or century votes to satisfy election requirements is the winner.


Timing of elections

Elections for Magistrates are held, according to the Nova Roma Constitution, in the fall of each year and must be completed by a.d. XVIII Kal. Ian. . During these 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 contio will be part of each election and is basically the "campaign/debate period before voting. All Nova Roma 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.

Voting order: by Centuries

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. At the end of this second forty-eight hours of voting 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. 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.

Three voting bodies

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

Comitia Centuriata

The Comitia Centuriata (Assembly of Centuries) is made up of all of the citizens. It enacts laws that are binding upon all citizens and is also empowered try legal cases in which a citizen is suject to permanent removal of citizenship.

Comitia Plebis Tributa

The Comitia Plebis Tributa (Assembly of the Plebeians) is made up of all non-patrician citizens, grouped into their respective tribes. It elects both the Plebeian Aediles and the 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.

Comitia Populi Tributa

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

Casting a ballot

Citizens will need to obtain a voter code for use in our elections. This is done by going to the Album Civium page and requesting your own voter code from there.

Ballots are cast in the cista.

In Nova Roma as well as in Roma Antiqua a voter would vote uti rogas (for, lit. "as you request") to support a bill or candidate or antiquo (against, lit. "as formerly") to oppose a bill, or the candidate's name in an election. A voter can also vote abstineo (I abstain) during a vote.

Vote counting

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 go to Quaestor Tiberius Galerius Paulinus and Diribitor Quintus Caecilius Metellus for their assistance in writing the original version of this article.

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