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When A Man Becomes Of Age

The question sometimes arises whether it man is entitled to vote at an
election held on the day preceding the twenty-first anniversary of his
birth. Blackstone, in his Commentaries, book 1, page 463, says: Full
age in male or female is 21 years, which age is completed on the day
preceding the anniversary of a person's birth, who, till that time, is
an infant, and so styled in law. The late Chief Justice Sharswood, in
his edition of Blackstone's Commentaries, quotes Christian's note on the
above as follows: If he is born on the 16th day of February, 1608, he
is of age to do any legal act on the morning of the 15th of February,
1629, though he may not have lived twenty-one years by nearly
forty-eight hours. The reason assigned is that in law there is no
fraction of a day; and if the birth were on the last second of one day
and the act on the first second of the preceding day twenty-one years
after, then twenty-one years would be complete, and in the law it is the
same whether a thing is done upon one moment of the day or another.

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