Section 27 Tendered votes in certain circumstances
52.Subsection (1) inserts a new subsection (6B) into section 61 of the 1983 Act, which relates to certain voting offences.
53.The new provision excepts from the scope of voting offences an elector who discovers, upon attending his polling station, that he has without his knowledge been included on the list of postal voters or postal proxy voters who may not vote in person at a polling station. It will be possible for such a voter to be issued with a tendered ballot paper at a polling station before the close of voting where the deadline for requesting a replacement postal ballot paper has expired.
54.The elector will be allowed to mark a tendered ballot paper if their answer satisfies the presiding officer that they have lost or not received their postal ballot paper. A person who votes at a polling station when entitled to vote by post is not guilty of a voting offence if the vote cast is a tendered ballot paper. Similarly, a person who votes in person as a proxy for another elector when entitled to vote as a postal proxy, is not committing an offence when voting by a tendered ballot paper.
55.Subsection (2) makes two amendments to Schedule 4 of the Representation of the People Act 2000. The insertion of paragraph 2(6B) of the Schedule removes the prohibition on absent voters voting at a polling station. The effect is that paragraph 2 does not apply to voters casting a tendered ballot paper in the circumstances referred to above. Similarly, the insertion of paragraph 7(14) means that paragraph 7 of Schedule 4 does not prohibit postal proxies casting a tendered vote at a polling station in the circumstances referred to above.