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Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010

Section 48: Parliamentary elections: counting of votes

17.Section 48 places a duty on returning officers to take reasonable steps to begin counting the votes given on the ballot papers as soon as practicable within four hours of the close of the poll in parliamentary elections (polling closes at 10pm). The provision applies in both general elections and by-elections, and imposes a duty on returning officers to publish and return to the Electoral Commission a statement in the event that they are not able to begin the count within the specified time.

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