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Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

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PART VIIN.I.CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS

57Rules for conduct of elections.N.I.

(1)The proceedings at a parliamentary election shall be conducted in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections Rules.

(2)The proceedings at a local election shall be conducted in accordance with the Local Elections Rules.

(3)The provisions of the Parliamentary Elections Rules and the Local Elections Rules may be varied by an Order in Council; but the Governor shall not be advised to make any such Order unless a draft thereof (which shall be subject to affirmative resolution) has been laid before Parliament.

(4)Where for any reason an election cannot be held or completed in accordance with the provisions of this Act and there is no statutory provision other than this sub-section for—

(a)the holding of the election at a later date; or

(b)procuring the completion of the election; or

(c)holding a fresh election;

the [F1 Chief Electoral Officer] may give such directions and make such arrangements as may be necessary for enabling the election to be so held or completed and such directions may in the case of an uncompleted election provide either for the holding of a fresh election or for the taking afresh of any of the proceedings of the uncompleted election and may determine the times at or within which any proceedings are to be taken and the provisions of this Act shall except as otherwise provided in this sub-section apply to any such election or proceeding.

(5)If the [F1 Chief Electoral Officer] is satisfied that any difficulty arises with respect to any local election or that for any reason a vacancy in a local authority cannot be filled in accordance with the provisions of this Act, the [F1 Chief Electoral Officer] may make such arrangements as [F1 he] considers necessary to procure the holding of an election and may apply, with such amendment as may be necessary, the Rules for the holding of [F1 local general] elections or of elections to fill casual vacancies…

F2(6)It shall be the general duty of the returning officer at an election to do all such acts and things as may be necessary for effectually conducting the election in accordance with the provisions of this Act.

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F11972 NI 13

F21972 NI 13

58Saving as respects acts, etc., of officers.N.I.

No election shall be declared invalid by reason of any act or omission by the returning officer or any other person in breach of his official duty or otherwise of any provision of this Act regulating the conduct of elections, if it appears to the tribunal having cognizance of the question that the election was so conducted as to be substantially in accordance with those provisions, and that the act or omission did not affect its result.

59Returning officer not disqualified for voting.N.I.

A person is not disqualified for voting at an election by reason only of his being or acting as returning officer at that election.

60Candidates' deposits.N.I.

(1)Every candidate at an election[F3 (other than a local election)] shall at the place and during the time for delivery of nomination papers deposit or cause to be deposited with the returning officer an amount in accordance with this section; and if he fails to do so his nomination shall be void.

(2)Except with the consent of the returning officer a deposit shall not be made otherwise than by means of any legal tender.

(3)The amount of the deposit shall—

(a)for a parliamentary election be one hundred and fifty pounds;

Para. (b) rep. by SI 1985/454

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F3SI 1985/454

61Return or disposal of deposit.N.I.

(1)Where a candidate in respect of whom a deposit has been made—

(a)withdraws in accordance with the Parliamentary Elections RulesF4. . . , the deposit shall be returned forthwith to the person by whom it was made;

(b)dies before the commencement of the poll the deposit shall forthwith—

(i)if made by him, be returned to his personal representatives;

(ii)if not made by him, be returned to the person by whom it was made;

and paragraph ( a) shall apply to a candidate whose nomination paper is determined to be invalid in like manner as it applies to a candidate who withdraws.

(2)Where a candidate is not elected his deposit shall be forfeited if—

Para.(a) rep. by 1968 c.20 (NI)

(b )F5in any …F6 election, the number of votes given to him does not exceed one-eighth of the total number of votes polled;

and in any other case the deposit shall be returned to the person by whom it was made.

For the purposes of this sub-section the number of votes polled shall be taken to be the number of ballot papers (other than spoilt ballot papers) counted.

(3)Subject to sub-sections (4) and (5), where a candidate is elected—

(a)at a parliamentary election, when and so soon as the candidate has taken the oath as a member;

Para. (b) rep. by SI 1985/454

the deposit shall be returned to the candidate or other person by whom it was made; and until such oath has been taken or declaration made, as the case may be, the returning officer shall retain the deposit.

(4)If any elected candidate fails, by reason of his death, mental or physical incapacity or other cause not within his control, to take the oath or as the case may be to make the declaration respectively referred to in sub-section (3), the returning officer—

(a)upon application being made to him by or on behalf of the candidate or his estate or by or on behalf of the person by whom the deposit was made; and

(b)upon being satisfied as to such cause as aforesaid and as to the title of the applicant;

shall pay the deposit to the applicant as soon as may be.

(5)Where a deposit is retained under sub-section (3) and is not paid to an applicant under sub-section (4), the returning officer—

(a)where the deposit was made at a parliamentary election, shall retain the deposit until the next following dissolution of Parliament;

Para. (b) rep. by SI 1985/454

and a deposit so retained shall be forfeited as from the date of such dissolution or, as the case may be, on the expiration of such period.

(6)As soon as may be after a deposit has been forfeited under sub-section (5) the returning officer shall send to the Ministry a full report thereon in writing.

(7)Where a deposit is retained under sub-section (5) any person claiming to be entitled thereto may at any time before the deposit is forfeited apply to the county court for an order that the deposit be paid to him; and the court upon being satisfied—

(a)that the failure which caused the retention was not due to a cause within the control of the candidate; and

(b)that the applicant is in all other respects entitled to the deposit;

shall by order declare accordingly; and the returning officer shall thereupon pay the deposit to the applicant after deducting therefrom such costs as the court may order to be so deducted. The costs of such an application shall be in the discretion of the court.

(8)A deposit forfeited under this section—

Para.(a) rep. by 1968 c.20 (NI)

(b)in relation to an election in any…F6 constituency, shall be remitted by the returning officer to the Ministry of FinanceF7 and paid into the Exchequer;

Para. (c) rep. by SI 1985/454

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F4SI 1985/454

F5Mod. (local elections), SI 1977/428

F7Now Treasury, SI 1973/2163

62Plural candidatures prohibited.N.I.

(1)A person may not be nominated as a candidate at any parliamentary or local election where the nomination would result in that person's being a candidate at the same time—

(a)in more than one constituency or, as the case may be, more than one…F8[F9 district electoral area] in the same local government electoral area;

Para.(b) rep. by 1972 NI 13

and any nomination contravening this sub-section shall be void.

(2)Sub-section (1) shall not be construed as preventing a duly qualified person from being nominated as a candidate at the elections of two or more local authorities notwithstanding that those elections are held on the same day.

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F81972 NI 13

F9SI 1990/595

63Offices of returning officers at parliamentary elections.N.I.

The returning officer…F10 shall appoint to be his principal office for the purpose of [F11 a parliamentary election] a place which [F11 is within the constituency for which the election is held or within the area of a district council which wholly or partly contains the constituency] and may appoint to be subsidiary offices for the said purpose such other places, situate respectively as aforesaid, as he may think necessary.

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F101972 NI 13

F111972 NI 13

64Offices of returning officers at local elections.N.I.

The returning officer…F12 shall appoint to be his principal office for the purpose of [F13 a local election] a place situate—

(a)within the local government electoral area for which the election is to be held;

Paras.(b)(c) rep. by 1972 NI 13

and may appoint to be subsidiary offices for the said purpose such other places situate within the area for which the election is to be held as he may think necessary.

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F121972 NI 13

F131972 NI 13

65Polling station schemes.N.I.

(1)A polling station scheme prepared under sub-section (2) of section fifteen (in this section referred to as a scheme) shall provide for the designation of such number of polling stations in such situations as to provide for all electors in each polling district such reasonable facilities for voting as are practicable in the circumstances.

F14[(1A)The Chief Electoral Officer shall in[F15the year 2010] and every fourth year thereafter prepare in accordance with the provisions of this section a draft scheme providing for the location of a polling station or polling stations in each polling district (as defined in this Act) and shall publish the draft scheme in accordance with electoral regulations under sub-section (4).]

(2)The [F16 Chief Electoral Officer] may if [F16 he] thinks fit cause a local inquiry to be held in relation to the [F14 draft] scheme or any question arising in connection with it; and if such an inquiry is held [F16 the Chief Electoral Officer shall] take into consideration the report of the person who held it.

F16[(3)The Chief Electoral Officer shall consider any objections or proposals made in relation to the draft scheme and shall then approve the scheme with or without modifications (which may include additions or exceptions).]

(4)The Ministry may by electoral regulations make provision—

(a)for the method of selection of polling stations…F17;

(b)for the time within which and the manner in which draft schemes are to be published and objections or proposals in relation thereto may be lodged by interested persons;

(c)for the time within which and the manner in which schemes are to be [F16 approved]; and

(d)the manner in which approved schemes are to be published.

(5)As from the date of publication of a scheme [F14 approved under sub-section (3)] the polling stations therein designated shall, subject to sub-section (6), be the polling stations to be used, at any parliamentary or local election initiated between that date and the date of publication of a new scheme, [F14 approved under sub-section (3)] for the polling districts to which the scheme relates…

F17[F16 (6) The Chief Electoral Officer may for the purpose of any particular election omit from or add to the polling stations designated in a polling station scheme such station or stations as he considers necessary.]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

F141972 NI 13

F161972 NI 13

F171972 NI 13

66Voting by post.N.I.

(1)Subject to sub-section (2) a parliamentary elector who satisfies the electoral officer that he will be unable to vote at any election by reason—

(a)of absence from Northern Ireland; or

(b)of illness or other physical incapacity; or

(c)of his being a person to whom paragraph ( a) of sub-section (3) or sub-section (5) of section five applies;

may vote by post in accordance with the Fourth Schedule.

(2)An elector shall not vote by post at any election unless—

(a)on or after the date on which the election is initiated and not later than the hour of five o'clock in the afternoon of the second day after nomination day the electoral officer receives an application for a postal ballot paper either from that elector or on his behalf from a person registered as a parliamentary elector in a constituency in Northern Ireland who is the spouse, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of that elector; and

(b)that application is accompanied by a postal address to which a postal ballot paper may be sent which address shall as respects an elector absent from Northern Ireland be outside Northern Ireland but within the postal voting area as defined in this Act.

67Voting by proxy.N.I.

(1)F18 [F19 An] elector to whom this section applies may, subject to sub-section (2), appoint a person to vote on his behalf at any election initiated during the period for which under the Seventh Schedule the appointment continues in force.

(2)F18 This section applies to—

(a)any elector registered by virtue of a service qualification;

(b)any other [F20 parliamentary] elector who satisfies the electoral officer,…F21, that in any six consecutive months he will or is likely to be at sea or out of the United Kingdom for a period or two or more periods together exceeding four weeks.

(3)An elector registered by virtue of a service qualification may not vote otherwise than in person or by proxy.

(4)F18 The provisions of the Seventh Schedule shall have effect in relation to the appointment and voting of proxies.

[F22(5)This section and Schedule 7 shall not apply at a local election.]

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F18Ext., SI 1977/428

F22SI 1985/454

S.68 rep. by 1969 c.26 (NI)

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