FRANCHISE. This word has several significations: 1. It is a right reserved to the people by the constitution; hence we say, the elective franchise, to designate the right of the people to elect their officers. 2. It is a certain privilege, conferred by grant from the government, and Vested in individuals.
3. In England, franchises are very numerous; they, are said to be royal privileges in the hands of a subject. Vide 3 Kent, Com. 366; 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1686; Cruise,' Dig. tit. 27; 2 Bl. Com. 37; 15 Serg. & Rawle, 130; Finch, 164.