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The Scottish Local Government Elections Rules 2002

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Orders for production of documents

46.—(1) An order–

(a)for the inspection or production of any rejected ballot papers in the custody of the proper officer of the council; or

(b)for the opening of a sealed packet of counterfoils and certificates as to employment on duty on the day of the poll or the inspection of any counted ballot papers in such officer’s custody,

may be made by the sheriff principal having jurisdiction in the local government area and, where more than one sheriff principal has jurisdiction in the said area, by any such sheriff principal, on being satisfied by evidence on oath that the order is required for the purpose of instituting or maintaining a prosecution for an offence in relation to ballot papers, or for the purpose of an election petition.

(2) An order for the opening of a sealed packet of counterfoils and certificates or for the inspection of any counted ballot papers in the custody of the proper officer of the council may be made by an election court.

(3) An order under this rule may be made subject to such conditions as to–

(a)persons;

(b)time;

(c)place and mode of inspection;

(d)production or opening,

as the sheriff principal or election court making the order may think expedient; but in making and carrying into effect an order for the opening of a packet of counterfoils and certificates or for the inspection of counted ballot papers, care shall be taken that the way in which the vote of any particular elector has been given shall not be disclosed until it has been proved–

(i)that such vote was given; and

(ii)that such vote has been declared by a competent court to be invalid.

(4) An appeal lies to the Court of Session from any order of a sheriff principal under this rule.

(5) Any power given under this rule to a sheriff principal may be exercised otherwise than in open court.

(6) Where an order is made for the production by the proper officer of the council of any document in such officer’s possession relating to any specified election–

(a)the production by such officer or his or her agent of the document ordered in such manner as may be directed by that order shall be conclusive evidence that the document relates to the specified election; and

(b)any endorsement on any packet of ballot papers so produced shall be prima facie evidence that the ballot papers are what they are stated to be by the endorsement.

(7) The production from proper custody of a ballot paper purporting to have been used at any election, and of a counterfoil marked with the same printed number and having a number marked on it in writing, shall be prima facie evidence that the elector whose vote was given by that ballot paper was the person who at the time of the election had affixed to such person’s name in the register of electors the same number as the number written on the counterfoil.

(8) Save as by this rule provided, no person shall be allowed to inspect any rejected or counted ballot papers in the possession of the proper officer of the council or open any sealed packets of counterfoils and certificates.

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