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This Day in Georgia History

December 30, 1847

Property Qualification for Governor Removed

Gov. George Towns signed a constitutional amendment into law removing property qualifications for holding the office of governor. Previously, the governor had to own five hundred acres of land within Georgia, plus other property in the amount of $4,000 (with an estate sufficient to pay off all debts over this amount). The act identified the reason for the change as “property qualification is inconsistent with the genius of our institutions and the popular spirit of this age.” At the time, voter approval was not needed to amend Georgia’s constitution. Rather, the General Assembly had to enact the change at two successive sessions of the legislature. The first act had been approved Dec. 26, 1845. Thus, passage of the legislation again at the 1847 session made the constitutional amendment effective.