Registration of Electors Act
Ley de Registro de Electores
LAWS OF DOMINICA
REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS ACT
13 of 1974
15 of 1975
4 of 1977
15 of 1979
16 of 1979*
12 of 1990
1. This Act may be cited as the -
HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY (ELECTIONS) ACT
2. Interpretation. [12 of 1990]. S.I. 1978 No. 1027 (U.K.) [Schedule I].
In this Act - "Chief Elections Officer" means the Chief Elections Officer appointed under section 87 of the Constitution;
"Commission" means the Electoral Commission established under section 56 of the Constitution;
"constituency" means a constituency as defined in the Registration of Electors Act;
"election" means an election of a member or members to serve in the House of Assembly;
"election documents" means the documents which the returning officer is required by section 44(1) to transmit to the Chief Elections Officer after an election;
"election officer" includes the Chief Elections Officer, every supervisor of enumerators, returning officer, election clerk, presiding officer, poll clerk, enumerator or other person having any duty to perform pursuant to this Act, to the faithful performance of which duty he may be sworn in;
"elector" means any person whose name is on any list of electors;
"finally revised list" means the list of electors for any polling district which has been revised by the registration officer in accordance with the provisions of the Registration of Electors Regulation, certified and forwarded to the Chief Elections Officer for printing;
"Form," identified by a number, means the Form of that number set out in the Schedule;
"list of electors" means either the preliminary list of electors, the finally revised list of electors or the official list of elecotrs as herein defined, as the context requires;
"official list" means the finally revised list of electors for any polling station which has been printed for use at such polling station;
"poll book" means the book in Form 20 in which the name and other particulars of every person applying to vote are consecutively entered by the poll clerk as soon as the applicant's right to vote at the polling station has been ascertained and before any such applicant is allowed to vote;
"polling day" means the day fixed for holding the poll at an election;
"polling district" means any polling district constituted in accordance with the provisions of the Registration of Electors Act;
"polling station" means any room secured by the returning officer for the taking of votes of the electors on polling day and to which the official list of electors for a polling district is alloted;
"preliminary list of electors" means the list of electors prepared by the enumerators in accordance with the provisions of the Registration of Electors Regulations;
"prescribed" means prescribed by regulations made under the provisions of this Act;
"register of electors" means the register of electors prepared under Part II of the Registration of Electors Act and described in section 17 of that Act;
"rejected ballot paper" means a ballot paper which has been handed by the presiding officer to an elector to cast his vote but which at the close of the poll has been foudn in the ballot box unmarked or so improperly marked that in the opinion of the presiding officer or returnign officer it cannot be counted;
"spoiled ballot paper" means a ballto paper which, on polling day, has not been deposited in the ballot box but has been found by the presiding officer to be soiled or improperly printed, or which has been handed by the presiding officer to an elector to cast his vote, and - 1. has been spoiled in marking by the elector; and 2. has been handed back to the presiding officer and exchanged for another;
"voter" means any person who votes at an election;
"writ" means the writ for an election.
3. Constituencies. [9 of 1960, 12 of 1990]. S.I. 1978. No. 1027 (U.K.). 43/1973.
There shall, in pursuance of section 33 of the Constitution, be elected to the House of Assembly, in the manner prescribed by the provisions of this Act, representatives to the constituencies established in accordance with section 57 of the Constitution, subject to the transitional provisions of paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 2 to the Commonwealth of Dominica Constitution Order 1978 (transitionally adopting the twenty-one constituencies established by the Boundaries Commission Order).
REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS
QUALIFICATION OF ELECTORS
4. Powers and duties of the Chief Elections Officer [12 of 1990].
1. The Chief Elections Officer shall -
a. exercise general direction and supervision over the administrative conduct of elections and enforce on the part of all election officers fairness, impartiality and compliance with the provisions of this Act;
b. issue to election officers such isntructions as from time to time he may consider necessary to ensure effective execution of the provisions of this Act;
c. execute and perform all other powers and duties which by this Act are conferred and imposed on him
2. The Chief Elections Officer shall receive such remuneration as may be approved by Parliament.
5. Appointment of supervisor of enumerators.
The Commission may from time to time, on the recommendation of the Chief Elections Officer, appoint supervisors of enumerators who shall receive such remuneration as may be prescribed. The supervisors of enumerators shall perform such duties as the Commission or the Chief Elections Officer shall assign to them.
6. Returning officers.
1. The Commission may from time to time, on the recommendation of the Chief
Election Officer, appoint for each constituency a returning officer who shall
receive such remuneration as may be prescribed.
2. Forthwith upon his appointment each returning officer shall take and subscribe
an oath in Form 7 and shall transmit the oath to the Chief Elections Officer.
3. Forthwith upon taking the oath referred to in subsection (2), the returning
officer shall establish an office in his constituency, or, where any person
has been appointed returning officer for more than once constituency, in one
of the constituencies or with the approval of the Chief Elections Officer
at some convenient place outside of either of the constituencies, and shall
cause and advertisement to be inserted in a local newspaper specifying the
place at which he has established his office.
7. Elections clerks.
1. The Chief Elections Officer may appoint an election clerk to assit each
returning officer. The clerk shall receive such remuneration as may be prescribed.
2. Forthwith upon his appointment, the election clerk shall take an oath in
Form 8 and shall transmit the oath to the returning officer.
3. If at any time between the issue of a writ for an election and the declaration
of the result of that election the returning officer dies or becomes incapable
of performing his duties as such, the election clerk shall forthwith report
the fact to the Chief Elections Officer and shall discharge all the duties
and exercise all the powers of the returning officer until some other returning
officer is appointed or the former officer ceases to be incapable of performing
his duties, as the case may be.
8. Substitute election clerks.
1. Forthwith upon commencing to discharge the duties of returning officer
in accordance with section 7, the elections clerk shall appont a substitute
election clerk who, unless sooner removed by the Chief Elections Officer,
shall perform all the duties and exercise all the powers of the election clerk
until such time as the election clerk ceases to perform the duties and to
exercise the powers of the returning officer.
2. Forthwith upon commencing to discharge the duties of the election clerk,
the substitute eleciton clerk shall take the oath required by section 7 to
be taken by the election clerk.
3. The substitute election clerk shall receive, in respect of his services
as such, such sum as the Commission may in any particular case appoint.
9. Presiding officers.
1. The Chief Elections Officer shall, subject to the approval of the Commission,
appoint a presiding officer for each polling station in the constituency who
shall receive such remuneration as may be prescribe.
2. Forthwith upon his appointment each presiding officer shall take and subscribe
an oath in Form 9 and shall transmit the oath to the returning officer.
10. Poll clerks.
1. The Chief Elections Officer shall appont a poll clerk for each polling
station in such district who shall receive such remuneration as may be prescribed.
2. Forthwith upon his apointment every poll clerk shall take and subscribe
an oath in Form 10 and shall transmit the oath to the returning officer.
3. If any presiding officer dies or becomes incapable of performing his duties
during the taking of the poll, the poll clerk shall forthwith assume the office
of presiding officer and shall appoint some other person to act as poll clerk.
4. Ever person appointed to act as poll clerk under subsection (3) shall forthwith
take and subscribe the oath of a poll clerk.
11. Oaths to be taken before justice of the peace, returning officers, presiding officers or poll clerks.
Every election officer and every person who is required by this Act to take an oath may take the oath either before a justice of the peace or before any registration officer, returning officer or presiding officer or poll clerk appointed in accordance with the provisions of this Act and every such registration officer, returning officer or presiding officer or poll clerk is hereby authorised and empowered to administer any oaths required by this Act to be made by any election officer or other person.
ARRANGEMENTS FOR ELECTIONS
12. Issue of writs for holding elections. [12 of 1990].
2. Every such writ shall be in Form 1 and shall specify the day and place of nomination of candidates, the day of which, if necessary, the poll shall be taken, being not less than fifteen and not more than twenty-one days after the day fixed for the nomination of candidates, and the day on which the writ is returnable to the President.
3. Upon receipt of the writ every returning officer shall proceed to hold the election in the manner hereinafter provided.
13. Notice of place and time of election. [2 of 1987, 12 of 1990].
Upon the issue by the President of a writ, the Chief Elections Officer shall giver notice thereof and of the day and place fixed for the nomination of candidates, by publication in the Gazette at least ten clear days before the day fixed for the nomination; and the returning officer shall give further notice of the issue o fthe write and of the time and place fixed for the nomination of candidates by causing notices in Form 11 to be posted of affixed in some conspicuous place near the principal door of every court house, police station, and revenue office of the relevant constituency and in any other place he may think necessary.
14. Copies of lists of electors to be obtained.
Before the day fixed for the nomination of candidates the returning officer shall obtain from the Chief Elections officer the prescribed number of copies of the lists of electors for the time being in force by virtue of this Act.
Procedure at Elections
15. Nomination of candidates
2. Every candidate for election -
2. must consent in writing to the nomination in Form 12; - but no candidate shall be deemed to have been validly nominated by reason only of the fact that subsequent to nomination day any person by whom his nomination paper was signed is struck off the list of electors for the relevant constituency.
4. Every candidate shall at the time of his nomination deliver or cause to be delivered to the returning officer a statutory declaratio of his qualifications made and subscribed by the candidate or, if the candidate is absent from the State on nomination day, by his duly authorised agent, in Form 13 or Form 14, as the case may be. If the statutory declaration is not delivered as aforesaid the nomination of the candidate shall be deemed to be void.
5. Every candidate or someone on his behalf shall at the time of his nomination deposit, or cause to be deposited, with the returning officer, the sum of five hundred dollars in cash, and if he fails to do so, the nomination of the candidate shall be deemed to be void.
16. Disposal of deposit.
2. The full amount of every such deposit shall be returned by the Financial Secretary to the person who made the deposit or his personal representatives, as the case may be, upon the production by him or by them, within one month of the conclusion of the election in respect to which the deposit was made of a certificte fromt he Chief Election Officer that the candidate was elected or polled not less than one-eigth of the total number of votes counted at the election, or died before the close of the poll on polling day.
3. For the purposes of this section the number of votes polled shall be deemed to be the number of ballot papers (other than rejected ballot papers and spoiled ballot papers) counted.
4. Except as otherwise provided in this section, every such deposit shall, at the expiration of one month, from the conclusion of the election in respect of which it was made, be credited to general revenue.
17. Uncontested elections.
If at the expiration of seven hours from the time appointed there is only one candidate duly nominated, the returning officer shall forthwith publicly declare that candidate to be elected, and shall immediately thereafter certify by endorsement on the writ of election in Form 15 the return of that candidate and shall retrun the writ so endorsed to the Chief Elections Officer for transmission to the President within the time for that purpose specified therein.
18. Contested election adjournment to take the poll. [2 of 1987].
2. The returning officer shall as soon as practicable after adjourning the election, give notice of the day and time on which and the addresses of the polling stations at which the poll will be taken and of the names of the candidates nominated for election and of the place where and the day and time when the number of votes given to the several candidate will be finally counted, by publication thereof, in the Gazette and in at least one local newspaper or on national radio; and by causing notices to be posted or affixed in some conspicuous place near the principal door of every court house, police station and revenue office and in any other place in the constituency as he may think necessary in Form 16.
19. Power to adjourn polling day in event of emergency. [12 of 1990].
2. the procalamation of any state of emergency under the Emergency Powers Act or the Constitution;
3. the occurrence of any earthquake, hurricane, flood, fire, outbreak of pestilence or outbreak of infectious desease or other calamity whether similar to the forgoing or not; or
4. the likelihood that the final electoral list for all constituencies or for any particular constituency will not be printed before the day appointed under section 12 for the holding of the poll or that any essential electoral supplies or materials will not be available in adequate quantitites upon such day.
- he may by Proclamation adjourn the holding of the poll for some other day specified in the Proclamation not being more than thirty days after the day specified in the writ issued under section 12.
2. Any Proclamation under subsection (1) made pursuant to subsection (1)(c) or (d) may be expressed to apply only to the constituencies as are specified in the Proclamation in which event the poll shall be taken in any constituency not so specified upon the day appointed for the taking of the poll under section 12.
3. Where any Proclamation is made under this section the writs for all constituencies to which the Proclamation applies shall be deemed to have been amended by the substitution for the day specified in the writs as being the day for the holding of the poll of the day so specified in the Proclamation.
4. Where any Proclamation under this section is made before the day which would have been nomination day if the Proclamation had not been made, nomination day shall be deemed to have been adjourned to the twenty-third day next before the day to which the holding of the poll is adjourned by the Proclamation; but if the twenty-third day is a public holiday nomination day shall be deemed to be adjourned to the first day not being a public holiday after the twenty-third day.
5. Where any Proclamation is made under this section after nomination day the adjournment by the Proclamation of the day upon which the poll is taken shall in no way affect the validity of any nomination validly made upon nomination day and no other nomination shall be made.
20. Withdrawl of candidature. [12 of 1990].
1. Any candidate duly nominated may, not less than seven clear days before the day fixed for taking the poll, withdraw from his candidature by giving notice to the effect, signed by him, to the returning officer, provided that on the withdrawl there remains not less than one duly nominated candidate.
2. If any such candidate withdraws from his candidature in accordance with subsection (1), or dies, before the day fixed for taking the poll, the returning officer shall forthwith give public notice of the withdrawl or death in the prescribed manner; and if on the withdrawl or death there remains only one duly nominated candidate, the returning officer shall forthwith declare such candidate to have been elected, and shall immediately thereafter certify by endorsement on the writ of election the return of such candidate in Form 17, and shall return the writ so endorsed to the Chief Elections Officer for transmission to the President within the time for that purpose specified therein.
21. Taking of poll and the ballot.
2. The ballot of each voter shall be a printed paper, in this Act called a ballot paper, on which the names, addresses and occupations of the candidates alphabetically arranged in the order of their surnames and numbered accordingly shall be printed exactly as they are set out in their respective nomination papers. Opposite to the name of each candidature there shall be a prescribed symbol. The ballot papers shall have a counterfoil and a stub, and there shall be a line of perforations between the ballot and the counterfoil and between the counterfoil and the stub, the whole as in Form 18.
3. The ballot papers shall be numbered on the top of the stub and the counterfoil, the same number being printed or written on the stub as on the counterfoil. The ballot papers shall be bound or stitched in books containing ten, twenty-five, fifty or one hundred ballots.
22. Establishment of polling stations.
The returning officer shall establish for each polling district such number of polling stations as the Chief Elections Officer shall determine, each polling station being in premises of convenient access, with an outside door for the aminission of electors, and, where possible, with another door through which electors may leave after they have voted, and each presiding officer shall take care beforehand that his polling station is provided with proper doors, barriers, tables, charis and other conveniences, and that the same are properly arranged for carrying out the provisoins of this Act with respect to taking of the poll.
23. Supplies of election material.
2. a statement showing the number of ballot papers so supplied, with their serial numbers;
3. the necessary materials for electors to mark their ballot papers;
4. at least three copies of printed directions in Form 19 for the guidance of electors in voting;
5. a copy of or excerpts from this Act;
6. three copies of the official list of electors for use at his polling station;
7. a ballot box;
8. a blank poll box;
9. the several forms of oath to be administered to electors printed together on a card; and
10. the necessary envelopes and such other forms and supplies as may be authorised or furnished by the Chief Elections Officer.
2. Until the opening of the poll the presiding officer shall keep the blank poll book, official lists of electors, forms of oaths, envelopes, ballot papers and election supplies carefully locked up in the ballot box, and shall take every precaution for their safe keeping and to prevent any person from having unlawuful access to them.
3. Before the hour fixed for the opening of the poll the presiding officer shall post up in each compartment of the polling station and in a conspicuous place outside of the polling station one copy of the directions referred to in subsection (1)(d).
24. Inspection of polling station by presiding officer.
Each presiding officer shall, on or before the day fixed for taking the poll, visit his polling station and see that it is provided with proper convenience as aforesaid for taking the poll.
25. Hours for taking the poll.
The taking of the poll at each polling station shall be between seven o'clock in the morning and five o'clock in the afternoon of the same day.
26. Ballot boxes.
2. Every ballot box shall be made of some durable material, with one lock and key and a slit or narrow opening in the top, and so constructed that the ballot papers may be introduced therein but cannot be withdrawn therefrom unless the box is unlocked.
27. Electors to vote only in district upon list for which their names appear.
2. Ever person whose name appears upon the official list of electors for any polling district shall be entitled to vote in that polling station district notwithstanding that he is not resident of that polling district upon polling day. However, no person shall vote in more than one constituency or at more than one polling station in the same constituency or more than once in the same constituency on the same day.
28. Penalty. Any person contravening any of the provisions in section 27 is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for six months.
29. Restriction on number of candidates for whose election vote may be cast.
No person shall vote for the election of more than one candidate.
30. Transfer of electors in special cases.
2. The returning officer shall give notice in writing to every candidate in his constituency of any transfer made during subsection (1) and to the presiding officer of the polling station at which the person whose name is so transferred would have been entitle to vote but for the provisions of section 31.
31. Where transferred elector to vote.
2. Every presiding officer who issues to any person whose name has been transferred from any official list to any other official list any ballot paper at any polling station other than the polling station of the polling district to which that person's name has been transferred, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars or to imprisonment for one month.
32. Proceedings at poll.
2. Immediately after the ballot box is so locked, the presiding officer shall call upon the elector to vote.
3. The presiding officer shall secure the admittance of every elector into the polling station, and shall see that they are not impeded or molested at or about the polling station.
4. Each elector, upon entering the polling station, shall declare his name, residence and occupation. The poll clerk shall then ascertain if the name of the elector appears on the official list of electors used at the polling station. When it has been ascertained that the applicant elector is qualified to vote at the polling station, his name, address and occupation shall be entered in the poll book to be kept by the poll clerk in Form 20, his electoral registration number in the appropriate column of the poll book, and the elector shall be immediately allowed to vote, unless an election officer or any agent of a candidate present at the polling station desired that he be first sworn.
5. The poll clerk shall -
2. enter in the poll book opposite the name of each voter as soon as the voter's ballot paper has been deposited in the ballot box, the word "Voted";
3. enter int he poll book the word "Sworn" or "Affirmed" opposite the name of each elector, to whom any oath or affirmation has been administered indicating the nature of the oath or affirmation; and
4. enter in the poll book the words "Refused to be sworn" or "Refused to affirm", opposite the name of each elector who has refused to take an oath or to affirm, when he has been legally required to do so, or has refused to answer questions which he has been legally required to answer.
33. Who are to be admitted within the polling station.
2. The agents shall be posted in such a place that they can see each person who presents himself as an elector, and hears his name as given in by him, bu so that they cannot see how any voter votes. They shall not interfere in the proceedings save in so far as may be allowed by this Act. Preservation of order
3. If any person persists, after being warned, in disobeying the directions of the presiding officer or in acting in contravention of this section it shall be lawful for the presiding officer to cause him to be removed from the polling station.
34. General mode of taking ballot. [5 of 1977, 12 of 1990].
1. Each elector shall receive from the presiding officer a ballot paper on which such officer has previously put his initioals so placed as indicated on Form 18 that when the ballot paper is folded they can be seen without opening it, and on the counterfoil of which he has placed the elector's electoral registration number entered in the poll book opposite the name of the elector.
2. The presiding officer shall instruct the elector how to make his mark, and shall properly fold the elector's ballot, directing him to return it, when marked, folded as shown, but without iquiring or seeing for whom the electors intends to vote, except when the elector is unable to vote in the manner prescribed by this Act on account of blindness or other physical incapacity.
3. The elector on receiving the ballot papers shall forthwith enter one of the polling compartments and there mark his ballot paper by marking with a black lead pencil and not otherwise a cross within the space containing the name of the candidate for whom he intends to vote, and he shall then fold the ballot paper as directed so that the initials and the numbers on the counterfoil can be seen without opening it, and hand the paper to the presiding officer who shall, without unfolding it, ascertain by examination of the initals and nubers appearing thereon that is is the same paper as that delivered to the elector and if the same he shall forthwith in full view of the voter and all the other present remove the counterfoil and deposit the ballot paper in the ballot box.
4. An elector who has inadvertently so dealth with the ballot paper delivered to him that it cannot conveniently be used shall restore it to the presiding officer who shall cancel it by writing the word "Spoiled" across the face of the smae. The presiding officer shall then deliver another ballot paper to the elector.
5. Every elector shall vote without undue delay and shall leave the polling station as soon as his ballot paper has been put into the ballot box.
6. If at the hour of closing of the poll there are any electors inside the polling station who are qualified to vote and have not been able to do since their arrival at the polling station, the poll shall be kept open a sufficient time to enable them to vote, but subject to subsection (7) , no one not actually present within the polling station at the hour of closing shall be allowed to vote.
7. If the polling station is too small to accommodate all the people present, the presiding officer shall allow to vote any person who at the hour of closure of the poll were present at the station for the purpose of voting notwithstanding that such persons were not actually within the station.
35. Questions which may be put to an elector.
2. have you already voted at this election either here or elswhere?
2. If any person refuses to answer any question put to him as in this section provided, the presiding officer shall refuse to give him a ballot paper.
3. If any person makes a false answer to any such question he is liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for six months.
36. Mode of taking ballot in special cases. [12 of 1990].
2. In such case, the presiding officer shall put on the ballot paper his initials together with the voter's electoral registration number entered in the poll book opposite the name of the voter, and the poll clerk shall enter in the poll book -
2. a note of his having voted on a second ballot paper issued under the same name;
3. the fact of the oath of identity having been required and taken, and the fact of any other oaths being so required or taken; and
4. any objections made on behalf of any, and of which, of the candidates.
3. An elector who is incapacitated by any physical cause other than blindness from voting in the manner prescribed in this Act, may apply to the presiding officer to adopt one of the following modes of voting:
2. alternatively, the elector may apply to the presiding officer to be allowed to vote with the assistance of another person by whom he is accompanied (in this subsection referred to as "the companion"), in which case -
2. on the elector making such oath the presiding officer shall require the companion to make a declaration in Form 25, that the companion is a qualified person whithin the meaning of subsection (4) and has not previously assisted more than one physically incapacitated person to vote at the election;
3. upon the applicant and the companion complying with subparagraphs (i) and (ii), and subject to the provisions of this Act, the presiding officer shall grant the application, and thereupon anything which by this Act required to be done to or by the elector in connection with the giving of his vote may be done to, or with the assistance of, the companion.
4. For the purpose of susection (3)(b), a person is qualified to assist a physically incapacitated person if that person is either -
2. the father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, son or daughter of the physically incapacitated elector and has attained the age of eighteen years.
5. The presiding officer shall either deal with a blind elector in the same manner as with an otherwise incapacitated elector, or, at the request of any blind elector who has taken the oath in Form 24, and is accompanied by a friend who is an elector in the polling district, shall permit the friend to accompany the blind elector into the voting compartment and mark the elector's ballot paper for him; and if the elector so requests, the presiding officer shall accompany them into the voting compartment and the friend shall mark the ballot paper in the presence ofthe presiding officer. No person shall at any election be allowed to act as the friend of more than one blind elector.
6. Any friend who is permitted to mark the ballot paper of a blind elector as aforesaid shall be first required to take an oath in Form 25A that he will keep secret the name of the candidate for whom the ballot of the blind elector is marked by him, and that he has not already acted as the friend of a blind elector for the purpose of marking his ballot paper at the pending election.
7. Whenever any elector has had his ballot paper marked as provided in subsection (3) or (5), the poll clerk shall enter in the poll book opposite the elector's name, in addition to any other requisite entry, the reason why the ballot paper was so marked.
37. Who may vote.
2. An elector, if required by the presiding officer, the poll clerk, one of the candidates or an agent of a candidate, or by an elector present, shall take and oath in Form 27, and if he refuses to take the oath, erasing lines shall be drawn through his name on the list of electors and in the poll book, if his name has been entered in the said book, and the words "refused to be sworn" shall be written thereafter.
38. Who may be present.
2. The agent of each candidate, on being admitted to the polling station, shall take an oath in Form 28, to keep secret the name of the candidate for whom any of the voters has makred his ballot paper in his presence.
3. Agents of candidates may, with the permission of the presiding officer, absent themselves from and return to the polling station at any time before one hour previous to the close of the poll.
39. Proceedings after poll. [5 of 1977, 12 of 1990].
2. count the spoiled ballot papers, if any, place them in the special envelope supplied for that purpose and indicate theron the number of the spoile ballot papers and seal it up;
3. count the unused ballot papers, place them with all the stubs of all the used ballot papers in the special enveloped supplied for that purpose and indicate thereon the number of the unused ballot papers;
4. check the number of ballot papers supplied by the returning officer against the number of spoiled ballot papers, if any, the number of unused ballot papers and the number of voters whose names appear in the poll book as having voted, in order to ascertain that all ballot papers are accounted for;
5. open the ballot box and empty its contents upon the table;
6. record and count the number of votes given to each candidate on the tally sheet supplied, giving full opportunity to those present to examine each ballot paper. The poll clerk and not less than two witnesses shall be supllied with tally sheets upon which they may keep their own score as each vote is called out by the presiding officer. The count of votes under this paragraph shall be referred to as the preliminary count.
2. In counting the votes, the presiding officer shall reject all ballot papers -
2. which have not been marked for any candidate;
3. on which votes have been given for more than one candidate; or
4. upon which there is any writing or mark by which the voter could be identified, but no ballot paper shall be rejected on account of -
2. the presence thereon of any mark, other than the voter's mark, or any smear or smudge from any cause whatsoever arising, unless the ballot paper fails to convey the intention of the voter to vote for any particular candidate.
3. If, in the course of counting the votes, any ballot paper is found with the counterfoil still attached thereto, the presiding officer shall (carefully concealing the numbers thereon from all persons present and without examining them himself) remove the counterfoil. He shall not reject the ballot paper merely by reason of his former failure to remove the counterfoil.
4. If, in the course of counting the votes, the presiding officer discovers that he has omitted to affix his initials to any ballot paper, as provided by section 34(1), and as indicated in Form 18, he shall, in the presence of the poll clerk and the agents of the candidates, affix his initials to the ballot paper and shall count the ballot paper as if it had been initialled by him in the first place, provided that he is satisfied that the ballot paper is one that has been supplied by him and that such an omission has really been made, and also that every ballot paper supplied to him by the returning officer has been accounted for, as provided by subsection (1)(d).
5. Nothing in subsections (2), (3) or (4) shall relieve the presiding officer from any penalty to which he may have become liable by reason of his having placed any writing, number or mark, other than his initials, on any ballot paper, or of his failure to remove the counterfoil at the time of the casting of the vote to which it relates or of his failure to affix his initials to any ballot paper before handing it to an elector.
6. The presiding officer shall keep a record on the special form printed in the poll book of every objection, made by any candidate, or his agent or any elector present, to any ballot paper found in the ballot box, and shall decide every question arising out of the objection. The decision of the presiding officer shall be final, subject to reversal on the final count by the returning officer or on petition questioning the election or return; and every such objection shall be numbered, and a corresponding number placed on the back of the ballot paper and initialled by the presiding officer.
7. All the ballot papers not rejected by the presiding officer shall be counted and a list shall be kept of the number of votes given to each candidate and of the number of rejected ballot papers. The ballot papers which respectively indicate the votes given for each candidate shall be put into separate envelopes; all rejected ballot papers shall be put into a special envelope and all such envelopes shall be endorsed so as to indicate their contents, and shall be sealed by the presiding officer and by such agents or witnesses present as may desire to seal them or to sign their names theron in addition or instead.
8. The presiding officer and the poll clerk, immediately after the completion of hte counting of the votes, shall take and subscribe respectively the oaths in Forms 29and 30 which shall remain attached to the poll book.
9. The presiding officer shall make the necessary number of copies of the statement of the poll in Form 31, one copy to remain attached to the poll book, one copy to be retained by the presiding officer and one copy for the returning officer, which shall be enclosed in a special envelope supplied for the purpose, which envelope he shall seal and deliver personally or transmit to the returning officer.
10. The poll book, the several envelopes containing the ballot papers unused, spoiled, rejected or counted for each candidate (each lot in its proper envelope) the envelope containing the official list of electors and other documents used at the poll shall then be placed in the large envelope supplied for the purpose, and this envelope shall then be sealed and placed in the ballot box. The ballot box shall then be locked and sealed with the seal of the presiding officer and forthwith transmitted or delivered to the returning officer. The returning officer may specially appoint one or more persons for the purpose of collecting the ballot boxes from a given number of polling stations and such person or persons shall, on delivering the ballot boxes to the returning officer, take the oath in Form 32.
11. The presiding officer shall, with the ballot box, transmit or deliver to the returning officer, in the envelope provided for that purpose, the key of the ballot box, and the preliminary statement of the poll in Form 31.
12. The presiding officer shall transmit to the returning officer -
1. the ballot box;
2. the envelope containing the key thereof; and
3. the preliminary statement of the poll, in such manner as the Chief Elections Officer may direct.
13. If any presiding officer omits to enclosed within the ballot box, and in the proper envelopes provided for that purpose, any of the documents mentioned in ths section, he shall, in addition to any other punishment to which he may be liable, forfeit all all right to payment for his services as such officer.
Each candidate may appoint one agent to attend the preliminary and final count of the votes by the presiding officer and the returning officer. The appointment shall be in writing in Form 21.
Note on Validation
Act No. 15 of 1979 (Registration of Electors (Validation) Act 1979) validated the failure of the Chief Registering Officer to publish the preliminary register of electors and the final register of electors within the time required by this Act (Ch. 2:03) f or the year 1979.
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