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Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010

Section 48 – Parliamentary elections: counting of votes

54.Rule 44(1) of the parliamentary elections rules contained in Schedule 1 to the Representation of the People Act 1983 (“the rules”) provides that the returning officer in a parliamentary election shall make arrangements for counting the votes as soon as practicable after the close of the poll. This gives discretion to returning officers about when exactly the count should begin, and in particular whether it is practicable to start the count on the evening of polling day or on the following day.

55.Section 48 amends the rules to provide that a returning officer must 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.

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