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Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013

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Opening of covering envelopesS

35(1)When a postal voters box is opened, the counting officer must count and record the number of covering envelopes (including any envelope which is stated to include a postal vote and any envelope described in paragraph 33(2)).S

(2)The counting officer must set aside for personal identifier verification not less than 20 percent of the envelopes recorded on that occasion.

(3)The counting officer must open separately each covering envelope that is not set aside (including an envelope described in paragraph 33(2)).

(4)The procedure in paragraph 37 or 38 applies where a covering envelope (including an envelope to which paragraph 33(2) applies) contains both—

(a)a postal voting statement, and

(b)a ballot paper envelope, or if there is no ballot paper envelope, a ballot paper.

(5)Where the covering envelope does not contain the postal voting statement separately, the counting officer must open the ballot paper envelope to ascertain whether the postal voting statement is inside.

(6)Where a covering envelope does not contain both—

(a)a postal voting statement (whether separately or not), and

(b)a ballot paper envelope or, if there is no ballot paper envelope, a ballot paper,

the counting officer must mark the covering envelope “provisionally rejected”, attach its contents (if any) and place it in the receptacle for rejected votes.

(7)Where—

(a)an envelope contains the postal voting statement of a voter with an anonymous entry, and

(b)sub-paragraph (6) does not apply,

the counting officer must set aside that envelope and its contents for personal identifier verification in accordance with paragraph 38.

(8)In carrying out the procedures in this paragraph and paragraphs 37 to 43, the counting officer and the counting officer's staff—

(a)must keep the ballot papers face downwards and must take proper precautions for preventing any person from seeing the votes made on the ballot papers, and

(b)must not look at the corresponding number list used at the issue of postal ballot papers.

(9)Where an envelope opened in accordance with sub-paragraph (3) contains a postal voting statement, the counting officer must place a mark in the marked copy of the postal voters list or proxy postal voters list in a place corresponding to the number of the voter to denote that a postal vote has been returned.

(10)A mark made under sub-paragraph (9) must be distinguishable from and must not obscure the mark made under paragraph 23(2).

(11)As soon as practicable after the last covering envelope has been opened, the counting officer must make up into a packet the copy of the marked postal voters list and proxy postal voters list that have been marked in accordance with sub-paragraph (9) and must seal that packet.

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