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SCHEDULENorthern Ireland: Modification of Election Provisions

Part 2Local Elections Rules

Introduction

14Where the poll at a local election is to be taken with the poll at a parliamentary election in Northern Ireland, Schedule 5 to the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 (c. 14 (N.I.)) (local elections rules) is amended as follows.

Ballot papers

15In rule 16(2) after paragraph (d) insert—

(e)must be of a different colour from that of any ballot papers used at an election the poll for which is taken together with the poll for the local election.

Notice of poll

16In rule 20 after paragraph (2) insert—

(3)The notice published under paragraph (2)—

(a)must state that the poll at the local election is to be taken together with the poll at a parliamentary election;

(b)must specify the relevant parliamentary constituency.

Postal ballot papers

17In rule 21(1) after “identity in the” insert “relevant”.

Official poll cards

18In rule 25 after paragraph (3) insert—

(3A)An official poll card issued under this rule may be combined with an official poll card issued at a parliamentary election.

Equipment of polling stations

19In rule 26 after paragraph (4) insert—

(4A)The notice referred to in paragraph (4)—

(a)must clearly indicate the election to which it relates;

(b)must be printed on paper of the same colour as the ballot papers (other than tendered ballot papers) used at the election to which it relates.

Questions to be put to voters

20In rule 32 in question (ii) of each of paragraphs (1)(a) and (1)(b) and in the second question in paragraph (2) after “at this” insert “local”.

Voting procedure

21In rule 34 after paragraph (9) insert—

(10)The same copy of the register of electors may be used under paragraph (1) for each election.

(11)One mark may be placed in that register under paragraph (1)(d) or in the list of proxies under paragraph (1)(e) to denote that a ballot paper has been received in respect of each election.

(12)If a ballot paper is issued in respect of one election only a different mark must be placed in the register or list (as the case may be) so as to identify the election in respect of which the ballot paper is issued.

Votes marked by presiding officer

22In rule 35 at the end insert—

(4)The same list may be used for each election.

(5)If it is, an entry in the list must be taken to mean that the ballot papers were marked in pursuance of this rule in respect of each election unless the list identifies the election at which the ballot paper was so marked.

Voting by persons with disabilities

23In rule 36 after paragraph (4) insert—

(4A)The same list may be used for each election.

(4B)If it is, an entry in the list must be taken to mean that the votes were given in accordance with this rule in respect of each election unless the list identifies the election at which the vote was so given.

Tendered ballot papers

24In rule 37 after paragraph (6) insert—

(6A)The same list may be used for each election.

(6B)If it is, an entry in the list must be taken to mean that the tendered ballot papers were marked in respect of each election unless the list identifies the election at which a tendered ballot paper was marked.

Procedure on close of poll

25(1)Rule 41 is amended as follows.

(2)After paragraph (1) insert—

(1A)Separate packets must be made up in respect of each election for the purpose of each of sub-paragraphs (b), (c) and (e) of paragraph (1).

(3)In paragraph (3) after “presiding officer” insert “separately for the purposes of each election”.

Time for counting votes

26(1)Rule 43 is amended as follows.

(2)In paragraph (1) for “morning on the day after” substitute “morning on the second day after”.

(3)After paragraph (1) insert—

(1A)For the purpose of determining the day for counting under paragraph (1) a Saturday, a Sunday and a public holiday must be disregarded.

Ballot papers in wrong box

27After rule 53 insert—

Ballot papers in wrong box

53A(1)The returning officer may make arrangements for—

(a)ballot boxes for the local election to be opened and any ballot papers for the parliamentary election to be taken out;

(b)those ballot papers to be taken into account for the purposes of the parliamentary election;

(c)ballot boxes for the parliamentary election to be opened and any ballot papers for the local election to be taken out;

(d)those ballot papers to be taken into account for the purposes of the local election.

(2)Paragraph (1) applies notwithstanding anything else in these rules or the parliamentary elections rules.

(3)Nothing in these rules or the parliamentary elections rules requires the counting agents to be given facilities for overseeing the proceedings mentioned in paragraph (1)(a) or (c).

Countermand or abandonment of poll on death of candidate

28(1)Rule 61 is amended as follows.

(2)After paragraph (1) insert—

(1A)Neither the countermand of the poll at the local election nor the direction that that poll be abandoned affects the poll at the parliamentary election.

(3)For paragraph (2) substitute—

(2)If the poll at the local election is abandoned because of a candidate’s death—

(a)no further ballot papers at that election must be delivered in any polling station;

(b)at the close of the poll for the parliamentary election the presiding officer must comply with the requirements of rule 41 (as amended by the Schedule to the Elections Act 2001) as if the poll at the local election had not been abandoned;

(c)the returning officer must dispose of ballot papers used at the local election and other documents in his possession as he is required to do on the completion in due course of the counting of the votes,but this is subject to paragraph (2A).

(2A)In a case falling within paragraph (2)—

(a)a ballot paper account for the local election need not be prepared or verified;

(b)the returning officer, having separated the ballot papers relating to the parliamentary election, must take no step or further step for the counting of the ballot papers used at the local election or of the votes;

(c)the returning officer must seal up all of those ballot papers whether the votes on them have been counted or not;

(d)it is not necessary to seal up counted and rejected ballot papers in separate packets.

Forms

29(1)In the Arrangement of Rules, in the Appendix of Forms, after the entry for Form 5 insert—

5A.Declaration of Identity (Combined Polls).

(2)In the Appendix of Forms after Form 5 (declaration of identity) insert—