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Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

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  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I (ss.1‐8) rep. by 1989 c. 3

  3. Part II—S.9 rep. by 1968 c.20 (NI); SI 1973/2163. S.10...

  4. Part IIA (ss.10A‐10C) inserted by 1968 c.20 (NI) s.6(1), rep....


    1. 11.Election and term of office of members of district councils.

    2. Ss.12, 13 rep. by SLR 1980


    1. [14.Appointment of Chief Electoral Officer.

    2. [14A.Appointment of persons to assist Chief Electoral Officer.

    3. [14B.Travelling and subsistence allowances.

    4. 15.Duties of Chief Electoral Officer.

    5. Ss.16—20 rep. by 1972 NI 13

    6. 21.Expenses of registration.

    7. 22.Remuneration and expenses of returning officer at parliamentary election.

    8. 23.Remuneration and expenses of Chief Electoral Officer and other persons at local election.

    9. 24.Claims against, and taxation of expenses of, returning officer.

    10. 25.Remuneration retainable by officers.

    11. S.26 rep. by 1972 NI 13

    12. 27.Mutual assistance by officers, etc.


    1. 28.Preparation and publication of registers.

    2. 29.Miscellaneous provisions as to registration and voting.

    3. S. 30 rep. by 1969 c. 26 (NI)

    4. Ss. 31, 32 rep. by 1989 c. 3

    5. S. 33 rep. by 1968 c. 20 (NI)


    1. 34.Appointment of election agent.

    2. 35.Sub-agents at parliamentary elections.

    3. 36.Offices of election agent and sub-agent.

    4. 37.Default in appointing election agent.

    5. 38.Making of contracts through election agent.

    6. 39.Payment of expenses at an election through election agent.

    7. 40.Personal expenses of candidate and petty expenses at an election.

    8. 41.Prohibition of unauthorised expenses.

    9. 42.Limitation of expenses at an election.

    10. 43.Time for sending in and paying claims.

    11. 44.Disputed claims.

    12. 45.Claim by election agent at an election.

    13. 46.Return as to expenses at an election.

    14. 47.Declarations as to expenses at a parliamentary election.

    15. 48.Penalty for sitting or voting after failure to transmit return and declarations.

    16. 49.Authorised excuses for failures as respects return and declarations.

    17. 50.Power of court to require information from election agent or sub-agent.

    18. 51.Publication of summary of return as to election expenses at elections.

    19. 52.Inspection of returns and declarations.

    20. 53.Right to send election address post free.

    21. 54.Rateability of premises unaffected by election meeting thereon.

    22. 55.Duty on and licences for carriages, etc., used at elections.

    23. 56.Rights of creditors.


    1. 57.Rules for conduct of elections.

    2. 58.Saving as respects acts, etc., of officers.

    3. 59.Returning officer not disqualified for voting.

    4. 60.Candidates' deposits.

    5. 61.Return or disposal of deposit.

    6. 62.Plural candidatures prohibited.

    7. 63.Offices of returning officers at parliamentary elections.

    8. 64.Offices of returning officers at local elections.

    9. 65.Polling station schemes.

    10. 66.Voting by post.

    11. 67.Voting by proxy.

    12. S.68 rep. by 1969 c.26 (NI)

  10. Part VIII (ss.69—71) rep. by 1968 c.20 (NI)


    1. 72.Election courts.

    2. 73.Attendance of Director of Public Prosecutions at trial of election petition.

    3. 74.Method of questioning parliamentary election.

    4. 75.Presentation and service of parliamentary election petition.

    5. 76.Time for presentation or amendment of parliamentary election petition.

    6. 77.Conclusion of trial of parliamentary election petition.

    7. 78.Method of questioning local election.

    8. 79.Presentation and service of local election petition.

    9. 80.Time for presentation or amendment of local election petition.

    10. 81.Conclusion of trial of local election petition.

    11. 82.Consequences of avoidance of local election.

    12. 83.Special case for determination of Court of Appeal.

    13. 84.Withdrawal of petition.

    14. Ss. 85‐90 rep. by SI 2001/417

    15. 91.Costs of petition.

    16. 92.Further provision as to costs of petition.

    17. 93.Jurisdiction.

    18. 94.Report as to candidate guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice.

    19. 95.Avoidance of election and incapacity of candidate reported guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice.

    20. 96.Provisions applying to all persons reported personally guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice.

    21. 97.Disciplinary action on report of corrupt practice.

    22. 98.Avoidance of election for general corruption, etc.

    23. 99.Avoidance of election for employing corrupt agent.

    24. 100.Votes to be struck off for corrupt or illegal practices.

    25. 101.Service of notices, etc.

    26. 102.Rules of court.


    1. 103.Electoral misdemeanours.

    2. 104.Giving of leave of absence to employees to record their votes.

    3. 105.Prosecution and trial of electoral misdemeanours.

    4. 106.Prosecution of offences disclosed on election petition.

    5. 107.Power to except innocent act from being illegal practice, payment, employment or hiring.

    6. 108.Penalties for corrupt practices.

    7. 109.Penalty for illegal practices.

    8. 110.Compensation where charge of personation is unjustly made or not prosecuted.

    9. 111.Penalties for electoral offences by officers and other persons.

    10. 112.Incapacities resulting from convictions for corrupt or illegal practices.

    11. 113.Mitigation and remission of incapacities.

    12. 114.Corrupt and illegal practices committed by agents.

    13. 115.Prosecutions for offences committed outside Northern Ireland.

    14. 116.Evidence by certificate of holding of elections.

    15. S.117 rep. by 1968 c.10 (NI)

    16. 118.Time limit for prosecutions.

    17. 119.Offences by corporations.

    18. 120.Provisions as to Director of Public Prosecutions.


    1. S.121 rep. by 1989 c. 3

    2. 122.Effect of incapacities with respect to the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

    3. 123.Publication of notices and documents.

    4. 124.Misnomer, inaccurate description, etc.

    5. 125.Use of mark in place of signature.

    6. 126.Amendment of forms in Tenth Schedule.

    7. S.126A rep. by 1969 c.26 (NI)

    8. 127.Electoral regulations.

    9. 128.Financial provisions.

    10. 129.Without prejudice to sub-section (4) of section thirty-nine of the...

    11. 130.Interpretation.

    12. 131.Savings.

    13. 132.Short title.


    1. Schedule 1 rep. by 1989 c. 3

    2. Schedule 2 rep. by 1968 c.20 (NI); SI 1973/2163

    3. Schedule 3 rep. by 1989 c. 3

    4. Schedule 4 rep. by SLR 1980

    5. SCHEDULE 5

      Local Elections Rules

      1. Part I Provisions as to Time and Interpretation

        1. Timetable

        2. 1.(1) The proceedings at an election shall be conducted in accordance with whichever of the...

        3. Computation of time

        4. 2.In computing any period of time for the purpose of the appropriate Timetable a Saturday,...

        5. Returning officer

        6. 3.In these rules returning officer means the Chief Electoral Officer provided that, in respect of...

      2. Part II Stages Common to Contested and Uncontested Elections

        1. Notice of election

        2. 4.The returning officer shall publish notice of the election stating in addition to the notification...

        3. Nomination of candidates

        4. 5.(1) Each candidate shall be nominated by a separate nomination paper, in the form in...

        5. Nomination papers: name of registered political party

        6. 5A.(1) A nomination paper may not include a description of a candidate which is likely...

        7. Subscription of nomination paper

        8. 6.(1) The nomination paper shall be subscribed by two electors for the district electoral area...

        9. Consent to nomination

        10. 7.A person shall not be validly nominated unless his consent to nomination is— (a) given...

        11. Place for delivery of nomination papers

        12. 8.The returning officer shall fix the place at which nomination papers are to be delivered...

        13. Right to attend nomination

        14. 9.(1) Except for the purpose of delivering a nomination paper or of assisting the returning...

        15. Decisions as to validity of nomination papers

        16. 10.(1) Where a nomination paper and the candidate's consent to it are delivered in accordance...

        17. Withdrawal of candidates

        18. 11.(1) A candidate may withdraw his candidature by notice of withdrawal— (a) signed by him...

        19. Publication of nominations

        20. 12.(1) The returning officer shall prepare and publish a statement showing the persons who have...

        21. Adjournment of nomination proceedings in case of riot

        22. 13.(1) Where the proceedings for or in connection with nomination are on any day interrupted...

        23. Method of election

        24. 14.(1) If the number of persons standing nominated, as shown by the statement of persons...

      3. Part III Contested Elections

        1. Poll to be taken by ballot

        2. 15.The votes at the poll shall be given by ballot, the votes given to each...

        3. The ballot papers

        4. 16.(1) The ballot of every voter shall consist of a ballot paper, and the persons...

        5. The official mark

        6. 17.(1) Every ballot paper must contain an appropriate security marking (the official mark). (2) The...

        7. Prohibition of disclosure of vote

        8. 18.No person who has voted at the election shall, in any legal proceeding to question...

        9. Use of schools and public rooms

        10. 19.(1) The returning officer may use, free of charge, for the purpose of taking the...

        11. Notice of poll

        12. 20.(1) The returning officer shall in the statement of persons nominated include a notice of...

        13. Postal ballot papers

        14. 21.(1) The returning officer shall as soon as practicable send to those entitled to vote...

        15. Provision of polling stations

        16. 22.(1) The returning officer shall provide a sufficient number of polling stations and shall allot...

        17. Appointment of presiding officers and clerks

        18. 23.(1) The returning officer shall appoint and pay a presiding officer to attend at each...

        19. Rule 24 omitted by SI 1987/168

        20. Issue of official poll cards

        21. 25.(1) The returning officer shall as soon as practicable send to electors and their proxies...

        22. Equipment of polling stations

        23. 26.(1) The returning officer shall provide each presiding officer with such number of ballot boxes...

        24. Appointment of polling and counting agents

        25. 27.(1) Each candidate may, before the commencement of the poll, appoint— (a) polling agents to...

        26. Notification of requirement of secrecy

        27. 28.The returning officer shall make such arrangements as he thinks fit to ensure that— (a)...

        28. Admission to polling station

        29. 29.(1) The presiding officer shall exclude all persons from the polling station except— (a) voters;...

        30. Keeping of order in station

        31. 30.(1) It is the presiding officer's duty to keep order at his polling station. (2)...

        32. Sealing of ballot boxes

        33. 31.Immediately before the commencement of the poll, the presiding officer shall show the ballot box...

        34. Questions to be put to voters

        35. 32.(1) The presiding officer may, and if required by a candidate or his election or...

        36. Challenge of voter

        37. 33.(1) If at the time a person applies for a ballot paper for the purpose...

        38. Voting procedure

        39. 34.(1) Subject to paragraphs (2) to (7), a ballot paper shall be delivered to a...

        40. Votes marked by presiding officer

        41. 35.(1) Subject to paragraph (2), the presiding officer, on the application of a voter— (a)...

        42. Voting by persons with disabilities

        43. 36.(1) If a voter makes an application to the presiding officer to be allowed, on...

        44. Tendered ballot papers

        45. 37.(1) If a person, representing himself to be— (a) a particular elector named on the...

        46. Refusal to deliver ballot paper

        47. 38.(1) This rule applies where a presiding officer refuses to deliver a ballot paper under...

        48. Spoilt ballot papers

        49. 39.A voter who has inadvertently dealt with his ballot paper in such manner that it...

        50. Correction of errors on day of poll

        51. 39A.The presiding officer shall keep a list of persons to whom ballot papers are delivered...

        52. Adjournment of poll in case of riot

        53. 40.(1) Where the proceedings at any polling station are interrupted or obstructed by riot or...

        54. Procedure on close of poll

        55. 41.(1) As soon as practicable after the close of the poll, the presiding officer shall,...

      4. Part IV Counting of Votes

        1. Interpretation

        2. 42.In this Part of these rules— continuing candidate means any candidate not deemed to be...

        3. Place and time for, and manner of, counting of votes

        4. 43.(1) Subject to paragraph (3), the returning officer shall make arrangements for counting the votes...

        5. Attendance at counting of votes

        6. 44.(1) No person other than— (a) the returning officer and his clerks, (b) the candidates,...

        7. Preliminary proceedings and conduct of the count

        8. 45.(1) Before the returning officer proceeds to count the votes, he shall— (a) in the...

        9. Rejected ballot papers

        10. 46.(1) Any ballot paper— (a) which does not bear the official mark; or (b) on...

        11. First stage

        12. 47.(1) The returning officer shall sort the ballot papers into parcels according to the candidates...

        13. The quota

        14. 48.(1) The returning officer shall divide the number of valid ballot papers by a number...

        15. Transfer of votes

        16. 49.(1) Where the number of first preference votes for any candidate exceeds the quota, the...

        17. Supplementary provisions on transfer

        18. 50.(1) If, at any stage of the count, two or more candidates have surpluses, the...

        19. Exclusion of candidates

        20. 51.(1) If— (a) all transferable papers which under the provisions of rule 49 (including that...

        21. Filling of last vacancies

        22. 52.(1) Where the number of continuing candidates is equal to the number of vacancies remaining...

        23. Re-count

        24. 53.(1) The returning officer on completion of each stage of the count shall, before proceeding...

        25. Ballot papers in wrong box

        26. 53A.(1) The returning officer may make arrangements for— (a) ballot boxes for the local election...

        27. Order of election of candidates

        28. 54.(1) The order in which candidates whose votes equal or exceed the quota are deemed...

        29. Decisions of returning officer

        30. 55.The decision of the returning officer, whether expressed or implied, on any question which arises...

      5. Part V Final Proceedings in Contested and Uncontested Elections

        1. Declaration of result

        2. 56.(1) In a contested election, when the result of the poll has been ascertained in...

      6. Part VI Disposal of Documents

        1. Sealing up of ballot papers

        2. 57.(1) On the completion of the counting at a contested election the returning officer shall...

        3. Forwarding of documents

        4. 58.(1) This rule applies to the following documents— (a) the packets of ballot papers in...

        5. Orders for production of documents

        6. 59.(1) An order for— (a) the inspection or production of any rejected ballot papers in...

        7. Retention and public inspection of documents

        8. 60.(1) The proper officer of the council shall retain for six months the documents to...

      7. Part VII Death of Candidate

        1. Countermand or abandonment of poll on death of candidate

        2. 61.(1) If at a contested election proof is given to the returning officer's satisfaction before...




        6. 3.  Ballot paper (rule 16) Form of back of ballot paper No. Election for the............................................................district...

        7. Front of form



          1. Except where the voter is a proxy:

          2. My date of birth is................................................................................


          1. (WRITE CLEARLY)

          2. (WRITE CLEARLY)


        12. Back of form


        14. Front of form



        17. Back of form


        19. Front of card

        20. Back of card

        21. Front of card


    6. Schedule 6 rep. by 1968 c. 20 (NI)



      1. PART I [Title rep. by 1968 c.20 (NI) s.8 sch.4 Pt.I]

        1. 1.Appointment of proxies. (1) A registered elector desiring to appoint a proxy shall make an...

        2. 2.Record of proxies. (1) The electoral officer shall keep in the prescribed form a record...

        3. 3.Voting by proxies. (1) A person shall not vote as proxy unless he is duly...

      2. Part II rep. by 1968 c.20 (NI)



      1. Powers of election courts

        1. 1.(1) A parliamentary election court shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, have the...

      2. Place of trial

        1. 2.(1) The place of trial— (a) of a parliamentary election petition relating to an election...

      3. Reception of and attendance on election judges, etc.

        1. 3.Sub-para.(1) rep. by 1978 c.23 (2) The travelling and other expenses of the judges and...

      4. Local election courts

        1. 4.(1) The clerk of the local authority for which the election was held shall provide...

      5. Shorthand writers

        1. 5.(1) A shorthand writer shall attend the trial of an election petition and shall be...

      6. Expenses of local election courts

        1. 6.(1) The remuneration and allowances to be paid to the barrister constituting a local election...

      7. Provisions as to security for costs

        1. 7.(1) At the time of presenting an election petition or within three days afterwards the...

      8. Petition at issue

        1. 8.(1) The petition shall be at issue as from the relevant time, as defined by...

      9. Lists and trial of election petitions

        1. 9.(1) The prescribed officer shall as soon as may be make out— (a) a list...

      10. Preliminary and incidental applications

        1. 10.Applications for leave to amend petitions and other applications relating to preliminary or incidental matters...

      11. Trial of petitions

        1. 11.(1) An election petition shall be tried in open court, without a jury, and notice...

      12. Witnesses

        1. 12.(1) Witnesses shall be summoned and sworn in the same manner as nearly as circumstances...




        1. 1.Bribery (1) A person shall be guilty of bribery if he, directly or indirectly, by...

        2. 2.Treating (1) A person shall be guilty of treating if he corruptly, by himself or...

        3. 3.Undue influence A person shall be guilty of undue influence— if he, directly, or indirectly,...

        4. 4.Personation (1) A person shall be guilty of personation if at any election he— (a)...

        5. 5.Misdemeanours as to proxy voting Except at a local election A person shall be guilty...

        6. False statements in nomination papers, etc.

        7. 5A.A person is guilty of a corrupt practice if he causes or permits to be...

        8. 6.Making a false declaration as to election expenses A candidate or an election agent shall...

        9. 7.Incurring unauthorised expenses A person shall be guilty of incurring unauthorised expenses if he incurs,...

        10. 8.Attempting or conspiring to commit a corrupt practice A person shall be guilty of a...

        11. 9.Aiding and abetting the commission of a corrupt practice A person shall be guilty of...


        1. 10.(1) Except at a local election A person shall be guilty of an illegal practice...

        2. 11.A person shall be guilty of an illegal practice if— (a) he votes— (i) at...

        3. 12.(1) Except at a local election A person shall be guilty of an illegal practice...

        4. 12A.(1) A person shall be guilty of an illegal practice if— (a) he votes in...

        5. 13.(1) A person who commits an offence under Article 7(2) of the Public Order (Northern...

        6. 14.A candidate or an election agent who commits the offence specified in paragraph 28 shall...

        7. 15.A candidate or an election agent who is personally guilty of any of the offences...

        8. 16.If any person fails to send any statement, declaration or return or copy thereof as...

        9. 17.A person who makes any payment, advance or deposit in contravention of sub-section (1) of...

        10. 18.(1) No payment or contract for payment shall for the purpose of promoting or procuring...

        11. 19.Any person who, before or during an election, knowingly publishes a false statement of the...

        12. 20.(1) Any person who, or any director of any body or association corporate which, for...

        13. 21.(1) A person making a payment or contract in contravention of sub-section (4) of section...

        14. 22.An election agent who pays a claim in contravention of sub-section (1) of section forty-three...

        15. 23.A person shall be guilty of an illegal practice if he— (a) attempts or conspires...


        1. 24A.A person who makes a statement which he knows to be false in any declaration...

        2. 25.If any person upon whom any functions are conferred by or under this Act in...

        3. 26.(1) A person shall be guilty of an electoral offence if he without lawful authority...

        4. 27.(1) A person attending at or admitted to a polling station in any capacity at...

        5. Prohibition on publication of exit polls

        6. 27A.(1) A person who publishes before the poll at a local election is closed— (a)...

        7. 28.Subject to paragraph 14, any person who— (a) prints or publishes, or causes to be...

        8. 29.(1) Subject to paragraph 15, a person shall be guilty of an electoral offence (in...

        9. 30.Subject to paragraph 15, if a person is either before, during or after any election,...

        10. Para. 31 rep. by SI 2001/417

        11. 32.If any returning officer at any election, or any officer or clerk duly appointed under...

        12. 32A.(1) A person to whom this paragraph applies shall be guilty of an electoral offence...

        13. 34.Except at a local election A person shall be guilty of an electoral offence if...

        14. 35.Any electoral misdemeanour which is not specifically designated in the foregoing provisions of this Schedule...



      1. Form 1 rep. by SLR 1980

      2. FORM 2

        1. Form of return of expenses required by section forty-one to be authorised by an election agent.

      3. FORM 3

        1. Form of declaration as to expenses required by section forty-one to be authorised by an election agent.

      4. FORM 4

        1. Form of return of election expenses required by section forty-six

      5. FORM 5

        1. Form of declaration as to election expenses required by section forty-seven

      6. Form 6 repealed by SLR 1980.

      7. Form 7 repealed by SLR 1980.

      8. Form 8 repealed by SLR 1980.

      9. Form 9 repealed by SLR 1980.

      10. Form 10 repealed by SLR 1980.

      11. Form 11 repealed by SLR 1980.

      12. Form 12 repealed by 1972 NI 13.

      13. Form 13 spent.

      14. Form 14 repealed by 1972 NI 13.

      15. Form 15 spent.

      16. Form 16 spent.

      17. Form 17 spent.

      18. Form 18 repealed by 1968 c.20 (NI)

      19. Form 19 repealed by 1968 c.20 (NI

      20. Form 20 repealed by 1968 c.20 (NI

      21. Form 21 repealed by 1968 c.20 (NI

    11. Eleventh Schedule repealed by SLR 1973

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