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Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill


Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Part 3 — Miscellaneous and general

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16      

Commencement

(1)   

Section 7, Schedule 6 and Part 1 of Schedule 7 come into force in accordance

with provision made by an order under section 6(1).

(2)   

The other provisions of this Act come into force on the day on which this Act

is passed.

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17      

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies

Act 2010.

 
 

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Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 1 — Further provisions about the referendum

 

Schedules

Schedule 1

Section 1

 

Further provisions about the referendum

Referendum period

1          

For the purposes of Part 7 of the 2000 Act the referendum period for the

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referendum—

(a)   

begins with the day on which this Act is passed, and

(b)   

ends with the date of the poll.

Regional Counting Officers

2     (1)  

The Chief Counting Officer may appoint a Regional Counting Officer for

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any region in Great Britain.

      (2)  

For the purposes of this paragraph the regions are—

East Midlands;

Eastern;

London;

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North East;

North West;

South East;

South West;

West Midlands;

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Yorkshire and the Humber;

Scotland;

Wales.

           

The regions in England comprise the areas specified in the Table in

Schedule 1 to the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 (ignoring

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paragraph 2(2) of that Schedule and the references to Gibraltar) as it has

effect for the time being.

      (3)  

In the case of a region for which a Regional Counting Officer is appointed—

(a)   

the Chief Counting Officer may require the Regional Counting

Officer to appoint counting officers for voting areas in the region;

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(b)   

the local authority in the case of each such area must place the

services of their officers at the disposal of the Regional Counting

Officer for the purpose of assisting the officer in the discharge of his

or her functions.

           

In paragraph (b) “the local authority” has the same meaning as in section 128

35

of the 2000 Act.

 

 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 1 — Further provisions about the referendum

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      (4)  

To the extent that counting officers are appointed by virtue of sub-

paragraph (3)(a), the duty of the Chief Counting Officer under section 128(3)

of the 2000 Act is discharged.

      (5)  

The duty imposed by sub-paragraph (3)(b) applies in addition to that

imposed by section 128(4) of the 2000 Act.

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General duties of counting officers etc

3     (1)  

The Chief Counting Officer, Regional Counting Officers and counting

officers must do whatever things are necessary for conducting the

referendum in the manner provided by this Part.

      (2)  

The counting officer for a voting area is responsible, as regards that area,

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for—

(a)   

the conduct of the poll,

(b)   

(subject to sub-paragraph (3)) the printing of the ballot papers,

(c)   

the issue and receipt of postal ballot papers for persons entitled to

vote on their own behalf in the referendum and for their proxies,

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(d)   

the verification of the statements made under rule 37(6) of the

referendum rules (ballot paper accounts), and

(e)   

the counting of the votes cast.

      (3)  

Responsibility for the printing of the ballot papers for a voting area may be

taken—

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(a)   

by the Chief Counting Officer;

(b)   

in the case of a voting area in a region for which a Regional Counting

Officer is appointed, by the Chief Counting Officer or the Regional

Counting Officer.

           

The Chief Counting Officer or Regional Counting Officer may direct the

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counting officer concerned accordingly.

      (4)  

In the case of a region for which a Regional Counting Officer is appointed,

the officer must certify as regards the votes cast in the region—

(a)   

the total number of ballot papers counted, and

(b)   

the total number of votes cast in favour of each answer to the

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question asked in the referendum.

           

Where two or more forms of ballot paper are used in the referendum, a

separate number must be certified under paragraph (a) in relation to each

form of ballot paper used.

      (5)  

The Chief Counting Officer may give Regional Counting Officers or

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counting officers—

(a)   

directions about the discharge of their functions;

(b)   

directions requiring them to provide the Chief Counting Officer with

information that they have or are entitled to have.

      (6)  

A Regional Counting Officer for a region may give counting officers for

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voting areas within that region—

(a)   

directions about the discharge of their functions;

(b)   

directions requiring them to provide the Regional Counting Officer

with information that they have or are entitled to have.

      (7)  

A power under this paragraph of a Regional Counting Officer to give a

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direction to a counting officer is exercisable only in accordance with a

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 1 — Further provisions about the referendum

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specific or general authorisation or direction given by the Chief Counting

Officer.

      (8)  

A person to whom a direction is given under this paragraph must comply

with it.

      (9)  

This paragraph applies in addition to section 128 of the 2000 Act (Chief

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Counting Officers, and counting officers, for referendums).

Appointment of deputies and clerks

4     (1)  

The Chief Counting Officer or a Regional Counting Officer or counting

officer may appoint deputies to carry out any or all of the officer’s functions.

      (2)  

An appointment under sub-paragraph (1) must be in writing.

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      (3)  

A Regional Counting Officer may appoint however many clerks are

necessary to assist in carrying out the officer’s functions.

Counting officers etc: correction of procedural errors

5     (1)  

A Regional Counting Officer or counting officer may take whatever steps the

officer thinks appropriate to remedy any act or omission on the part of the

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officer or a relevant person that—

(a)   

arises in connection with any function that the officer or relevant

person has in relation to the referendum, and

(b)   

is not in accordance with the referendum rules or any other

requirements applicable to the referendum.

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      (2)  

But a counting officer may not under this paragraph conduct a re-count of

the votes once a direction has been given under rule 42(3)(b) of the

referendum rules.

      (3)  

The relevant persons are—

(a)   

a registration officer appointed under section 8 of the 1983 Act;

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(b)   

a presiding officer appointed under rule 13 of the referendum rules;

(c)   

a clerk of, or a person providing goods or services to, the Regional

Counting Officer or the counting officer;

(d)   

a deputy or assistant of—

(i)   

the Regional Counting Officer or the counting officer, or

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(ii)   

a person mentioned in paragraph (a), (b) or (c).

      (4)  

For the purposes of sub-paragraph (3)(d) a person (“A”) is an assistant of

another person (“P”) if—

(a)   

A is appointed to assist P, or

(b)   

in the course of employment A is assisting P,

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in connection with any function in relation to the referendum.

Public notices

6          

A public notice required by this Part to be given by the Chief Counting

Officer, a Regional Officer or a counting officer must be given—

(a)   

by posting the notice in some conspicuous place in the area or region

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for which the officer acts, or

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 1 — Further provisions about the referendum

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(b)   

in whatever other manner the officer thinks desirable for publicising

it.

Role of Electoral Commission

7          

The Electoral Commission must take whatever steps they think appropriate

to promote public awareness about the referendum and how to vote in it.

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Encouraging participation

8     (1)  

The Chief Counting Officer must take whatever steps the officer thinks

appropriate to encourage participation in the referendum.

      (2)  

An officer to whom sub-paragraph (3) applies must take whatever steps the

officer thinks appropriate to encourage participation in the referendum in

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the area or region for which the officer acts.

      (3)  

This sub-paragraph applies to—

(a)   

a Regional Counting Officer;

(b)   

a counting officer;

(c)   

a registration officer appointed under section 8 of the 1983 Act.

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      (4)  

In discharging the duty imposed by sub-paragraph (1) or (2) an officer must

have regard to any guidance issued by the Electoral Commission.

      (5)  

The Minister may reimburse any expenditure incurred by an officer for the purposes

of sub-paragraph (1) or (2).

Referendum agents

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9          

A permitted participant may, for any voting area, appoint an individual

(who may be the responsible person) to act as the permitted participant’s

agent (“referendum agent”).

10    (1)  

This paragraph applies if a permitted participant appoints a referendum

agent for a voting area.

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      (2)  

The responsible person must give the counting officer for the area

notification of the name and home or business address of—

(a)   

the permitted participant, and

(b)   

the referendum agent.

      (3)  

The notification must be given before noon on the 16th day before the date

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of the poll, disregarding for this purpose—

(a)   

Saturdays and Sundays,

(b)   

Good Friday and any other day that is a bank holiday under the

Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971 in any part of the United

Kingdom, and

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(c)   

any day appointed as a day of public thanksgiving or mourning.

      (4)  

The notification must be in writing and signed by the responsible person.

      (5)  

The duties imposed on a responsible person by this paragraph may be

discharged by any person authorised in writing by the responsible person.

11    (1)  

This paragraph applies if a counting officer is notified under paragraph 10

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that a permitted participant has appointed a referendum agent.

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 1 — Further provisions about the referendum

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      (2)  

The counting officer must as soon as practicable give public notice of—

(a)   

the name and address of the referendum agent, and

(b)   

the name of the permitted participant.

12    (1)  

This paragraph applies if—

(a)   

a permitted participant revokes the appointment of a referendum

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agent or a referendum agent dies, and

(b)   

the referendum agent has notified the counting officer of the

appointment of a polling or counting agent under rule 17 of the

referendum rules.

      (2)  

The permitted participant must as soon as possible appoint another agent

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under paragraph 9.

      (3)  

The notification under paragraph 10 must be made as soon as possible after

the appointment of the new referendum agent (rather than before noon on

the 16th day before the date of the poll).

Responsible persons

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13    (1)  

A person who is the responsible person for a permitted participant may not

give a notification under section 106(3) of the 2000 Act (notification given to

become a permitted participant).

      (2)  

An individual who is a permitted participant ceases to be a permitted

participant if he or she is the treasurer of a registered party (other than a

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minor party) that becomes a permitted participant.

      (3)  

A declaration made or notification given by a body does not comply with the

requirement in subsection (2)(b) or (4)(b)(ii) of section 106 of the 2000 Act (to

state the name of the person who will be responsible for compliance) if the

person whose name is stated—

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(a)   

is already the responsible person for a permitted participant,

(b)   

is an individual who gives a notification under subsection (3) of that

section at the same time, or

(c)   

is the person whose name is stated, in purported compliance with

the requirement in subsection (2)(b) or (4)(b)(ii) of that section, in a

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notification given at the same time by another body.

      (4)  

Where a registered party (other than a minor party) makes a declaration

under section 106 of the 2000 Act and the treasurer of the party (“T”) is

already the responsible person for a permitted participant (“P”)—

(a)   

T ceases to be the responsible person for P at the end of the period of

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14 days beginning with the day on which (by reason of the

declaration) T becomes the responsible person for the party;

(b)   

P must, before the end of that period, give a notice of alteration under

section 106(5) of the 2000 Act stating the name of the person who is

to replace T as the responsible person for P.

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      (5)  

In sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) “the person”, in relation to a body other than

a minor party, is to be read as “the person or officer”.

      (6)  

In this paragraph “registered party” and “minor party” have the meaning

given in section 160(1) of the 2000 Act.

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 1 — Further provisions about the referendum

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Grants to designated organisations may be paid in instalments

14    (1)  

This paragraph applies to a grant under subsection (2) of section 110 of the

2000 Act (assistance available to designated organisations) made in respect

of the referendum.

      (2)  

The grant may be paid in whatever instalments the Electoral Commission

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consider appropriate.

      (3)  

Instalments may be withheld if the Commission are satisfied that the

designated organisation concerned has failed to comply with a condition

imposed under section 110(3) of the 2000 Act.

      (4)  

Section 110(2) of the 2000 Act, in so far as it requires the grant to be of the

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same amount in the case of each designated organisation, has effect in

relation to the referendum subject to sub-paragraph (3).

Expenses incurred by persons acting in concert

15    (1)  

This paragraph applies where—

(a)   

referendum expenses are incurred by or on behalf of an individual or

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body during the referendum period for the referendum, and

(b)   

those expenses are incurred in pursuance of a plan or other

arrangement by which referendum expenses are to be incurred by or

on behalf of—

(i)   

that individual or body, and

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(ii)   

one or more other individuals or bodies,

   

respectively with a view to, or otherwise in connection with,

promoting or procuring a particular outcome in relation to the

question asked in the referendum.

      (2)  

The expenses mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(a) are to be treated for the

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purposes of the provisions of the 2000 Act set out in sub-paragraph (3) as

having also been incurred, during the referendum period, by or on behalf of

the other individual or body (or, as the case may be, each of the other

individuals or bodies) mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(b)(ii).

      (3)  

The provisions are—

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(a)   

section 117;

(b)   

section 118 and Schedule 14;

(c)   

sections 120 to 123.

      (4)  

This paragraph applies whether or not any of the individuals or bodies in

question is a permitted participant.

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      (5)  

But this paragraph does not treat any expenses incurred by or on behalf of a

permitted participant that is designated in respect of the referendum by the

Electoral Commission under section 108 of the 2000 Act (designation of

organisations to whom assistance is available) as having been incurred by or

on behalf of any other individual or body.

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      (6)  

Subsections (5) and (6) of section 117 of the 2000 Act (certain expenditure

incurred before the referendum period treated as incurred during that

period) apply for the purposes of this paragraph as they apply for the

purposes of that section.

 
 

 
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