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candidate at the time aforesaid, administer an oath
This question is merely to ascertain whether the
The returning or presiding officer must not ask any other questions, as e. g. the requiring voters to spell their names, or the inquiring of them in what right they vote, &c. (Canterbury, K. & 0. 137 ; Bedford, P. & K. 140.)
And upon an affirmative answer being given, the voter shall be allowed to vote (even if already under arrest) by virtue of the following proviso of 6 Vic. c. 18, s. 86:
“Provided always, that nothing herein contained Voter to be " shall be construed or taken to authorize any return- 6 Vic. C. 18. “ing officer, or his deputy, to reject the vote of any
allowed to vote.
* These provisions were extended to Ireland by 13 & 14 Vic. C. 69, ss. 88, 89, and to Scotland by 43 Vic. c. 18.
person who shall answer in the affirmative the
questions authorized by this Act to be put to him at
so charged with personation when entered in the
The returning officer, by refusing to admit the
Under s. 82 of the 6 Vic, c. 18, no other oath or affirmation shall be required, nor shall a vote ten
ered by a registered voter be rejected, except by reason of its appearing to the returning officer, or his deputy, upon putting the above questions, or either of them, that the person so claiming to vote is not the same person whose name appears on the register, or that he had previously voted at the same election, or except by reason of his refusing to answer the said questions, or to take the said oath or make the said affirmations; and no scrutiny shall here
A scrutiny when allowed.
after be allowed by or before any returning officer with regard to any vote given or tendered at any such election. So that “unless the vote of a personator is objected to, there is no machinery provided for enabling us to examine upon which side the vote was given in order to strike it off” (pr. Lord Blackburn, Gloucester, 20. & H. 64). After such objection has been taken, if the seat is challenged on petition, a scrutiny may be ordered by an Election Court under Rules 40 and 41 of the Ballot Act.
The answers to the above questions must be positive and unequivocal (Monmouth, Kn. & O. 323, 327);* nor, even if the returning officer know the answers to be untrue, can he reject the vote. But in such a case, and also, it appears, even when the vote has not been challenged, it shall be his duty to “institute a prosecution against any person whom “he may believe to have been guilty of personation, “or of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the “commission of the offence of personation by any 6 person at the election for which he is returning “officer” (35 & 36 Vic. c. 33, s. 24).
Moreover, “If any person shall wilfully make a "false answer to either of the above questions, he “shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall " and may be indicted and punished accordingly” (6 Vic. c. 18, s. 81).
There is another case of personation of a some- Personating
voter who has voted.
* There seems nothing in the Act to prevent a voter who has refused to answer these questions at one hour of the day, from returning and doing so later on before the close of the poll, in which case the returning officer would, it is submitted, be bound to allow him to vote.
what different kind, which is provided for by Rule
The aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring of personation is equivalent to personation itself; and if an agent gets voters personated, that, if established, is sufficient ground at common law to set aside the election (pr. Willes, J., Coventry, 1 0. & H. 105). But where the agent bona fide believed that the person he induced to personate another was really the voter personated, the election was upheld Gloucester 20.& H. 62, nor does general personation avoid an election at common law unless a candidate or his agent be implicated (Belfast 4 0. & H. 108).
The sub-division of many boroughs under the Redistribution of Seats Act, 1885, has led to many persons having a double qualification, but by sect. 8 (3) of that Act, “where any parliamentary borough
is divided into divisions a person shall not be registered as entitled to vote, and shall not vote in more than one such division." And if he does vote twice, his vote in respect of his place of abode only can count (48 Vic., c. 15, sec. 5 (2)). In St Andrew's 4 0. & H. 32, and Stepney, ib. 44, the first vote was held good and the second bad without reference to the last cited enactment, which was apparently overlooked. Such double voting does not amount to personation if the voter is proved to have acted bona fide. Nor (in the absence of corrupt motive) is it personation if a voter applies for a ballot paper in a name not his own, but which the overseers had entered on the register as his. (R. v. Fox. 16 Cox. C. C. 166.)
4. Where upon the trial of an election petition (a) respecting Punishment an election for a county or borough (b) the Election Court (c), found, con by the report made to the Speaker (d) in pursuance of s. 11 of election the Parliamentary Elections Act, 1868, reports that any cor- guilty personrupt practice other than treating or undue influence has been ally of corrupt proved to have been committed in reference to such election 31 & 32 Vic. by or with the knowledge and consent of any candidate at such election, (e) or that the offence of treating or undue influence has been proved to have been committed in reference to such election by any candidate at such election, that candidate shall not be capable of ever being elected to or sitting in the House of Commons for the said county or borough, and if he has been elected, his election shall be void; and he shall further be subject to the same incapacities (f) as if at the date of the said report (g) he had been convicted on an indictment of a corrupt practice.
Under this section a candidate who is reported by the Election Court (1) to have committed bribery or personation in reference to an election, or who has been cognisant of and has consented to those offences when comuuitted by another; and (2) to have himself