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after it is de
any county, city, borough, or other place, within England, latest, the day Wales, or for the town of Berwick upon Tweed, shall commanded, unmence on the day upon which the same shall be demanded, less it be Sunor upon the next day at farthest, (unless it shall happen to day, and must be a Sunday, and then on the day after); and shall more than 15 days. be duly and regularly proceeded in from day to day (Sundays excepted) until the same be finished, but so as that no poll for the election of any member or members to serve in parliament, shall continue more than fifteen days at most (Sundays excepted); and if such poll shall continue until the fifteenth day, then the same shall be finally closed at or before the hour of three in the afternoon of the same day; and the returning officer or officers at every such election shall, immediately, or on the day next after the final close Return to be of the poll, truly, fairly, and publicly declare the name or made at the names of the person or persons who have the majority of poll, or the day votes on such poll, and shall forthwith make a return of after, unless a such person or persons, unless the returning officer or manded. officers, upon a scrutiny being demanded by any candidate, or any two or more electors, shall deem it necessary to grant the same; in which case, it shall and may be lawful for him so
close of the
scrutiny is de
turns in case
to do, and to proceed thereupon, but so as that in all Regulations cases of a general election, every returning officer or for making reofficers having the return of a writ, shall cause a return of of a scrutiny. ! a member or members to be filed in the crown office on or before the day on which such writ is returnable; and every other returning officer or officers, acting under a precept or mandate, shall make a return of a member or members, in obedience to such precept or mandate, at least six days before the day of the return of the writ by virtue of which such election has been made; and so that in case of any election, upon a writ issued during a session or prorogation of parliament, and a scrutiny being granted as aforesaid, then that a return of a member or members shall be made within thirty days after the close of the poll, (or sooner, if the same can conveniently be done).
2. AND be it enacted, That whenever a scrutiny shall be granted as aforesaid, and there shall be more parties than one objecting to votes on such scrutiny, the returning Objections to officer or returning officers, shall decide alternately, or by voters to be turns, on the votes given for the different candidates who nately. shall be parties to such scrutiny, or against whom the same shall be carried on.
3. AND, in order that the electors may have full time and opportunity to poll, Be it enacted, That all and every returning officer and officers, unless prevented by an unavoidable accident, SHALL, during the continuance of the poll, on every day subsequent to the commencement of the same, cause the said poll to BE KEPT OPEN FOR SEVEN HOURS Poll to be kept AT THE LEAST IN EACH DAY, between the hours of eight in open seven hours daily. the morning and eight at night.
4. AND whereas inconveniences may arise from the time allowed by the laws now in being for proceeding to an election of a knight or knights to serve in parliament, for any county or shire in England or Wales; Be it en
acted, That immediately after the receipt of the writ for making any such election, and indorsing on the back thereof the day of receiving the same, as by law required, it shall and may be lawful for the sheriff of such county or shire, and he is hereby required, within two days after the receipt thereof, to cause proclamation to be made at the place where the ensuing election ought by law to be holden, of a special county court to be there holden for the purpose of such election only, on any day, Sunday excepted, not later from the day of making such proclamation than the sixteenth day, nor sooner than the tenth day; and that he begin between shall proceed in such election, at such special county court, 16th day after in the same manner as if the said election was to be held
days after receipt of the writ, proclamation to be
made of the election,
proclamation. at a county court, or at an adjourned county court, ac
cording to the laws now in being: Provided always, That the usual county court for all other purposes, or any adjournment made thereof, shall take place, be held, and proceeded in, by the sheriff, or his deputy, and may from time to time be further adjourned and proceeded in, in such and the same manner, and at the same times and places, as if the writ for the election of a knight or knights of the shire had not been received.
5. AND whereas, although from the various and disputed rights of voting in several cities, boroughs and other places, a positive oath of qualification cannot be required from the electors, yet it is apprehended that unqualified persons may be deterred from polling at such elections, under fictitious names or otherwise, by requiring from electors previously to their polling, the oath or affirmation herein-after mentioned; Be it therefore further enacted, That, from and after the said first day of August, 1785, upon every election to be made, within that part of Great Britain called England, or Wales, or town of Berwick upon Tweed, of any member or members to serve in parliament, in all cases where no oath or affirmation of qualification, other than the oaths or affirmations against bribery, or of allegiance, supremacy, and abjuration, can now by law be required, every person claiming to give his An oath to be vote at the said election, shall (if required by any canditaken previous date, or any person having a right to vote at such election), to polling. before he is admitted to poll, take the oath (or, being one of the people called Quakers, make the solemn affirmation) following; (that is to say),
"I do swear, (or being a Quaker, do affirm), That my name is A. B. and that I am the addition, profession, or trade of such person], and that the place of my abode is at in the county of [and if it is a town consisting of more streets than one, specifying what street]; and that I have not before polled at this election; and that I verily believe myself to be of the full age of twenty-one years.'
Which oath, or solemn affirmation, the returning officer or officers at such election, and his or their deputies and poll clerks, is or are hereby authorized and required to administer.
6. AND be it further enacted, That, from and after the first day of August, 1785, upon every election of any member or members to serve in parliament for any county, city, borough, or place, within England or Wales, or for Berwick upon Tweed, it shall and may be lawful for the Returning of returning officer or officers, if he or they see cause, and he rized to admiand they are in such case authorized, during the continu- nister oaths ance of any scrutiny which shall have been granted as tiny. aforesaid, to administer an oath to any person whatsoever consenting to take the same, touching the right of any person having voted at such election, or touching any other matter or thing material or necessary towards carrying on such scrutiny.
during a scru
7. AND whereas it is expedient that all persons employed as poll clerks at elections, should take an oath for the faithful discharge of their office, but the same is not at present required or authorized by law, except in counties and other places for which there are express provisions made by statute; Be it therefore enacted, That, from and after the said first day of August, 1785, at every election of any member or members of parliament for any city, borough or other place, within England or Wales, or town of Berwick upon Tweed, every person whom the returning officer or officers shall retain to act as a clerk in taking the poll shall, before beginning to take such poll, be sworn by Poll clerks to such returning officer or officers truly and indifferently to take an oath take the said poll, and to set down the name of each voter, discharge of and his addition, profession, or trade, and the place of his their duty. abode, and for whom he shall poll; and to poll no person who is not sworn or put to his affirmation, where, by this or any other statute, any oath or affirmation now is or hereafter shall be required, which oath of every such poll clerk the said returning officer or officers is or are hereby authorized and required to administer.
for the faithful
the pains in
Geo. 2. c. 25.
8. AND be it further enacted, That if any person, in Persons taktaking any oath or affirmation herein-before appointed or in others to authorized to be taken before any returning officer or offi- take, a false cers, shall thereby commit wilful perjury, and be thereof oath, liable to convicted; or if any person shall unlawfully and corruptly flicted by 5 Eliz. c. 9; and procure or suborn any other person to take any such oath or affirmation, whereby he or she shall commit such wilful perjury, and shall be thereof convicted, he or she so offending shall incur such pains and penalties as are inflicted in and by two acts of parliament, the one made in the 5th year of the reign of the late queen Elizabeth (intituled, An act for punishment of such person as shall procure or commit any wilful perjury); the other made in the 2d year of his late majesty king George the Second (intituled, An act for the more effectual preventing and further punishment of forgery, perjury, and subornation of perjury; and to make it felony to steal bonds, notes, or other securities for payment of money), for any perjury or subornation of perjury, contrary to the said acts.
9. PROVIDED always, and be it enacted, That nothing Not to extend to places in this act before contained shall extend to, or in any wise where particu
affect, alter, or regulate the mode or time of proceeding at been enacted any election of any member or members for any place where particular regulations, touching the duration of polls and scrutinies, are specially enacted by statute, but that every such election shall be begun and carried on in the same manner as if this act had not been made.
have not been
10. AND whereas an act was passed in the 10th year of his present majesty's reign (intituled, An act to regulate the trials of controverted elections, or returns of members to serve in parliament); and another act was passed in the 11th year of his said majesty's reign, for explaining and amending the said former act; and whereas no provision is made therein for the hearing and determining any petition, unless the same shall complain of an undue election or return of members to serve in parliament; Be it therefore Where returns enacted, That from and after the first day of August, 1785, duly made, a if upon any writ or writs to be issued for the electing of select commit any member or members to serve in parliament, no return pointed, con- shall be made to the same on or before the day which such formable to 10 writ is made returnable; or if a writ shall have been Geo. 3. c. 16, and 11 Geo. 3. issued during any session or prorogation of parliament, and no return shall be made to the same within fifty-two days after the day on which such writ bears date; or if the return made in either of such cases shall not be a return of a member or members, according to the requisition thereof, but contain special matters only concerning such election, it shall and may be lawful for any person or persons, having had, or claiming to have had, a right to vote at such election, or claiming to have had a right to be returned as duly elected thereat, who shall think himself or themselves aggrieved, to petition the house of commons concerning the same; and upon such petition being presented, a day and hour shall be appointed for taking the same into conNotice of the sideration, and notice thereof in writing shall be forthwith meeting of committees to given by the speaker to the petitioners, and to the returnbe given to the ing officer or officers by whom such return ought to have and returning been made, or shall have been made, accompanied with an officers. order to him or them to attend the house at the time ap
pointed, by himself or themselves, his or their council or
11. AND be it further enacted, That all and every of 10 Geo. 3; the rules, regulatious, authorities, and powers, given or
c. 16, and 11
prescribed by either of the said recited acts for regulating Geo. 3. c. 42, the trial of controverted elections, with respect to select this act. committees to be appointed by virtue of the said acts, or either of them, shall be in full force and effect with respect to select committees to be appointed by virtue of this present act, in as full and ample manner as if the same were herein repeated and particularly and specially enacted concerning the same.
pointed to ap
12. PROVIDED always, That if the returning officer When returnor officers, by whom such return ought to have been made, ing officers or has been made, cannot be found so as to be served with found, or do the notice or order herein-before mentioned, or being served not appear at shall not appear by himself or themselves, his or their other persons council or agents, at the day or time appointed for taking may be apsuch petition into consideration, it shall and may be lawful bear in their for the house to permit or authorize any person to appear when more in the stead of him or them; and in case there shall be no than one petimore petitions than one presented, complaining of such tion is prereturn, or omission of a return, on distinct interest, or com- house to deterplaining upon different grounds, the house shall determine, returning offfrom the nature of the case, whether the returning officer cer is to strike or officers, or person appearing in the stead of him or list of memthem, shall, together with such petitioners, be entitled to bers drawn by strike off from the list of members drawn by lot, in the manner directed by the said act, passed in the 11th year of the reign of his present Majesty, in the case where there shall be more than two parties before the house, or whether such list shall be reduced by the parties severally presenting the said petitions only.
13. AND be it enacted, That if any sheriff, or other Returning of returning officer or officers, who shall preside at any elec- ficers liable to tion of a member or members to serve in parliament for any for offences against this county, city, borough, or place, shall wilfully offend against, or act contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, every such person shall be liable to be prosecuted, by information or indictment in his majesty's court of king's bench, or at any court of oyer and terminer, great sessions, or gaol delivery, for the county, city, town, or place, where such offence shall be committed, in which no noli prosequi or cesset processus shall be granted; any law, custom, or usage to the contrary notwithstanding.
sued for neg
11. AND be it further enacted, That if any sheriff or Returning of returning officer shall wilfully delay, neglect, or refuse ficers may be duly to return any person who ought to be returned to lecting to reserve in parliament for any county, city, borough, or place turn persons duly elected. within Great Britain, every such person may, in case it shall have been determined by a select committee, appointed in the manner herein-before directed, that such person was entitled to have been returned, sue the sheriff, or other officer or officers, having so wilfully delayed, neglected, or refused duly to make such return, and every or any of them, at his election, in any of his majesty's courts of record at Westminster, or of the court of session in Scotland; and shall recover double the damages he shall sustain by reason thereof, together with full costs of suit.