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Electoral Administration Bill


Electoral Administration Bill
Part 6 — Conduct of elections etc.

34

 

      (5)  

If the draft incorporates any such modifications, the Secretary of

State must at the same time lay before each House a statement of his

reasons for making them.

      (6)  

If, within the 40-day period, either House resolves not to approve the

draft, the Secretary of State must take no further steps in relation to

5

the draft code.

      (7)  

If no such resolution is made within the 40-day period—

(a)   

the Secretary of State must issue the code in the form of the

draft laid before Parliament, and

(b)   

the code is to come into force on such date as the Secretary of

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State may by order appoint,

           

and the Commission must arrange for it to be published in such

manner as they think appropriate.

      (8)  

Sub-paragraph (6) does not prevent a new draft code from being laid

before Parliament.

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      (9)  

In this paragraph, “the 40-day period”, in relation to a draft code,

means—

(a)   

if the draft is laid before one House on a day later than the

day on which it is laid before the other House, the period of

40 days beginning with the later of the two days, and

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(b)   

in any other case, the period of 40 days beginning with the

day on which the draft is laid before each House,

           

no account being taken of any period during which Parliament is

dissolved or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned

for more than four days.

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     (10)  

In this paragraph references to a draft code include a revised draft

code.

Power to amend Parts 1 and 2

15    (1)  

The Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument

make such amendments of Part 1 or 2 of this Schedule as he considers

30

appropriate.

      (2)  

An order under sub-paragraph (1) shall not be made unless a draft of

the statutory instrument containing the order has been laid before,

and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.

      (3)  

The Secretary of State may make such an order either—

35

(a)   

where the order gives effect to a recommendation of the

Electoral Commission; or

(b)   

after consultation with the Electoral Commission.”

Observation of elections etc.

30      

Discretion to report on certain elections

40

In section 5 of the 2000 Act (reports on elections and referendums), after

subsection (2) insert—

“(2A)   

After—

 
 

Electoral Administration Bill
Part 6 — Conduct of elections etc.

35

 

(a)   

a parliamentary by-election,

(b)   

an election held under section 9 of the Scotland Act 1998

(election for the Scottish Parliament in the case of a constituency

vacancy), or

(c)   

an election held under section 8 of the Government of Wales Act

5

1998 (election for the National Assembly for Wales in the case of

a constituency vacancy),

   

the Commission may prepare and publish (in such manner as the

Commission may determine) a report on the administration of the

election.”

10

31      

Observation of proceedings and working practices

After section 6 of the 2000 Act (reviews of electoral and political matters),

insert—

“6A     

Attendance of representatives of Commission at elections etc.

(1)   

A representative of the Commission may apply for permission to

15

attend any proceedings to which this section applies.

(2)   

The proceedings to which this section applies are—

(a)   

proceedings relating to an election specified in subsection (11)

which are the responsibility of the returning officer for the

election;

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(b)   

proceedings relating to a referendum to which Part 7 applies

which are the responsibility of the relevant counting officer.

(3)   

An application under subsection (1) must be made—

(a)   

in the case of an election, to the returning officer for the election;

(b)   

in the case of a referendum, to the relevant counting officer.

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(4)   

An application under subsection (1) must specify the proceedings in

respect of which permission is sought.

(5)   

If the returning officer or the relevant counting officer (as the case may

be) grants the permission sought, the representative of the Commission

may attend the proceedings in question.

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(6)   

The returning officer or the relevant counting officer (as the case may

be) may at any time revoke a permission granted as mentioned in

subsection (5).

(7)   

If the returning officer or the relevant counting officer—

(a)   

refuses an application for permission under this section, or

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(b)   

revokes any such permission,

   

he must at the same time give reasons for the refusal or revocation.

(8)   

The right conferred on a representative of the Commission by

subsection (5) is subject to any enactment which regulates attendance

at the proceedings in question.

40

(9)   

In this section, “representative of the Commission” means any of the

following—

(a)   

a member of the Commission;

(b)   

a member of staff of the Commission;

 
 

Electoral Administration Bill
Part 6 — Conduct of elections etc.

36

 

(c)   

a person appointed by the Commission for the purposes of this

section.

(10)   

A reference to the relevant counting officer must be construed—

(a)   

if the area to which the proceedings relates is in Great Britain, in

accordance with section 128(3);

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(b)   

if the area to which the proceedings relates is Northern Ireland,

as a reference to the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.

(11)   

The elections specified in this subsection are—

(a)   

an election mentioned in section 5(2);

(b)   

a parliamentary by-election;

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(c)   

an election under section 9 of the Scotland Act 1998

(constituency vacancies);

(d)   

an election under section 8 of the Government of Wales Act 1998

(vacancies in constituency seats);

(e)   

a local government election in England or Wales;

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(f)   

a local election in Northern Ireland.

6B      

Observation of working practices by representatives of Commission

(1)   

A representative of the Commission may apply for permission to

observe the working practices of any person to whom this section

applies.

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(2)   

The persons to whom this section applies are—

(a)   

an electoral registration officer;

(b)   

a returning officer;

(c)   

a relevant counting officer;

(d)   

any person acting under the direction of a person mentioned in

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paragraphs (a) to (c).

(3)   

An application under subsection (1) must be made to a person

mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of subsection (2) (the responsible

officer) in respect of permission to observe working practices for which

that person is responsible.

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(4)   

An application under subsection (1) must specify the times and places

in relation to which permission to carry out observations is sought.

(5)   

If the responsible officer grants the permission sought, the

representative of the Commission may attend at the time and place

mentioned in the application for the purpose of observing the working

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practices in question.

(6)   

The responsible officer may at any time revoke a permission granted as

mentioned in subsection (5).

(7)   

If the responsible officer—

(a)   

refuses an application for permission under this section, or

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(b)   

revokes any such permission,

   

he must at the same time give reasons for the refusal or revocation.

(8)   

In this section—

(a)   

“relevant counting officer”, and

(b)   

“representative of the Commission”,

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Electoral Administration Bill
Part 6 — Conduct of elections etc.

37

 

   

must be construed in accordance with section 6A.

(9)   

This section does not permit the observation of working practices

which relate only to a local government election in Scotland.

6C      

Accredited observers: individuals

(1)   

A person who is aged 16 or over may apply to the Commission to be an

5

accredited observer at any of the following proceedings relating to an

election specified in subsection (11) of section 6A or a referendum to

which Part 7 applies—

(a)   

proceedings at the issue or receipt of postal ballot papers;

(b)   

proceedings at the poll;

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(c)   

proceedings at the counting of votes.

(2)   

If the Commission grant the application, the accredited observer may

apply—

(a)   

in the case of an election, to the returning officer for the election,

or

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(b)   

in the case of a referendum, to the relevant counting officer,

   

for permission to attend the proceedings in question.

(3)   

An application under subsection (2) must specify—

(a)   

the proceedings in respect of which permission is sought, and

(b)   

the place at which the proceedings are to be conducted.

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(4)   

If the returning officer or the relevant counting officer (as the case may

be) grants the permission sought, the accredited observer may attend

the proceedings in question at the place in question.

(5)   

An application under subsection (1) must be made in the manner

specified in the code of practice issued under section 6E.

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(6)   

The Commission may at any time revoke the grant of an application

under subsection (1).

(7)   

If the Commission—

(a)   

refuse an application under subsection (1), or

(b)   

revoke the grant of any such application,

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they must give their decision in writing and must at the same time give

reasons in writing for the refusal or revocation.

(8)   

The returning officer or the relevant counting officer (as the case may

be) may at any time revoke a permission granted as mentioned in

subsection (4).

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(9)   

If the returning officer or the relevant counting officer—

(a)   

refuses an application for permission under this section, or

(b)   

revokes any such permission,

   

he must at the same time give reasons for the refusal or revocation.

(10)   

The right conferred on an accredited observer by subsection (4) is

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subject to any enactment which regulates attendance at the proceedings

in question.

(11)   

“Relevant counting officer” must be construed in accordance with

section 6A.

 
 

 
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Revised 11 October 2005