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Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill


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

19

 

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.

Counting officers

2     (1)  

The counting officer for a voting area that is—

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(a)   

a district in England,

(b)   

a county in England, or

(c)   

a London borough,

           

is the person who, by virtue of section 35 of the 1983 Act, is the returning

officer for elections of councillors of the district, county or borough.

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      (2)  

The counting officer for the City of London voting area is the person who,

by virtue of that section, is the returning officer for elections of councillors of

the London borough of Westminster.

      (3)  

The counting officer for the Isles of Scilly voting area is the person who, by

virtue of that section, is the returning officer for elections to the Council of

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the Isles of Scilly.

      (4)  

The counting officer for a voting area in Wales is the person who, by virtue

of provision made under section 13(1)(a) of the Government of Wales Act

2006, is the returning officer for elections of members of the National

Assembly for Wales for the constituency that forms the voting area.

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      (5)  

The counting officer for a voting area in Scotland is the person who, by

virtue of provision made under section 12(1)(a) of the Scotland Act 1998, is

the returning officer for elections of members of the Scottish Parliament for

the constituency that forms the voting area.

      (6)  

The counting officer for the Northern Ireland voting area is the Chief

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Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland.

Regional Counting Officers

3     (1)  

The Chief Counting Officer may appoint a Regional Counting Officer for

any region in Great Britain.

 

 

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

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      (2)  

For the purposes of this paragraph the regions are—

East Midlands;

Eastern;

London;

North East;

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North West;

South East;

South West;

West Midlands;

Yorkshire and the Humber;

10

Scotland;

Wales.

           

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

Schedule 1 to the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002 (ignoring

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

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effect for the time being.

Assistance to counting officers etc

4     (1)  

A local authority whose area forms, or forms part of, a particular voting area

must place the services of their officers at the disposal of—

(a)   

the counting officer for the voting area, and

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(b)   

the Regional Counting Officer (if any) appointed for the region that

includes the voting area,

           

for the purpose of assisting the officer in the discharge of his or her

functions.

      (2)  

In this paragraph “local authority”—

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(a)   

in the case of a voting area that is a district or county in England, or

a London borough, means the council for that district, county or

borough;

(b)   

in the case of the City of London voting area, means the Common

Council of the City of London;

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(c)   

in the case of the Isles of Scilly voting area, means the Council of the

Isles of Scilly;

(d)   

in the case of a voting area in Wales, means the council of a county or

county borough;

(e)   

in the case of a voting area in Scotland, means the council of a local

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government area.

General duties of counting officers etc

5     (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.

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      (2)  

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

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

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

 
 

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

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(d)   

the verification of the statements made under rule 38(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 take specified steps in preparation for

the referendum;

(c)   

directions requiring them to provide the Chief Counting Officer with

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information that they have or are entitled to have.

      (6)  

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

voting areas within that region—

(a)   

directions about the discharge of their functions;

(b)   

directions requiring them to take specified steps in preparation for

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the referendum;

(c)   

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

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

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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).

     (10)  

The number of ballot papers or votes purportedly certified under this

paragraph or section 128 of the 2000 Act is not liable to be questioned by

reason of a defect in the title, or a lack of title, of any person purporting to

exercise functions in relation to the referendum, if the person was then in

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actual possession of, or acting in, the office giving the right to exercise the

functions.

 
 

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

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Appointment of deputies and clerks

6     (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.

      (3)  

A Regional Counting Officer may appoint however many clerks are

5

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

Counting officers etc: correction of procedural errors

7     (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

officer or a relevant person that—

10

(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.

      (2)  

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

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the votes once a direction has been given under rule 43(3)(b) of the

referendum rules.

      (3)  

The relevant persons are—

(a)   

a registration officer;

(b)   

a presiding officer appointed under rule 14 of the referendum rules;

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(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

(ii)   

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

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      (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,

           

in connection with any function in relation to the referendum.

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Public notices

8          

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

for which the officer acts, or

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(b)   

in whatever other manner the officer thinks desirable for publicising

it.

Role of Electoral Commission

9     (1)  

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

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      (2)  

The Electoral Commission may take whatever steps they think appropriate

to provide, for persons entitled to vote in the referendum, information about

each of the two voting systems referred to in the referendum question.

Encouraging participation

10    (1)  

The Chief Counting Officer must take whatever steps the officer thinks

5

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

the area or region for which the officer acts.

      (3)  

This sub-paragraph applies to—

10

(a)   

a Regional Counting Officer;

(b)   

a counting officer;

(c)   

a registration officer.

      (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.

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      (5)  

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

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

Referendum agents

11         

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

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

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agent (“referendum agent”).

12    (1)  

This paragraph applies if a permitted participant appoints a referendum

agent for a voting area.

      (2)  

The responsible person must give the counting officer for the area

notification of the name and home or business address of—

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(a)   

the permitted participant, and

(b)   

the referendum agent.

      (3)  

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

of the poll, disregarding for this purpose—

(a)   

Saturdays and Sundays,

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(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

(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.

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      (5)  

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

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

13    (1)  

This paragraph applies if a counting officer is notified under paragraph 12

that a permitted participant has appointed a referendum agent.

      (2)  

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

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(a)   

the name and address of the referendum agent, and

(b)   

the name of the permitted participant.

 
 

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

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14    (1)  

This paragraph applies if—

(a)   

a permitted participant revokes the appointment of a referendum

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 18 of the

5

referendum rules.

      (2)  

The permitted participant must as soon as possible appoint another agent

under paragraph 11.

      (3)  

The notification under paragraph 12 must be made as soon as possible after

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

10

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

Responsible persons

15    (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).

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      (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

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

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

person whose name is stated—

(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

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(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

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

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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

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

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

to replace T as the responsible person for P.

      (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

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

Grants to designated organisations may be paid in instalments

16    (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.

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

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      (2)  

The grant may be paid in whatever instalments the Electoral Commission

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.

5

      (4)  

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

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

17    (1)  

This paragraph applies where—

10

(a)   

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

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—

15

(i)   

that individual or body, and

(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.

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      (2)  

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

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).

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      (3)  

The provisions are—

(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

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question is a permitted participant.

      (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

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on behalf of any other individual or body.

      (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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Advertisements

18    (1)  

The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations

1992 (S.I. 1992/666) apply in relation to the display on any site in Wales of

an advertisement relating specifically to the referendum as they apply in

 
 

 
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