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ELECTION OF COUNTY AND TOWN COUNCILS.
GENERAL elections of County Councillors will, after the first General Election election in 1889, take place triennially on the ist November in 1891, 1894, and so on. General elections of Town Councillors take place on November ist, annually. If the ist November be a Sunday, or day of public fast, humiliation, or thanksgiving, the election will take place the next day after, which is not Sunday, &c.
If a casual vacancy occur among the County Councillors or Election in case Town Councillors, the election to fill it up must be held on a day of a casual to be fixed by the Chairman of the County Council, or Mayor, as the case may be, within fourteen days after notice in writing of the vacancy has been given to the Chairman or Clerk of the County Council, or Mayor, or Town Clerk, as the case may be, by two county electors or burgesses, but if a vacancy occurs among the County Councillors within six months before the general election of County Councillors, it is not to be filled up till the general election.
As the proceedings at, and the law respecting, elections of County Councillors and Town Councillors are almost the same, they will be discussed together. The questions to be considered are
The qualification of a Councillor.
questioning of improper elections. The acceptance, loss, and resignation of office, &c.
1 Municipal Corporations Act, 882, secs. 52, 230.
Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 75. 2 Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, secs. 40, 66. Local Government Act,
1888, sec. 75.
The principal statutory provisions on the subject are contained in
The Ballot Act, 1872 (35 & 36 Vict. c. 33).
The Municipal Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices)
The Local Government Act, 1888.
A person to be qualified for the office of County Councillor mustIst. Be qualified as a county elector of the county, or as
a burgess of a borough in the administrative county,
and be enrolled as such ; or 2nd. Be qualified to be, and be, enrolled upon the special
non-resident list for the county or for some borough in the administrative county, and be possessed of a property
qualification ; or 3rd. Be registered as a parliamentary voter for the county
or a division of the county in respect of the ownership
of property in the administrative county ; or 4th. Be a peer owning property in the county.
A person to be qualified to be elected Town Councillor must
ist. Be qualified and enrolled as a burgess of the borough; or 2nd. Be qualified to be, and be, enrolled upon the special
non-resident list for the borough, and be possessed of a
The property qualification for a non-resident is as follows :-
£1000, or if the office be that of Town Councillor for a
less than four wards, £500; or 2nd. Be rated to the poor rate on the annual value of
£30, or if the office be that of Town Councillor
Local Government Act,
1 Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, secs. II, 12.
1888, secs. 2, 75.
for a borough which has, or on the 18th August, 1882,
had, less than four wards, £15.
Councillor if he holds any office or place of profit in the
Sheriff, or if he is an Elective Auditor for the borough. ii. A person is disqualified to be elected or to be a Town
Councillor if he is in holy orders, or is the regular
person may be a County Councillor.
Councillor if he has, directly or indirectly, any share or
agreement for the same
to the affairs of the county or borough, or of the
County or Town Council, is inserted.
the lighting or supplying with water, or insuring
against fire, any part of the county or borough. Any railway company or company incorporated by
Act of Parliament or Royal Charter, or under the
Companies Act, 1862.
or to be a Councillor.1
fication, e.g., owing to offences against election law. The preliminary steps towards an election are as follows: Preparation for
Nine days at least before the day for the election of Councillors. a Councillor, notice must be published as foll
Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, sec. 39.
Nomination of candidates.
i. Notice of the election of a Town Councillor is signed
by the Town Clerk, and affixed by him on the Town Hall, and also if the election is a ward election, in some
conspicuous place in the ward.1 ii. Notice of the election of a County Councillor must be
signed by the Returning Officer? or his deputy, and affixed by him in some conspicuous place in the electoral division for which the election is about to take place. If the electoral division is co-extensive with or comprised in a borough, the notice is signed by the Town Clerk, and affixed by him in some conspicuous place in the electoral division. In this case, it might be advisable to affix a notice on the Town Hall, whether the Town
Hall happens to be within the electoral division or not.3 After the notice of election is given, every candidate for election must be nominated ; a proceeding in reference to which rules are contained in schedule 3, part II. to the Municipal Corporations Act, 1882.4 The application of these rules is extended to the cases of elections of County Councillors by the Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 75, subject to the following provisions :
i. The Returning Officer or his deputy will perform the duties of the Mayor and of the Town Clerk; but where the election is for an electoral division co-extensive with, or wholly comprised in, a borough, the Mayor, or an Alderman appointed for that purpose, as the case may be, must act as deputy for the Returning Officer, in pursuance of a writ directed to him for that purpose from the Returning Officer ; and, in that case, also, the Town Clerk must peform the duties assigned to him in the rules.
ii. Some place fixed by the Returning Officer must, except where the election is in a borough, be substituted for the Town Clerk's office, and, as respects the hearing of objections to nomination papers, for the Town Hall ; but such place must, if the electoral division is the whole or part of an urban sanitary district, be in that district, and in any other case such place must be in the electoral division or in an adjoining electoral division.
iii. The period between nomination and election may be such period, not exceeding six days, as the Returning Officer may nx.
1 Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, sec. 54.
iv. Other obvious modifications must, of course, be made, such as the substitution of county elector for burgess, &c.
Candidates being duly nominated the election takes place Election. as follows :If the number of valid nominations exceeds that of vacancies
the Councillors are elected from among the persons
nominated, in the manner explained below. If the number of valid nominations is the same as that
of vacancies, the persons nominated are elected.
vacancies, the persons nominated are elected, and those
make up the required number.
remain in office. The last two provisions do not, of course, apply to the first election of County Councillors. At the first election an insufficient number of valid nominations will create a casual vacancy. But if there be from such a cause or any other cause a completely insufficient election, the Local Government Board will take steps to rectify matters.2
In the case of a contested election certain duties are Returning performed by the Returning Officer, who, in the case of an election of a County Councillor, is appointed by the County Council. The County Returning Officer may by writing under his hand appoint a deputy for the discharge of all or any of his duties. In the case of an election for an electoral division co-extensive with or wholly comprised in a borough the Mayor or an Alderman appointed for that purpose by the Town Council must act as deputy in pursuance of a writ directed to him from the County Returning Officer.
In elections of Town Councillors the Mayor, or if the borough is divided into wards, an Alderman appointed by the Town Council, is Returning Officer. But if the Mayor is himself a candidate the Council may appoint a Returning Officer in his stead. At the first election of County Councillors the Sheriff will act as Returning Officer, but if he wishes to