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The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012

Draft Legislation:

This is a draft item of legislation. This draft has since been made as a UK Statutory Instrument: The Police and Crime Commissioner Elections Order 2012 No. 1917

ACTION TO BE TAKEN BEFORE THE POLL

Notice of poll

24.—(1) The police area returning officer must give public notice of the poll stating—

(a)the day and hours fixed for the poll, and

(b)the particulars of each candidate remaining validly nominated.

(2) The order of the names in the notice of the poll must be the same as in the statement of persons nominated(1).

(3) No later than the time of publication of the notice of the poll, the local returning officer must give public notice of—

(a)the situation of each polling station in the voting area for which the officer acts, and

(b)the description of voters entitled to vote there.

(4) As soon as practicable after giving the notice required by paragraph (3), the local returning officer must send a copy of it to each of the election agents.

Postal ballot papers

25.—(1) The local returning officer must, in accordance with Part 3 of Schedule 2, issue to those entitled to vote by post—

(a)a ballot paper, and

(b)a postal voting statement in the appropriate form prescribed by paragraph 30 of Schedule 2,

together with envelopes for their return that comply with the requirements of paragraph 38 of Schedule 2.

(2) The local returning officer must also issue to those entitled to vote by post whatever information the officer thinks appropriate about how to obtain—

(a)translations into languages other than English of any directions to or guidance for voters sent with the ballot paper;

(b)a translation into Braille of such directions or guidance;

(c)graphical representations of such directions or guidance;

(d)the directions or guidance in any other form (including any audible form).

(3) In the case of a ballot paper issued to a person at an address in the United Kingdom, the local returning officer must ensure that the return of the ballot paper and postal voting statement is free of charge to the voter.

Provision of polling stations

26.—(1) The local returning officer must provide a sufficient number of polling stations and, subject to the following provisions of this rule, must allot the electors to the polling stations in whatever manner the officer thinks most convenient.

(2) One or more polling stations may be provided in the same room.

(3) The polling station to which electors from any parliamentary polling district wholly or partly within the voting area are allotted must, in the absence of special circumstances, be in the parliamentary polling place for that district unless that place is outside the voting area.

(4) The local returning officer must provide each polling station with however many compartments are necessary in which the voters can mark their votes screened from observation.

Appointment of presiding officers and polling clerks

27.—(1) The local returning officer must appoint and pay—

(a)a presiding officer to attend at each polling station, and

(b)however many clerks are necessary for the purposes of the election.

(2) The local returning officer must not appoint any person who has been employed by or on behalf of a candidate in the PCC election.

(3) The local returning officer may, if the officer thinks fit, preside at a polling station.

(4) In a case within paragraph (3), the provisions of these rules relating to the presiding officer apply to the local returning officer so presiding, with the necessary modifications as to things to be done by the local returning officer to the presiding officer or by the presiding officer to the local returning officer.

(5) A presiding officer may do, by the clerks appointed to assist the presiding officer, any act (including the asking of questions) which the presiding officer is required or authorised by these rules to do at a polling station except order the arrest, exclusion or removal of any person from the polling station.

Issue of official poll cards

28.—(1) The local returning officer must as soon as practicable after the publication of the notice of the PCC election send to electors and their proxies an official poll card as follows—

(a)an official poll card sent to an elector must be in Form 11 set out in Part 8 of this Schedule or a form to like effect;

(b)an official postal poll card sent to an elector must be in Form 12 set out in Part 8 of this Schedule or a form to like effect;

(c)an official poll card sent to the proxy of an elector must be in Form 13 set out in Part 8 of this Schedule or a form to like effect;

(d)an official postal poll card sent to the proxy of an elector must be in Form 14 set out in Part 8 of this Schedule or a form to like effect.

(2) An official poll card may be adapted in order to comply with any requirements as to delivery and may also contain such additional information as the local returning officer thinks appropriate.

(3) An elector’s official poll card must be sent or delivered to his or her qualifying address, and a proxy’s to his or her address as shown in the list of proxies.

(4) Rule 7(5) applies for the interpretation of this rule.

Equipment of polling stations

29.—(1) The local returning officer must provide each presiding officer with however many ballot boxes and ballot papers the local returning officer thinks are necessary.

(2) Every ballot box must be so constructed that the ballot papers can be put in it, but cannot be withdrawn from it, without the box being unlocked or, where the box has no lock, the seal being broken.

(3) The local returning officer must provide each polling station with—

(a)materials to enable voters to mark the ballot papers;

(b)copies of the register of electors used for the PCC election which contains the entries relating to the electors allotted to the station (or, in the case of a register only part of which contains those entries, that part);

(c)the parts of any special lists prepared for the PCC election corresponding to each register or part of a register provided under sub-paragraph (b);

(d)a list prepared under rule 20 which contains the numbers (but not the other unique identifying marks) corresponding to those on the ballot papers provided to the presiding officer of the polling station.

(4) The reference in paragraph (3)(b) to the copies of the register of electors includes a reference to copies of any notices issued under section 13B(3B) or (3D) of the 1983 Act(2) in respect of alterations to the register.

(5) The local returning officer must also provide each polling station with—

(a)at least one large version of the ballot paper for the assistance of voters who are partially sighted which complies with article 85(6) and which must be displayed inside the polling station;

(b)an enlarged hand-held sample copy of the ballot paper for the assistance of voters who are partially sighted which must be clearly marked as a specimen provided only for the guidance of voters;

(c)a device for enabling voters who are blind or partially sighted to vote without any need for assistance from the presiding officer or any companion (within the meaning of rule 41).

(6) The device mentioned in paragraph (5)(c) must—

(a)allow a ballot paper to be inserted into and removed from, or attached to and detached from the device, easily and without damage to the paper,

(b)hold the ballot paper firmly in place during use, and

(c)provide suitable means for the voter—

(i)to identify the spaces on the ballot paper on which the voter may mark his or her vote,

(ii)to identify the candidate to which each such space refers, and

(iii)to mark his or her vote on the space the voter has chosen.

(7) The local returning officer must also provide each polling station with the notices for the guidance of voters that are provided to the local returning officer under rule 30(1) and—

(a)the notices referred to in rule 30(1)(a) must be exhibited in every voting compartment, and

(b)the notices referred to in rule 30(1)(b) must be exhibited outside the polling station and in the communal areas inside it.

(8) Where information about the supplementary vote system is provided to the local returning officer under rule 30(3), the local returning officer must also provide each polling station with that information.

(9) Any information provided to a polling station under paragraph (8) must be exhibited there.

(10) Where proof has been given to the police area returning officer’s satisfaction of the death of a candidate, the police area returning officer must request each local returning officer for a voting area wholly or partly comprised in the police area to provide each presiding officer with a sufficient number of notices to this effect for display in every compartment of every polling station.

Notices for the guidance of voters

30.—(1) The police area returning officer must prepare and provide each local returning officer with—

(a)notices for the guidance of voters in Form 15 set out in Part 8 of this Schedule which are for exhibition in voting compartments at polling stations, and

(b)notices for the guidance of voters in Form 16 set out in Part 8 of this Schedule which are for exhibition outside and in the communal areas inside polling stations.

(2) The police area returning officer may also provide versions of a notice in such other form described in article 85(2) or (3) as the police area returning officer thinks appropriate and, if the local returning officer agrees, these may also be exhibited inside and outside the polling station.

(3) Where the Commission publishes information about the supplementary vote system to be used at PCC elections, the police area returning officer may provide each local returning officer with a copy of that information for exhibition at a polling station.

Appointment of polling and counting agents

31.—(1) Before the commencement of the poll, each candidate may appoint—

(a)polling agents to attend at polling stations for the purpose of detecting personation, and

(b)counting agents to attend at the counting of the votes.

(2) For each count, one (but no more than one) counting agent may be designated as a person authorised to require a re-count under rule 54.

(3) A designation under paragraph (2) must be made at the same time as the person’s appointment as a counting agent.

(4) Not more than—

(a)four polling agents, or

(b)such greater number as the local returning officer may by notice allow,

are permitted to attend at any particular polling station.

(5) If the number of polling agents appointed to attend at a particular polling station exceeds the permitted number—

(a)the local returning officer must determine by lot which agents are permitted to attend, and

(b)only the agents so determined are to be deemed as duly appointed.

(6) The local returning officer may limit the number of counting agents so long as—

(a)the number is the same in the case of each candidate, and

(b)the number allowed to a candidate is not (except in special circumstances) less than the number obtained by dividing the number of clerks employed on the counting by the number of candidates.

(7) A candidate who appoints a polling agent or a counting agent must give the local returning officer notice of the appointment no later than the 5th day before the day of the poll.

(8) If a polling or counting agent dies, or becomes incapable of acting, the candidate may appoint another agent and must forthwith give the local returning officer notice of the appointment.

(9) A notice under paragraph (7) or (8) must—

(a)be in writing, and

(b)give the name and address of the agent appointed.

(10) Any appointment authorised by this rule may be made and the notice of appointment given by the candidate’s election agent, instead of by the candidate.

(11) In the following provisions of these rules references to polling agents and counting agents are to be read as references to agents—

(a)whose appointments have been duly made and notified, and

(b)where the number of agents is restricted, who are within the permitted numbers.

(12) Any notice required to be given to a counting agent by the local returning officer may be delivered at, or sent by post to, the address stated in the notice of appointment.

(13) A candidate may do anything, or assist a polling agent or counting agent in doing anything, which such an agent is authorised to do on appointment by the candidate.

(14) A candidate’s election agent may do or assist in doing anything which a polling or counting agent appointed by the candidate is authorised to do; and anything required or authorised by these rules to be done in the presence of the polling or counting agents may be done in the presence of a candidate’s election agent instead of the polling agent or counting agent.

(15) Where by these rules anything is required or authorised to be done in the presence of the polling or counting agents, the non-attendance of any agent or agents at the time and place appointed for the purpose does not invalidate the thing (if the thing is otherwise duly done).

Notification of requirement of secrecy

32.  The local returning officer must make whatever arrangements the officer thinks are appropriate to ensure that—

(a)every person attending at a polling station (otherwise than for the purpose of voting or assisting a voter with disabilities to vote or as a constable on duty there) has been given a copy in writing of the provisions of article 22(1), (4) and (7), and

(b)every person attending at the verification of ballot paper accounts or the counting of the votes (other than any constable on duty there) has been given a copy in writing of the provisions of article 22(2), (3) and (7).

Return of postal ballot papers

33.—(1) Where—

(a)a postal vote has been returned in respect of a person who is entered in the postal voters list, or

(b)a proxy postal vote has been returned in respect of a proxy who is entered in the proxy postal voters list,

the local returning officer must mark the list in the manner specified in paragraph 48 of Schedule 2.

(2) Rule 49(2) does not apply for the purpose of determining whether, for the purposes of this rule, a postal vote or a proxy postal vote is returned.

(1)

See rule 13.

(2)

Section 13B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 was inserted by paragraph 3 of Schedule 2 to the Representation of the People Act 2000 (c.2) and amended by section 11(3) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 (c.22) and section 74 of, and paragraph 3 of Schedule 10 to, the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 (c.13). Subsections (3B) and (3D) were inserted by section 11(4) of the Electoral Administration Act 2006.

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