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Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill


Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 2 — Rules for conduct of the referendum

27

 
 

10

Modification of forms

 
 

Action to be taken before the poll

 
 

11

Notice of poll

 
 

12

Postal ballot papers

 
 

13

Provision of polling stations

 

5

 

14

Appointment of presiding officers and clerks

 
 

15

Issue of official poll cards

 
 

16

Notification that certain electors entitled to

 
  

absent vote

 
 

17

Equipment of polling stations

 

10

 

18

Appointment of polling and counting agents

 
 

19

Notification of requirement of secrecy

 
 

20

Return of postal ballot papers

 
 

The poll

 
 

21

Admission to polling station

 

15

 

22

Keeping of order in polling station

 
 

23

Sealing of ballot boxes

 
 

24

Questions to be put to voters

 
 

25

Challenge of voter

 
 

26 to 29

Voting procedure

 

20

 

30

Votes marked by presiding officer

 
 

31

Voting by people with disabilities

 
 

32 & 33

Tendered ballot papers

 
 

34

Refusal to deliver ballot paper

 
 

35

Spoilt ballot papers

 

25

 

36

Correction of errors on day of poll

 
 

37

Adjournment of poll in case of riot

 
 

38

Procedure on close of poll

 
 

Counting of votes

 
 

39

Attendance at the count

 

30

 

40

The count

 
 

41

Re-count

 
 

42

Rejected ballot papers

 
 

43

Direction to conduct re-count

 
 

44

Decisions on ballot papers

 

35

 

Final proceedings

 
 

45 & 46

Declaration by counting officers

 
 

47

Declaration by Regional Counting Officers

 
 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 2 — Rules for conduct of the referendum

28

 
 

48

Declaration of referendum result by Chief

 
  

Counting Officer

 
 

Disposal of documents

 
 

49

Sealing up of ballot papers

 
 

50

Delivery or retention of documents

 

5

 

51

Orders for production of documents

 
 

52

Retention and public inspection of documents

 
 

Supplementary

 
 

53

Interpretation

 
 

Part 2: Forms referred to in referendum rules

10

 

Form 1

Form of ballot paper

 
 

Form 2

Form of corresponding number list (to be used

 
  

if referendum taken alone)

 
 

Form 3

Form of postal voting statement

 
 

Form 4

Declaration of identity (Northern Ireland)

 

15

 

Form 5

Official poll card (to be sent to an elector not

 
  

voting by post)

 
 

Form 6

Official postal poll card (to be sent to an elector

 
  

voting by post)

 
 

Form 7

Official proxy poll card (to be sent to an

 

20

  

appointed proxy voting in person)

 
 

Form 8

Official proxy postal poll card (to be sent to an

 
  

appointed proxy voting by post)

 
 

Form 9

Official poll card (to be sent to an elector in

 
  

Northern Ireland not voting by post)

 

25

 

Form 10

Official proxy poll card (to be sent to an

 
  

appointed proxy voting in person in Northern

 
  

Ireland)

 
 

Form 11

Form of corresponding number list (to be used

 
  

in polling stations if referendum taken alone)

 

30

 

Form 12

Form of directions for the guidance of the

 
  

voters in voting

 
 

Form 13

Form of certificate of employment

 
 

Form 14

Form of declaration to be made by the

 
  

companion of a voter with disabilities

 

35

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 2 — Rules for conduct of the referendum
Part 1 — Referendum rules

29

 

Part 1

Referendum rules

Time

Timetable

1          

The proceedings at the referendum are to be conducted in accordance with

5

the following table.

 

Proceeding

Time

 
 

Publication of notice

Not later than the 25th day

 
 

of referendum

before the day of the

 
  

referendum

 

10

 

Notice of poll

Not later than the 15th day

 
  

before the day of the

 
  

referendum

 
 

Hours of polling

Between 7 am and 10 pm on

 
  

the day of the referendum

 

15

Computation of time

2     (1)  

In calculating any period of time (other than a year) for the purposes of these

rules the following are to be disregarded—

(a)   

Saturdays and Sundays,

(b)   

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

20

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

Kingdom, and

(c)   

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

      (2)  

In relation to proceedings adjourned by a presiding officer under rule 37

(riot or open violence), the reference in paragraph (1)(b) to a day that is a

25

bank holiday in any part of the United Kingdom is to be read as a reference

to a day that is a bank holiday in the part of the United Kingdom where the

proceedings are adjourned.

General provisions

Notice of referendum

30

3          

Each counting officer must give public notice of the referendum stating—

(a)   

the date of the poll;

(b)   

the date by which—

(i)   

applications to vote by post or by proxy, and

(ii)   

other applications and notices about postal or proxy voting,

35

   

must reach the registration officer in order that they may be effective

for the referendum.

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 2 — Rules for conduct of the referendum
Part 1 — Referendum rules

30

 

Poll to be taken by ballot

4          

The votes at the poll are to be given by ballot.

The ballot paper

5     (1)  

The ballot of every voter is to consist of a ballot paper, which is to be printed

in the form set out in Form 1 in Part 2 of this Schedule and according to the

5

directions specified in that Part.

      (2)  

Each ballot paper—

(a)   

must set out the question as specified in section 1;

(b)   

must be capable of being folded up;

(c)   

must have a number and other unique identifying mark printed on

10

the back.

Corresponding number list

6     (1)  

The counting officer must prepare a list containing the numbers and other

unique identifying marks of all of the ballot papers to be—

(a)   

issued by the officer in pursuance of rule 12(1), or

15

(b)   

provided by the officer in pursuance of rule 17(1).

      (2)  

The list must be in the form set out in Form 2 in Part 2 of this Schedule.

The official mark

7     (1)  

Every ballot paper must contain an appropriate security marking (the

official mark).

20

      (2)  

The official mark must be kept secret.

      (3)  

The counting officer may use a different official mark for different purposes.

Prohibition of disclosure of vote

8          

A person who has voted in the referendum may not be required, in any legal

proceeding to question the referendum, to state for which answer he or she

25

voted.

Use of schools and public rooms

9     (1)  

The counting officer may use, free of charge, for the purpose of taking the

poll—

(a)   

a room in a school within paragraph (3);

30

(b)   

a room the expense of maintaining which is met by any local

authority (in England and Wales or Scotland) or is payable out of any

rate (in Northern Ireland).

      (2)  

The counting officer must—

(a)   

make good any damage done to any such room, and

35

(b)   

defray any expense incurred by the persons having control over any

such room,

           

by reason of its being used for that purpose.

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 2 — Rules for conduct of the referendum
Part 1 — Referendum rules

31

 

      (3)  

The schools within this paragraph are—

(a)   

in England and Wales—

(i)   

a school maintained or assisted by a local authority;

(ii)   

a school in respect of which grants are made out of moneys

provided by Parliament to the person or body of persons

5

responsible for the management of the school;

(b)   

in Scotland, a school that is not an independent school within the

meaning of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980;

(c)   

in Northern Ireland, a school in receipt of a grant out of moneys

appropriated by Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly, other

10

than a school that—

(i)   

adjoins or is adjacent to a church or other place of worship, or

(ii)   

is connected with a nunnery or other religious establishment.

Modification of forms

10    (1)  

The Chief Counting Officer may, for the purpose of making a relevant form

15

easier for voters to understand or use, specify modifications that are to be

made to the wording or appearance of the form.

      (2)  

In paragraph (1) “relevant form” means any of the following—

(a)   

Forms 3 to 10, 12 and 14 in Part 2 of this Schedule;

(b)   

the form of the notice set out in rule 17(7).

20

      (3)  

In this Part of this Act a reference to a form is to be read as a reference to that

form with any modifications specified under paragraph (1).

      (4)  

Where a form is modified by virtue of paragraph (1), section 26(2) of the

Welsh Language Act 1993 applies as if the modified form were specified by

this Act.

25

Action to be taken before the poll

Notice of poll

11    (1)  

The counting officer must give public notice of the poll stating—

(a)   

the day and hours fixed for the poll;

(b)   

the question that is to appear on the ballot paper.

30

      (2)  

The notice of the poll must be published not later than the 15th day before

the day of the referendum.

      (3)  

No later than the time of the publication of the notice of the poll, the

counting officer must also give public notice of—

(a)   

the situation of each polling station;

35

(b)   

the description of voters entitled to vote there.

      (4)  

As soon as practicable after giving the notice under paragraph (3), the

counting officer must give a copy of it to each of the referendum agents

appointed for the officer’s area.

Postal ballot papers

40

12    (1)  

The counting officer must, in accordance with the relevant postal voting

provisions, issue to those entitled to vote by post—

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 2 — Rules for conduct of the referendum
Part 1 — Referendum rules

32

 

(a)   

a ballot paper,

(b)   

in the case of those entitled to vote in England and Wales or Scotland,

a postal voting statement in the form set out in Form 3 in Part 2 of this

Schedule, and

(c)   

in the case of those entitled to vote in Northern Ireland, a declaration

5

of identity in the form set out in Form 4 in Part 2 of this Schedule,

           

together with envelopes for their return complying with the requirements

prescribed by the relevant postal voting provisions.

      (2)  

The counting officer must also issue to those entitled to vote by post

whatever information the officer thinks appropriate about how to obtain—

10

(a)   

translations into languages other than English of any directions to, or

guidance for, voters sent with the ballot paper;

(b)   

a translation into Braille of those directions or guidance;

(c)   

graphical representations of those directions or guidance;

(d)   

those directions or guidance in any other form (including any

15

audible form).

      (3)  

In the case of a ballot paper issued to a person resident in the United

Kingdom, the counting officer must ensure that the return of the ballot paper

and postal voting statement or declaration of identity is free of charge to the

voter.

20

Provision of polling stations

13    (1)  

The counting officer must provide a sufficient number of polling stations

and, subject to the following provisions of this rule, must allot the electors to

the polling stations in whatever manner the officer thinks most convenient.

      (2)  

One or more polling stations may be provided in the same room.

25

      (3)  

In England, the polling station allotted to electors from any parliamentary

polling district wholly or partly within a particular voting area must, in the

absence of special circumstances, be in the parliamentary polling place for

that district unless the parliamentary polling place is outside the voting area.

      (4)  

In Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, the polling station allotted to

30

electors from any polling district must be in the polling place for that district.

      (5)  

The polling districts and polling places that apply for the purposes of

paragraph (4) are—

(a)   

in Wales, those that would apply by virtue of provision made under

section 13(1)(a) of the Government of Wales 2006 in respect of an

35

election for membership of the National Assembly for Wales held on

the day of the referendum;

(b)   

in Scotland, those that would apply by virtue of provision made

under section 12(1)(a) of the Scotland Act 1998 in respect of an

election for membership of the Scottish Parliament held on the day

40

of the referendum;

(c)   

in Northern Ireland, those for the time being established under the

law relating to local elections within the meaning of section 130 of the

Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962.

      (6)  

The number of ballot papers counted or votes cast as certified by the Chief

45

Counting Officer or a Regional Counting Officer or counting officer may not

be questioned by reason of—

 
 

Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill
Schedule 2 — Rules for conduct of the referendum
Part 1 — Referendum rules

33

 

(a)   

any non-compliance with a provision mentioned in sub-paragraph

(a) or (b) of paragraph (5), or

(b)   

any informality relative to polling districts or polling places.

      (7)  

The counting officer must provide each polling station with however many

compartments are necessary in which the voters can mark their votes

5

screened from observation.

Appointment of presiding officers and clerks

14    (1)  

The counting officer must appoint and pay—

(a)   

a presiding officer to attend at each polling station;

(b)   

however many clerks are necessary for the purposes of the

10

referendum.

           

But the officer may not employ a person who has been employed by or on

behalf of a permitted participant in or about the referendum.

      (2)  

The counting officer may, if the officer thinks fit, preside at a polling station.

           

The provisions of these rules relating to a presiding officer apply to a

15

counting officer so presiding, with the necessary modifications as to things

to be done by the counting officer to the presiding officer or by the presiding

officer to the counting officer.

      (3)  

A presiding officer may do, by the clerks appointed to assist the officer, any

act (including the asking of questions) which the officer is required or

20

authorised by these rules to do at a polling station except order  the arrest,

exclusion or removal of a person from the polling station.

Issue of official poll cards

15    (1)  

The counting officer must, as soon as practicable after the publication of

notice of the referendum, send to electors and their proxies an official poll

25

card.

           

This paragraph is subject to paragraphs (2) and (3).

      (2)  

An official poll card must not be sent to a person—

(a)   

as an elector, if the person is entitled to a postal vote in Northern

Ireland;

30

(b)   

as a proxy, if the person is entitled to a proxy postal vote in Northern

Ireland.

      (3)  

An official poll card must not be sent to a person registered, or to be

registered, in pursuance of—

(a)   

an overseas elector’s declaration, within the meaning of section 2 of

35

the Representation of the People Act 1985 (registration of British

citizens overseas), or

(b)   

a declaration made by virtue of subsection (5) of section 3 of that Act

(extension of franchise for European Parliamentary Elections).

      (4)  

An elector’s official poll card must be sent or delivered to his or her

40

qualifying address, and a proxy’s to his or her address as shown in the list

of proxies.

      (5)  

In the case of an elector who is entitled to vote in the referendum in England

and Wales or Scotland—

 
 

 
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