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19.—(1) Paragraph 8 of Schedule 12 to the 1992 Act (postal ballots) is amended as follows.
(2) In sub-paragraph (1), omit “in this Act “ballot” or”.
(3) After sub-paragraph (1) insert—
“(1A) The rules of a friendly society or registered branch may also make provision in relation to the use of electronic communications in the conduct of a postal ballot.”.
(4) After sub-paragraph (4) insert—
“(4A) A friendly society or registered branch is to be regarded as giving notice of a postal ballot for the purposes of this paragraph if it makes the notice available to a member on a website; and the end date for the purposes of section 119AB(4)(b) is the voting date.
(4B) A notice given in accordance with sub-paragraph (4A) is to be treated as given to the member on the day the member is notified in accordance with section 119AB(3).
(4C) If the notice of postal ballot is absent from the website for part of the period referred to in section 119AB(4), and the absence is disregarded for the purposes of section 119AB(5), that absence does not invalidate the postal ballot.
(4D) If a notice of postal ballot includes an electronic address for the society or registered branch, the address is to be regarded as one to which a completed voting paper, or other documents or information relating to the ballot may be sent; but that is subject to such conditions or restrictions as the notice specifies, and any express provision to the contrary made in the rules of the society or branch.”.
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