determinations of the qualifications for the right of suffrage, and the control of all elections to public office, including elections of members of Congress and electors of President and Vice-President; the criminal law, both in its enactment and in its execution, with unimportant exceptions, and the administration of prisons; the civil law, including all matters pertaining to the possession and transfer of, and succession to, property; marriage and divorce, and all other civil relations; the chartering and control of all manufacturing, trading, transportation, and other corporations, subject only to the right of Congress to regulate commerce passing from one State to another; the regulation of labor; education; charities; licensing, including regulation of the liquor traffic; fisheries, and game laws. The revenues of the States are derived chiefly from a direct tax upon property, in some cases both real and personal, in others on land and buildings only. The prohibition upon Congress to levy direct taxes save in proportion to population, contained in the National Constitution, leaves this source of revenue to the States exclusively.
The Governor is chosen by direct vote of the people over the whole State. His term of office varies from one year (in 2 States), to 4 years (in 19 States), and his salary from $1500 to $10,000. His duty is to see to the faithful administration of the law, and he has command of the military forces of the State. His power of appointment to State offices is usually unimportant. He may recommend measures, but does not present bills to the Legislature. In some States he presents estimates. In all the States except Delaware, North Carolina, Ohio, and Rhode Island, the Governor has the power to veto bills, but where this power exists the Legislature, by a two-thirds vote, may override the veto.
The officers by whom the administration of State affairs is carried on — the Secretaries, Treasurers, and Auditors, and in some of the States members of boards or commissions — are usually chosen by the people at the general State elections for terms similar to those for which Governors themselves hold office. In some States commissioners are appointed by the Governor.
Including Hawaii, there are now six Territories, and when the status of Porto Rico is established there will probably be seven Territories. Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma have local Legislatures, the form of which has been prescribed by the Federal Government; they have powers similar to those of the States, but any of their acts may be modified or annulled by Federal statutes.