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CHAP. III.

The next functionaries to be appointed are Poll-clerks. the poll-clerks, whose office it is to take the poll; to enclose and seal their several books at the close of each day, and publicly deliver them to the Sheriff, Under Sheriff, or Deputy, presiding at such poll; to admit no person to vote at a booth who claims to vote in respect of property situated in any places except those to which such booth is allotted; unless no booth is allotted for such places; in which case, the vote may be taken at any booth for the district including such places; or, unless such places are not included in any district; in which case, the vote is to be taken at the principal place of election.2 Each poll-clerk is to be paid one guinea a day at the ultimate expence of the candidates.3

Check-clerks.

Commissioners for

For each candidate there must be appointed by the Sheriff-or, in his absence, by the Under Sheriff as many check-clerks, or inspectors, as there are places where the poll is taken; and each check-clerk must be allowed by the Sheriff —or, in his absence, by the Under Sheriff, or by such person as he shall depute-one check-book, wherein to check the entries made in the particular poll-book which it is such check-clerk's duty to watch on behalf of the candidate for whom he acts.5

The commissioners for administering the administer voter's oath may also be selected; but it is ing the oath. questionable whether they can legally be appointed at this stage of the proceedings. The

116 Vic. c. 15, s. 2.

2 2 Will. IV. c. 45, s. 64 (qu. as to this prohibition "to admit" &c. having been repealed by 16 Vict. c. 15, & 1).

3 2 Will. IV. c. 45, s. 71; ante, p. 24. As to the number of poll-clerks, ib. note 3.

4 7 & 8 Will. III. c. 25, s. 4.

5 18 Geo. II. c. 18, s. 9.

6 Post, p. 80.

statute provides that they shall be appointed by CHAP. III. the Sheriff, on the written request of any of the candidates, made after a poll is demanded.1 In that case, the Act goes on to say, that the Sheriff, before proceeding further in taking the poll, must appoint two, or more, persons, as the case may require, who are to act, severally and at different places, apart from the places where the poll is taken; and who, immediately after being appointed, and before acting, are to be sworn as follows:

I do swear that I will faithfully and impartially ad- Commisminister the Oaths, and take the Declarations and Affirm- sioner's oath. ations, now required by law to be taken or made by Voters at Elections for members to serve in Parliament, to and from such Persons as shall lawfully apply to me in that Behalf, in order to qualify themselves to vote at this Election; and that I will, on being thereunto requested, fairly and truly give to every such Person, or any of them, who shall take such Oaths, or make such Declarations or Affirmations, respectively, or any of them, before me, a Certificate thereof; and that I will not give such Certificate to any person before he shall have taken such Oath or Oaths, or make such Declaration or Declarations, Affirmation or Affirmations, respectively, as shall be mentioned in such Certificate, before me and in my presence.2

The Sheriff must also provide a sufficient Constables. attendance of constables, or peace officers, in each booth, or place for polling in, for the purpose of taking into custody any body who may be charged with the offence of personation. But no person entitled to vote at the election is "compellable❞ to serve as a special constable, "unless he has consented to do so.' "14

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6 Vic. c. 18, s. 90. See, as to this offence, post,

P. 85.

17 & 18 Vic. c. 102, s. 8; APPENDIX, P. XXIX.

CHAP. III.

not preside

in person.

Having thus appointed his representatives

2

Sheriff need and staff, the Sheriff may, if he pleases, withdraw from any further direct concern with the election. To his Deputies, or to the Under Sheriff, may be left the ordering of the booths, or compartments, or the hiring of buildings, for polling in; subject, of, course, to the limitations, binding on the Sheriff himself, which have been stated.

Vacancy in

tween writ

If the Sheriff dies (and probably the same shrievalty be- rule would apply if he went out of office) after and election. receiving the writ, and before the election, and a suceessor is at once appointed, a new writ will be ordered by the House (if sitting) to his successor.3 The course does not seem to be equally clear where the death, or change, occurs during a recess, or on a general election.

Notice of election.

Form of notice.

In English and Welsh boroughs.] In every borough, city, and town, whether it be a county of itself or not, the Returning Officer must give notice of the time and place of the coming election in the following form, or to the like effect:

:

City [or Borough as the case may be] of
day of

In pursuance of a writ received by me

for electing

a Burgess [or Burgesses as the case may be], to serve in Parliament for the City [or Borough as the case may be], I do hereby give notice, that I shall proceed to election accordingly on the

in

day of at

o'clock

when and where all persons concerned are to give their attendance.

And take notice, that all persons who are guilty of bribery at the said election will, on conviction of such

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2 Will. IV. c. 45, s. 64.

3 Pembrokeshire, 11 Com. J. 338; Gloucester City, 14 Com. J. 88; Rogers, 40, 41. As to procuring the ap pointment of a successor, see ante, p. 13.

offence, be liable to the penalties mentioned in that be- CHAP. III. half in "The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854."

And take notice, that all persons who are guilty of treating or undue influence at the said election will, on conviction of such offence, be liable to the penalties mentioned in that behalf in "The Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854."

[Signature of the proper Officer.]

The notice must be published not later than Notice when the second day after the receipt of the writ; for published. the election must take place within six days after such receipt, and there must be at least three clear days between the day of election and the day of publishing the notice, exclusive of both. Subject to these limitations, the Returning Officer may publish it on what day he pleases, Sunday not excepted. The hours at which a valid publication can take place are the same as in county elections.3

election.

It results from the rules laid down in the last Time of paragraph, that the Returning Officer must fill up the blanks left in the foregoing form, for the day and month of election, according to the time at which he publishes the notice. That is to say, he may appoint the fourth, the fifth, or the sixth, day after the day on which he receives the writ, according as he publishes the notice on the very day of such receipt, or on the next day, or on the day after that. The blank as to the hour may be filled up according to his discretion.4

electior

The place of election is also left to his dis- Place of cretion, subject to the proviso (which, however, does not apply to the borough of Monmouth, or

117 & 18 Vic. c. 102, s. 11, sched. B, No. 2. APPENDIX, p. xxx.

2 16 & 17 Vic. c. 68, s. 3.

3 Ante, p. 21. Rogers, 13.

CHAP. III. to the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge)" that no election may be held in any church, chapel, or other place of public worship.2

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The signature at the foot of the notice may be written or printed.3

The notice must be "given publicly at the usual place or places." These have, however, been, in some instances, expressly settled by the legislature. Thus, at New Shoreham, Bramber, and Steyning, the notice must be fixed on the market-houses, or on the doors of the churches.5 And the same rule prevails at Cricklade, Highworth, Malmsbury, Swinton, and Wotton Basset;6 at Aylesbury, Missenden, Wendover, and Haddenham;7 at East Retford, Worksop, Tuxford, and Ollerton. Moreover, in Monmouth elections, the notice must be given to the Deputies for Newport and Usk, respectively.9 In the case of any Welsh borough, the notices must be given to the Deputies of every place which shares in the election.9

Except in the case of the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 10 every Returning Officer of a borough is under the same necessity as the Sheriff in a county election, of providing a certified copy of the register of voters for every booth or place used for polling in, in the event of a contest; and the expediency of his doing so beforehand, depends on the same considerations and enactments as have already been discussed."

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