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CHAPTER

VII.

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.
The preparation for election, including the nomination of

candidates.
The poll in the case of contested elections.
The law with regard to the conduct of a candidate, and the

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.

Qualification of
Councillor, 1

The principal statutory provisions on the subject are contained in

The Ballot Act, 1872 (35 & 36 Vict. c. 33).
The Municipal Corporations Act, 1882.

The Municipal Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Practices)
Act, 1884 (47 & 48 Vict. c. 70.)

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

property qualification.
It is to be observed, that entry upon the register is not, in
the case of a Councillor, conclusive, as it is in the case of an
elector, but the qualification must exist in fact ? except,
perhaps, in the case of a County Councillor qualified by regis-
tration as a parliamentary voter in respect of the ownership
of property, in which case the register seems to be conclusive.

The property qualification for a non-resident is as follows :-
A person to be qualified must-
Ist. Have real or personal property, or both, to the value of

£1000, or if the office be that of Town Councillor for a
borough which has, or on the 18th August, 1882, had 3

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.
Flintham v. Roxburgh, 17 Q.B.D., 44.
3 Municipal Corporations Act, 1882, sec. 30.

for a borough which has, or on the 18th August, 1882,

had, less than four wards, £15.
A person otherwise qualified to be elected Councillor is
disqualified in the following cases -
i. A person is disqualified to be elected or to be a County

Councillor if he holds any office or place of profit in the
gift of the County Council other than that of Chairman
of the Council, or if he is Coroner for the county ; and
a person is disqualified to be elected or to be a Town
Councillor if he holds any office or place of profit in the
gift of the Town Council other than that of Mayor or

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
member of a dissenting congregation, but such a

person may be a County Councillor.
ii. A person is disqualified to be elected or to be a

Councillor if he has, directly or indirectly, any share or
interest in any contract with or on behalf of the
Council, or is employed by or on behalf of the Council,
or is in partnership with any person interested in such
a contract or employment; but he may, without dis-
qualification, have a share or interest in-
Any lease, sale, or purchase of any land, or any

agreement for the same
Any agreement for the loan of money.
Any newspaper in which any advertisement relating

to the affairs of the county or borough, or of the

County or Town Council, is inserted.
Any company which contracts with the Council for

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.
iv. An undischarged bankrupt is disqualified to be elected

or to be a Councillor.1
v. A person may lie under some other statutory disquali-

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.

election of

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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.
? As to Returning Officer, see next page.
3 Local Government Act, 1888, sec. 75.
+ See post, p. 351.

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.
If the number of valid nominations is less than that of

vacancies, the persons nominated are elected, and those
retiring Councillors who were highest at the poll at their
elections, or, if the poll was equal, those who are selected
for that purpose by the Chairman of the County Council,
or Mayor, as the case may be, continue in their office to

make up the required number.
If there is no valid nomination the retiring Councillors

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

Officer.3

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