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attend at each of the buoths, for the purpose of detecting personation. If at the time any person tenders his votes, or after he has voted, such agent shall declare to the Returning Officer that he verily believes, and undertakes to prove, that the person so voting is not, in fact, the person in whose name he assumes to vote, the Returning Officer is required, immediately after such person has voted, to order such person into custody. The person so charged is to be taken before two justices, when bail may be taken, and subsequently he may be committed for trial. If the charge is unfounded, the justices may order compensation, or an action may be brought against the candidate. 6th Victoriæ, cap. 18, S. 86.
Duration of the Poll. COUNTIES.— Act 16th Victoriæ, cap. 15, s. 1. That so much of the Act passed in the second year of the reign of His late Majesty King William the Fourth, chapter forty-five, as authorises the continuance of the polling at every such contested election as aforesaid for two days, and the duties of the sheriff's deputy and poll clerks at such poll during those days, and fixes the commencement and limits the hours of polling on such days, and prevents the commencement of such polling on a Saturday, shall be and the same is hereby repealed.
2. At every contested Election of a knight or knights to serve in any Parliament after the first day of October one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three for any county, or for any riding, parts, or division of a county, the polling shall continue for ONE DAY ONLY, and the poll shall commence at eight o'clock in the morning, and be kept open until five in the afternoon of such day, and the poll clerks to be employed at the principal place of election and other places shall, at the final close of the day's poll, enclose and seal their several books, and shall publicly deliver them, so enclosed and sealed, to the Sheriff, under-Sheriff, or Sheriff's deputy presiding at such poll, and every such deputy who shall have received any such poll books shall forthwith deliver or transmit the same, so enclosed and sealed, to the Sheriff or his under-Sheriff, who shall receive and keep all the poll books unopened until the re-assembling of the Court on the day next but one after the close of the poll, unless such next day but one shall be Sunday, and then until the Monday following, when he shall openly break the seals thereon, and cast up the number of votes as they appear on the said several books, and shall openly declare the state of the poll, and shall make proclamation of the Member or Members chosen not later than two o'clock in the afternoon of the said day, any statute to the contrary notwithstanding.
3. The provisions concerning the adjournment of the poll in cases of riot or open violence, and other the provisions of section seventy of the said Act of the second year of King William the Fourth, shall be and remain applicable to every such contested election as aforesaid, as if the said section were re-enacted in this Act, the words “the day of polling" being substituted therein for the words “one of the two days of polling.”
CITIES AND BOROUGHS.- Act 5th and 6th William IV., cap. 36. The time of taking the poll in boroughs, at all contested elections in England and Wales, is limited to One day.
Act 5th and 6th William IV., cap. 78, s. 5. The time of taking the poll at all borough elections in Scotland, is limited to One day.
Act 10th and 11th Victoriæ, cap. 81. The time of taking the poll at all borough elections in Ireland, is limited to One day.
UNIVERSITIES.-Act 16th and 17th Victoriæ, cap. 68, s. 4, enacts," at any Election of a Member or Members to serve in Parliament for either of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge the Polling shall not continue for more than Five Days at the most, Sunday, Christmas Day, Good Friday, and Ascension Day being excluded.”
By the new Statute 24 and 25 Victoriæ, cap. 53, Ist August, 1861, Electors of Burgesses for the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, and Dublin, may vote by means of Voting Papers.
The important provisions of this experimental Statute will be found in extenso at p. 167.
Taking the Poll. The Sheriff in counties is empowered to appoint poll clerks, to take the poll, by s. 65, 2nd William IV., cap. 45, and 7th and 8th William III., cap. 25, s. 3; in cities and boroughs the returning officer is to appoint a clerk, to take the poll at each compartment. S. 68, 2nd William IV., cap. 45.
A cheque book for every poll book for each candidate is to be allowed, to be kept by the respective inspectors at every place where the poll shall be taken. 18th George II., cap. 18, s. 9.
The Sheriff, or in his absence the under-Sheriff, shall appoint for each candidate such one person as shall be nominated to him by each candi. date, to be inspector of every clerk who shall be appointed for taking the poll. 7th and 8th William III., cap. 25, s. 3.
In cities, being counties of themselves, the Sheriff shall allow a cheque book, for each candidate, for every poll book, 19 George II., cap. 20. In boroughs, having 600 electors, each compartment of a booth is to be provided with accommodation for an agent aud cheque clerk for each of the candidates. 9th George IV., cap. 59.
The poll is taken upon the register, formed under the Registration of Voters Act, 6th Victoriæ, cap. 18, and certified by the Returning Officer, 2nd William IV., cap. 45, s. 72. The register is final, as to the right of any person whose name is entered therein, except in special cases; and the two following questions only can legally be put to any elector at the time of voting :1. Are you the same person whose Name appears as A. B. on the Register of Voters now in force for the county of
[or for the Riding, Parts, or Division, fc., or, for the City,
8:c., as the case may be?
Election, for the County of [or for the Riding,
or for the City or Borough of as the case may be] ? If demanded, the following oath may be put :You do swear (or being a Quaker, or Moravian, do affirm], that you
are the same person whose name appears as A. B. on the Register of Voters now in force for the County of
For for the Riding, Parts, or Division of the County of
or for the City of Borough of as the case may be), and that you have not before voted, either here or elsewhere, at the present Election for the said County, [or for the said Riding, Parts, or Division of the said County, or for the said City or Borough, as the case may be.]
So help you God. (6th Victoriæ, cap. 18, s. 81.) No other oath is to be put to an elector ; the bribery oath is repealed by the “ Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854,” (schedule).
It is not lawful for any person to vote at any County Election, whose name may be upon the register, where the qualification annexed to his name shall have appeared annexed thereto in the preceding register, and such person, on the last day of July in the year in which the register was made, shall have ceased to have such qualification. 6th Victoriæ, cap. 18, s. 79.
Nor is it lawful for a person to vote at any city or borough election unless he shall, ever since the thirty-first day of July, in the year in which his name was inserted in the register, have resided, and, at the time of voting, continue to reside, within such city or borough, or within the distance thereof required (seven miles). S. 79.
Persons not on the register may tender their votes, to raise the ques. tion of their right on petition and scrutiny, if they were rejected by express decisions of the Revising Barrister; the votes so given will be entered as “tendered” only. 6th Victoriæ, cap. 18, s. 98.
Though in general practice the votes of the electors are given for candidates who were previously nominated, yet the choice of the voters is not restricted thereto, but they may vote for whomsoever they please whether nominated or not, and whoever may be found to have the majority of legal votes recorded in his favour must be returned, in obedience to the command in the writ.
In case of riot, the returning officer may adjourn the proceedings until interruption ceases. 5th and 6th William IV., cap. 36, s. 8.
Declaration of the Poll. In Counties, immediately upon the close of the poll, the books are sealed up, transmitted, by the deputy returning officer at each polling place to the Sheriff, who, on the next day but one, openly breaks the seals, casts up the number of votes given for each candidate, openly declares the state of the poll, and makes proclamation of the Member or Members chosen. 2nd William IV., cap. 45, s. 65.
In Cities and Boroughs, the presiding officer may declare the result of the poll immediately after the polling; or he is required to keep the poll books sealed up until the following day, and then to proceed in the same way as provided above for counties. 2nd William IV., cap. 45, 8. 68.
Transmission and Custody of Poll Books. After having declared the state of the poll, and made declaration of the Members chosen, the Sheriff and other returning officers are required forthwith to enclose and seal up the several poll books, and to tender the same to each of the candidates, to be sealed by them respectively. As
soon as possible after such proclamation, the poll books, so scaled, are to be delivered to the Clerk of the Crown by the returning officer or bis deputy, or transmitted to the Crown Office by post, under the special regulations set forth in s. 93, 6th Victoriæ, cap. 18.
The Clerk of the Crown is to keep and preserve the several poll books, and to deliver office copies, on payment of a reasonable charge for writing the same. S. 95. 16.
Return to the Writ. IN COUNTIES.-Act 7th Henry IV., cap. 15. The names of the persons chosen shall be written in an indenture, under the seals of those by whom they are chosen, and tacked to the writ, which shall be deemed the sheriff's return to such writ.
Now, in practice, only a dozen or so of the electors sign the indenture, which, tacked to the writ as directed, is transmitted to the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery.
In Cities, BOROUGHS, and UNIVERSITies, by s. 1, 16th and 17th Victoriæ, cap. 68, the returning officers, after the election, “in due course of law are to certify the same, together with the writ, according to the directions thereof;” and, accordingly, separate returns are made to the Clerk of the Crown, after the manner in couuties.
Act 7th and 8th William III., cap. 7, s. 5. The clerk of the crown is to enter every return and amendment in a book to be kept for that purpose. All persons shall have access to the book, which, or a copy thereof, may be given in evidence. Such clerk not entering returns in six days after receipt, or making any alterations, or omitting to perform his duty, shall forfeit 5001, and lose his office.
Act 10th and 11th William III. cap. 7. Sheriffs not making returns shall forfeit 5001.
Act Ilth and 12th Victoriæ, cap. 98, s. 103. That if any Sheriff or other returning officer shall wilfully delay, neglect, or refuse duly to return any person who ought to be returned, such person may, in case it had been determined by a Select Committee that such person was entitled to be returned, sue the Sheriff or other returning officer in any of Her Majesty's Courts at Westminster, and shall recover double the damages he has sustained by reason thereof.
Acť 7th and 8th Williain III., cap. 7, s. 4. All contracts made to procure false returns shall be void, and the parties shall be subject to a penalty of 3001.; one-third to the Queen, another third to the poor, and one-third to the informer.
Amending Returns. Returns were formerly amended by the returning officers; but, by a Resolution, April 20, 1690 (10th), Journal 377, they can only be amended by the House; for which purpose, when necessary, the clerk of the crown attends with his book, and amends it in the House, by erasing the names, or, in case of a double return, taking the void one off the file, and letting the other remain.
Act 7th and 8th William III., cap. 7, s. 5. Clerk of the Crown to enter in a book every alteration and amendment made in return.
PERSONS INELIGIBLE TO BE MEMBERS. INFANTS.—No person, under twenty one years of age, is capable of being elected ; and if any such minor shall presume to sit or vote in Parliament, he shall incur such penalties and forfeitures as if he had presumed to sit and vote without being chosen or returned. 7th and 8th William III., cap. 25.
ALIENS, by the law of Parliament, are incapable of being Members, and are excluded by a vote of the House.
Act 12th and 13th William III., cap. 2. No person born out of England, Scotland, or Ireland, or the dominions thereunto belonging, is capable of being a Member of either House. This does not apply to persons born of English, Scotch, or Irish parents. Aliens naturalized are ineligible. 7th and 8th Victoriæ, cap. 66.
Peers, English and Scotch ; also Irish Representative Peers.
JUDGES of the Superior Courts ; County Court Judges. 10th and 11th Victoriæ, cap. 102, s. 18.
SHERIFFS, Mayors, and Bailiffs of Boroughs, for their respective jurisdictions, as being returning officers.
Recorders for boroughs where they have jurisdiction. 5th and 6th William IV., cap. 76.
REVISING BARRISTERS, for eighteen months after revision of the lists for any county, city, or borough for which they were appointed. 6th Victoriæ, cap. 18, s. 28.
CLERGY, Priests, and Deacons; Ministers of the Scotch Church, 41 George III., cap. 63; Persons in Holy Orders of the Church of Rome, 10 George IV., cap. 7, s. 9.
TRAITORS, and felons; and outlaws in criminal prosecutions, but not in civil suits.
Idiots and Lunatics.
BANKRUPTS.-Act 52nd George III., cap. 144. Members declared bankrupts under a commission are, during twelve months, rendered incapable of sitting and voting, unless within such period the commission be superseded, and creditors paid in full; or, in case of disputed debts, bonds given with two securities, to be approved of by the commissioners, for the payment of such sums as shall be recovered in law or equity, with such costs as shall be given for the same; and if the above-recited conditions are not fulfilled within twelve calendar months, the Speaker shall issue his writ for the election of another member.
EXCISE AND CUSTOMS.-Act 1lth and 12th William III., cap. 2, s. 15, 152. No member of Parliament shall be a commissioner or farmer of the excise on beer, ale, or other liquors, or a commissioner of appeals, or comptroller, or auditor of the duty of excise; and such person, if elected, is declared incapable of sitting in the House of Commons.
The same in Ireland. 41st George III., cap. 52, s. 4.
Act 12th and 13th William III., cap. 10, ss. 89, 90. No member to be a commissioner or farmer of the customs; and persons executing such offices shall be incapable of sitting.