« السابقةمتابعة »
PART II. Efficient Quarterly Registration of Electors. 7. The county council in every county shall appoint annually a county registration officer, who shall also be the returning officer at all parliamentary elections, under 38 & 39 Vict., c. 84, for all the constituencies in such county, and shall have power to appoint deputy returning officers.
8. Where a parish has a population according to the last census exceeding 500 in number, and (with the exception of the overseers) there is no vestry clerk or other officer whose duty it is to make out the lists of voters therein, the vestry shall appoint annually, before the 1st day of June, a local registration officer, whose duty it shall be to give the notices under the Registration Acts, and to prepare the lists of voters, claims, and objections for such parish, and do all other acts hereinafter provided for in respect of registration. The local registration officer shall be paid out of the county fund such a sum as may be approved by the Local Government Board. If in any such parish no local registration officer shall have been appointed by the 1st of June in any year, it shall be the duty of the overseers to report the fact to the county registration officer, who shall (with or without such report) immediately appoint a local registration officer for the said parish, with such remuneration, to be paid out of the county fund, as may be approved by the Local Government Board.
9. The overseers of any parish for which a local registration officer has not been appointed, may employ such persons as may be necessary for the purpose of serving notices, collecting returns, making enquiries, and otherwise aiding them in performing the duties hereinafter provided for in respect of registration.
10. On or before the 20th day of December, March, June, and September in every year, the person who is rated for cach tenement shall furnish the local registration officer in every parish with a list of the adult men and women who have resided in the tenement for the period of four weeks next preceding the 15th day of December, March, June, and September in that year. Any person who shall refuse or negligently omit to make the return, or wilfully or negligently inake a false or inaccurate return, may be prosecuted by the county registration officer, or by any other person, and shall be liable upon summary conviction thereof, to a fine not exceeding £5 for the first offence, and £10 for the second or any subsequent offence.
11. The local registration officer in every parish shall, on or before the last day in December in every year, make out a list of persons qualified to be registered as electors, alphabetically arranged, and another list in which the names shall be arranged in the same order in which their places of residence appear in the rate book for the parish in which the premises are situate.
12. The local registration officer in every parish shall, on or before the last day in March, June, and September in every year.
make out two supplementary lists containing the names arranged as
13. These lists shall be printed and published by being affixed on or before the 5th day of January, April, July, and October, in every year, to the door or notice board of all churches, chapels, and places of Worship, town halls, local board offices, and other municipal and parochial offices, post offices, telegraph offices, assize and county courts, public baths, wash-houses, libraries, museums, police stations, and all other buildings in the parish occupied for public purposes.
14. Any person who has not been included in the register or list may, on or before the 10th day of January, April, July, and October in every year, claim to have his name inserted. In such claim the full name and address must be inserted, and
the case of claims in respect of successive residence, all the addresses must be given in full.
The local registration officer shall provide all forms of claim free of charge.
15. Any elector may on or before the 10th day of January, April, July, and October in any year, by notice to the local registration officer, object to any person upon the register for the constituency in which such parish is situate, and in which he is an elector, on the ground, that he
1. Is dead;
unsound mind; or
or penal servitude. A copy of the notice of objection shall be forwarded by post by the person objecting to every person objected to.
16. The local registration officer in every parish shall, on or before the 15th day of January, April, July, and October, print and publish in the manner hereinbefore provided, the lists of claims and objections.
17. The local registration officer shall, in every quarter, obtain from the registrar or registrars of deaths in the district for which he is registration officer, a certified return showing the names in full of all adult persons who shall have died during the quarter, and the dates of their deaths; such return shall be made up to the 10th day of January, April, July, and October in every year, and shall be delivered free of charge to the local registration officer not later than the 15th day of January, April, July, and October in every year.
18. On or before the 15th day of January, April, July, and October in every year, the local registration officer in every parish shall forward to the county registration officer lists containing the names, arranged as herein before provided, of1. Persons who should be struck off the register, specifying the
residence in the same constituency;
All forms of claim, notices of objection, and any correspondence relating to them, and the return of deaths, shall be attached to the lists.
19. On the receipt by the county registration officer of the lists forwarded to him in accordance with the preceding sections of this Act, he shall examine them, and shall give notice in writing by post to all persons, other than persons returned as dead by the registrar of deaths, whom he proposes to strike off the register, or who have been objected to, that, unless reason to the contrary be shown within seven days, their names will be struck off the register.
If no objection be raised to the new electors or claimants, the county registration officer shall insert the names on the register forth with. In cases of claims in respect of successive occupation or residence, the county registration officer shall, if he think necessary, require a report from the local registration officer, verifying the claims or otherwise. Whenever it shall seem to the county registration officer necessary to hold a local enquiry in any parish, he shall give seven days' notice, by advertisement in one or more local newspapers, of the place, date, and time of such enquiry.
The register of voters for each parish shall be made up by the county registration officer, who shall classify it according to wards for all local elections, and according to the Parliamentary or other constituencies for other elections, and it shall come into force upon the 10th day of February, May, August, and November in every year.
The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office shall issue, free of charge, upon the application of any county registration officer, all necessary registration forms, and the county registration officer shall provide the local registration officers with all forms of claim and objection free of charge.
20. If any person making a claim or objection be dissatisfied with the decision of the county registration officer with regard to such claim or objection, he may within twenty-one days call upon the county registration officer to state a case for submission to the judge of the county court for the parish in which the person claiming or objected to resides.
21. If any local registration officer be reported to the Local Government Board by the county registration officer for misconduct, or for neglect in carrying out the provisions of this Act, the Local Government Board may order an official enquiry to be held, and if the charges of misconduct or neglect shall be substantiated to the satisfaction of the Local Government Board, the local registration officer may be dismissed, and the parish vestry shall, in such case, be forthwith convened for the appointment of a successor.
22. All expenses of the county registration officer in connection with the registration of voters shall be defrayed out of the county fund.
23. Any person whose name shall be on the register for more than one constituency, and who shall vote more than once at a general election of members of Parliament, or more than once in the same constituency at any other election, shall be liable on summary conviction thereof to a fine not exceeding £500, or to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months.
The present arrangements for registering the crowded dwellers in populous cities are virtually those which sufficed when the Statute of Henry VI. for the first time restricted the county franchise to 40s. freeholders. The electoral registration of London's five million souls is left to no better organization than that of a rural hamlet of the last century:
At present only one in eight of London's population is on the register, as compared with one in six of the United Kingdom outside London, and one in five in many provincial boroughs. The term of occupation is absurdly long, and so arbitrarily dated, that every removal in London practically involves from eighteen months' to two years' disfranchis, 'nent.
This part supersedes the cumbrous mas of legal technicalities con. tained in thirteen acts of parliament, and makes the work of registration as simple, economical, and nearly automatic as possible. The present interval of more than four months between the date of claim and the date on which the register comes into force, is reduced to one month. Adult suffrage is enacted with the minimum term of residence necessary for the purposes of registration. Under the existing Registration Acts, the work of registration, which is only done once a year, commences in April or May, and is not concluded till the 12th October, which is the last day for the holding of the Revision Court. Under such a scheme as that proposed, the Register would be made up four times a year, and the four registrations would only take a few weeks longer to prepare than the one list under existing regulations. The individual voter is relieved of trouble and expense in claiming and supporting his claim, and provision is made for the punishment of misconduct or wilful neglect on the part of the registration officers. The existing system of revision of the voters' lists is abolished, and a saving effected in the item of revising barristers' salaries in England of £25,000 a year. The work of preparing the register is left to parochial officials, subject to local control, but subject also to the general supervision of an officer appointed by the County Council. There will be only one register for all elections, local as well as parliamentary.
The term of qualification in other countries is almost everywhere excessive. In Natal, for English people, three years' residence is the qualifying term; for natives, twelve years. In New Zealand, one year's residence in the colony and six months' in the constituency are required before registration. In France and Queensland, six months; and in Japan, twelve months' resi. dence in the constituency qualifies. In the Netherlands, eighteen months' residence at home, or in the colonies, is sufficient. In the United States the provisions vary from State to State ; there is generally a minimum term of residence in the State required, which varies from six months to two years, and often, in addition, a residence of one month to six months in the particular constituency.
Payment of Election Expenses. 24. The returning officer at an election shall be entitled to his reasonable charges not exceeding the sums mentioned in the schedule to this Act in respect of services and expenses of the several kinds mentioned in the said schedule, which have been properly rendered or incurred by him for the purposes of the election. The amount of such charges shall be paid out of the county fund.
The returning officer shall not be entitled to payment for any other services or expenses or at any greater rates than as in the said schedule mentioned, any law or usage to the contrary notwithstanding; nor to any charges which are not duly included in his account rendered to the county treasurer, together with all receipts and other vouchers proving the expenditure, within twenty-one days after the day on which the return is made of the person or persons elected at the election. The schedule referred to is not printed in this Tract.
Reduction of Security from Candidates. 26. The returning officer shall require the sum of £10 to be deposited at the time of nomination by, or on behalf of, every candidate at a parliamentary election, and should any candidate poll fewer than one-tenth of the total votes polled or 500 votes, whichever shall be the smaller number, his deposit shall be forfeited and paid over to the county treasurer, and in any other case the deposit shall be refunded after the declaration of the poll; provided that no candidate shall be deemed to have been duly nominated until the deposit shall have been paid.
The necessity of retaining the obligation to give some security is obvious. Individuals are not wanted who thrust themselves upon the constituencies, without being the nominees of some organized body of electors, to whom the provision of the small amount of £10 would be easy. The penalty would operate as an obstacle to mere self-advertisement, but would not restrict the free choice of the electors.
The amount of security now required from candidates in this country varies from £100 to £700 in boroughs, and £150 to £1,000 in counties.
In Greece, each candidate is required to give £7 security;
In Natal, a deposit of £25 is required, and it is refunded if the candidate receives one-fifth of the votes polled by the lowest successful candidate.
Official Notification of Polling Places. 26. The returning officer in every constituency shall, three days before the day of election, forward by post to every elector an official poll-card, showing the names of the candidates, the number of the elector on the register, and the place at which he is entitled to poll. The poll-cards shall be transmitted through the Post Office and delivered free of charge, subject only to the regulations of the Post Office relating to inland letters. If any poll-card or form of promise to vote be printed or issued by any candidate or his agent, his election shall be void.
27. The returning officer in every constituency shall, within three days of the date of nomination, cause to be printed and posted