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10(1)Schedule 1 (parliamentary elections rules) is amended as follows.E+W+S+N.I.
(2)In rule 5(2) (notice of election to state date by which applications for postal votes etc. are to be made), after “by which” insert “ (except in such circumstances as may be prescribed) ”.
(3)For rule 24 substitute—
“24The returning officer shall, in accordance with regulations, issue to those entitled to vote by post a ballot paper and a declaration of identity in the prescribed form, together with such envelopes for their return (whether free of charge or otherwise) as may be prescribed.”
(4)In rule 45 (the count)—
(a)after paragraph (1A) insert—
“(1B)A postal ballot paper shall not, in England, Wales or Scotland, be taken to be duly returned unless—
(a)it is returned in the prescribed manner and reaches the returning officer or a polling station in the constituency before the close of the poll, and
(b)the declaration of identity, duly signed and authenticated, is also returned in the prescribed manner and reaches him or such a polling station before that time.”; and
(b)in paragraph (2), after “shall not” insert “ , in Northern Ireland, ”.
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