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Duties at subscribe a declaration to the purport or effect following; the reCounty quest to be in writing, and signed by the candidate or the said two or more electors (that is to say):—


Time of polling.

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Declaration of Candidate.

IA. B. do solemnly and sincerely declare that I am to the best of my knowledge and belief duly qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Commons according to the true intent and meaning of the Act passed in the Second Year of the reign of Queen Victoria intituled An Act to amend the Laws relating to the Qualification of Members to serve in Parliament" and that my qualification to be so elected doth arise out of [here let the party state the nature of his qualification as the case may be; if the same ariseth out of lands, tenements, or hereditaments, let him state the barony or baronies, parish or parishes, township or townships, precinct or precincts, and also county or counties, in which such lands, tenements or hereditaments are situate, and also the estate in the said lands, tenements, or hereditaments, or in the rents or profits thereof, of or to which he is seised or entitled; or, if the same ariseth out of personal estate or effects, let him state of what nature and where situate such personal estate or effects are, and what interest he hath in such personal estate or effects, and upon what securities and in whose names the same are vested] as hereunder set forth.

And the election and return of any person, who, upon such request as aforesaid, shall wilfully refuse or neglect to make and subscribe the said declaration, within twenty-four hours after such request shall have been so made, shall be void. This declaration is made before the returning officer at any election, or a commissioner for that purpose lawfully appointed, or any justice of the peace within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The returning officer, commissioner or justice of the peace, before whom the said declaration shall be made, is required to certify the making thereof, when the same shall have been made in England or Wales, unto the High Court of Chancery, or to the Court of Q. B. in England, and when the same shall have been made in Ireland unto the High Court of Chancery, or to the Court of Q. B. in Ireland, within three months after the making of the same, under the penalty of 1007.

Certificate of Declaration.

day of

I do hereby certify that C. D. one of the candidates for the Eastern Division of the county of C. being first duly requested in writing in that behalf such request being made and signed by A. B. one of the candidates at the said election [or "by C. and D. being two registered electors having respectively a right to vote at the said election"] did on the 18- before me duly authorised in that behalf make and subscribe a declaration that he to the best of his knowledge and belief was duly qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Commons according to the true intent and meaning of the Act passed in the second year of the reign of Queen Victoria intituled "An Act to amend the Laws relating to the Qualification of Members to serve in Parliament."

Sir G. M. Bart. High Sheriff.

If a poll be demanded, the Court must be adjourned over to the next day but two after the day of nomination; unless such next day but two shall be Sunday, then the adjournment must be to the following Monday. On the adjournment day, the poll is to

a 2 Will. 4, c. 45, 62.

Duties at

County Election.


commence at 8, and continue to 5 o'clock. If the proceedings, at the election, be interrupted or obstructed by any riot or open violence, the Sheriff or his deputy cannot finally close the poll for such cause. His duty is to adjourn the poll, at the place where the Interrupinterruption or obstruction takes place, until the following day, tion by riot, and, if necessary, further adjourn the same until such interruption or obstruction shall have ceased, when he must again proceed to take the poll at such place. Whenever the poll is adjourned, in such a case, by the Sheriff's deputy, he must forthwith give notice of the adjournment to the Sheriff; and he must not finally declare the state of the poll, or make proclamation of the members chosen, until the poll so adjourned, at such place, shall have been formally closed, and delivered or transmitted to the Sheriff. In case of disturbance by an individual, the Sheriff or his deputy should cause him to be taken before a magistrate to be bound over to keep the peace. The Sheriff cannot commit him.

At the time of polling in England, Wales, or Berwick-on- Questions Tweed, no question can be put to any voter as to his right to and oaths to vote, except one or both of the following; and this is to be done a voter. by the Sheriff or his deputy only, if required on behalf of any candidate; and at the time of his tendering his vote, and not afterwards.d

[or "for the

1. Are you the same person whose name appears as A. B. on the register of voters now in force for the county of sion of the county of

may be]?


riding parts or divi

or "for the city" or "borough of

as the case

2. Have you already voted either here or elsewhere at this election for the county of


[or "for the

riding parts or division of the county of

"for the city" or "borough of

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In addition to these two questions, or either of them, the Sheriff or his deputy, or the Commissioners, must, if required on behalf of any candidate, at the time of tendering a vote, administer the following oath or affirmation to the voter :

Oath of Identity.

riding" or



You do swear [or "affirm" as the case may be] that you are the same person whose name appears as A. B. on the register of voters now in force for the county of [or "for the division of the county of "for the city" or "borough of as the case may be] and that you have not before voted either here or elsewhere at the present election for the county of [or "for the riding" &c.] So help you God.

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No voter, at any election, is to be required to take any other oath or affirmation, either in proof of his freehold, residence, age, or other qualification, or right, to vote. Before the voter be admitted to poll, the officer presiding, if demanded by either of the candidates, or any two of the electors, must administer to him the

a 16 Vict. c. 15. b Ibid.


Spilsbury v. Micklethwaite, 1 Taunt.

Rep. 146.

6 & 7 Vict. c. 18, s. 81. e Ibid., s. 82.

Duties at


Arrest of offender personating

a voter.


Bribery Oath.a

I A B. do swear [or, being one of the people called Quakers, "I A. B. do solemnly affirm"] I have not received or had by myself or any person whatsoever in trust for me or for my use or benefit directly or indirectly any sum or sums of money office place or emolument gift or reward or any promise or security for any money office employment or gift in order to give my vote at this election and that I have not been before polled at this election.

The oaths of allegiance and supremacy must, also, be administered to a voter by the returning officer, if requested by any one of the candidates. The oath of abjuration or its substitute also, if requested by any candidate, or by any person present.b


No scrutiny can be allowed, by or before the returning officer, with regard to any vote given or tendered at the election, as to the offence of personating voters. When it occurs, the duty of the returning officer or his deputy is well defined. If at the time any person tenders his vote, or after he has voted, and before he leaves the polling booth, any candidate's agent shall declare to the Sheriff, or his deputy presiding therein, that he verily believes and undertakes to prove, that the person, so voting, is not in fact the person in whose name he assumes to vote, or to the like effect, the Sheriff or his said deputy must, immediately after such person shall have voted, by word of mouth, order any constable to take him into custody. He cannot reject a vote, if the two questions be answered in the affirmative, and if the person tendering his vote take the oaths, or make the affirmation, required of him; but there must be written in the poll-book against the vote, the words protested against for personation. By rejecting a vote, under such circumstances, he subjects himself to a criminal prosecution. The constable must take him before two justices; but, if two justices cannot be procured within three hours after the close of the poll on that day, the constable is required, at the request of the offender, to take him before one justice, who is authorised and required to liberate him, on his entering into a recognizance with one sufficient surety, conditioned to appear before any two such justices at a future time. If no justice can be found within four hours, the constable must discharge him. If the charge cannot be inquired into within the time, and he be discharged in consequence, any two justices may, afterwards, inquire into the matter; and, if necessary, issue a warrant for his apprehension. If the justices be

a Bribery oath must be administered by the returning officer and not by a commissioner, 2 Geo. 2, c. 24, and 43 Geo. 3, c. 74.

b In a respectable and elaborate textbook of law, published in 1852, it is said that the oaths of allegiance, abjuration, and supremacy are no longer to be taken; but the author is clearly in error. The stat. of 5 & 6 Will. 4, c. 36, is expressly confined to cities, boroughs, and

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satisfied, that the person charged has been guilty of personation, they are to commit him for trial; otherwise they are to order compensation, which, if he accept, all parties, concerned in his arrest, are relieved from all proceedings in respect thereof. If any other person tender his vote, as being registered for the same qualification (provided he answer the questions), his vote must be entered on the poll-book, but distinguished from the rest.

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At the close of the poll, the poll clerks must publicly deliver the books to the presiding officer, who forthwith must Custody of deliver or transmit them, inclosed and sealed, to the Sheriff, or poll books. his Under-sheriff; who is to receive and keep all the poll books, unopened, until the reassembling of the Court on the next day but one after the close of the poll; unless such next day but one be Sunday, and then on the Monday. He then openly breaks the seals, casts up the number of votes, as they appear on the said several books, and openly declares the state of the poll. He then makes proclamation of the member or members chosen. The proclamation must not be later than 2 o'clock in the afternoon of the same day.


After he has thus declared the state of the poll, and made the Final deproclamation, he must in every county, city, or borough election, claration of in England, Wales, or Berwick-on-Tweed, forthwith, inclose and poll. seal up the several poll books, and tender the same to each of the candidates, to be sealed by them respectively. In case any candidate neglect or refuse to seal the same, the Sheriff must indorse on one of the books the fact of such neglect or refusal; and, as soon as possible after such proclamation as aforesaid, the Sheriff or his agent must deliver the poll books, so sealed, to the Clerk of the Crown, in the High Court of Chancery, or his deputy; or, the Sheriff may deliver them, directed to the Clerk of the Crown, to the postmaster or deputy postmaster of the place where the proclamation was made; who is to give an acknowledgment, in writing, of such receipt, expressing therein the time of such delivery, keeping a duplicate signed by the Sheriff or his deputy. If sent through the Post Office, there must be sent, at the time of Custody of transmitting the books, a letter by the same post or mail, to the poll books Clerk of the Crown, informing him of such transmission, and tion. giving him the number and description of the poll books so transmitted. Any person is entitled to a copy of the poll, on payment of a reasonable charge for writing it.

after elec


(Being Counties of themselves.)

No more than 300 voters can be allotted to poll in each booth; Booths. and not more than 100, on the requisition of any candidate, or of

a 16 & 17 Vict. c. 15.

Commons, &c.

b For the Committees of the House of

c 7 & 8 Will. 3, c. 25, s. 6.

Duties at
City and



Oaths, &c.

any elector, being the proposer or seconder; the candidate or
elector paying all expenses incident upon such arrangement. If
so arranged, the Sheriff must forthwith give public notice of the
situation of the booths. Liverymen of London, entitled to vote
in respect of premises in the city, may vote at the booth for the
district where their property is. On the day appointed by him,
after proclamation for silence, he must read his authority to hold
the Court; take and subscribe the bribery oath; read or cause to
be read openly the Bribery Act; and proceed as in county elec-
tions. The polling is limited to one day. As often observed
before, no omission or irregularity as to notices, not reading Bri-
bery Act, closing poll too early, &c., will avoid the election,
unless the Committee of the H. of Commons be satisfied that
the result was affected by it. It is to commence at 8 in the
forenoon of the day next following the day fixed for the election,
and to close at 4 o'clock. When the next day is a Sunday, Good
Friday, or Christmas Day, then on the following day. The
questions to be put to the voters, at the time of polling, are the
same as at county elections. The oaths of allegiance, abjuration,
and supremacy, can no longer be tendered to a voter; nor any
oath or oaths required to be taken by any Act of Parliament
in lieu thereof.d His duties, in case of riot, &c., are the same as

in a county election.e In all other respects, as to keeping and
sealing the poll books, both at and after the election, &c., the
proceedings are the same as at county elections.f
make his return without delay.s

Indorsement on Writ.

He should

The execution of this writ appears in the schedule hereunto annexed.


The answer of

High Sheriff.

At the present day, the return is made by Indenture under seal, between the High Sheriff and the electors, in conformity with the stat. of 7 Hen. 4, c. 15, and the 8 Hen. 6, c. 7. According to the exigency of the writ of election, the former statute required the Indenture to be under the seals of all the electors; but by the latter statute it is made between the High Sheriff of the one part, and a few electors (three or four) by name, " and many other persons of the county aforesaid, and electors of knights to Parlia ment for the said county, of the other part."

a 5 & 6 Will. 4, c. 36.

b Ibid., s. 2.

c Athlone, Bar. & Arn. 119.

d 5 & 6 Will. 4, c. 36, s. 6.

e Soldiers are not now removed, but

remain in barrack, 10 & 11 Vict. c. 21.

f Ante, 63.

8 11 & 12 Vict. c. 98, s. 103; see also 10 & 11 Will. 3, c. 7, and 6 & 7 Vict. c. 18.

h See 1 Peckw. 119, n.

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