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nexed to their names respectively in the register in force at such election : Provided always, that it shall not be lawful for any person to vote at any election for a member or members for any county where the qualification annexed to the name of such person shall have appeared annexed to his name in the preceding register, and such person, on the last day of July in the year in which such register so in force was formed, shall have ceased to have such qualification, or shall not have retained so much thereof as would have entitled him to have had his name inserted in such register : Provided also, that no person shall be entitled to vote at any future election for a member or members to serve in Parliament for any city or borough, unless he shall, ever since the thirty-first day of July in the year in which his name was inserted in the register of voters then in force, have resided and at the time of voting shall continue to reside within the city or borough, or place sharing in the election for the city or borough in the election for which he shall claim to be entitled to vote, or within the distance thereof required by the said recited act (seven miles) to entitle such person to be registered in any year.”
A voter is also disqualified from voting by receipt of parochial relief
. Employment as a parish labourer is a receipt of parochial relief. Relief given to any one whom the voter is by law bound to support is relief given to the voter. This doctrine was carried very far in the Bedford case, P. and K. 130. Having been excused payment of rates has been held not to be receipt of parochial relief. These objections, however, only go to the registration, or, if the facts occur after the registration, then to the scrutiny before the Committee. The decisions are conflicting, and it is doubtful whether receipt of alms by a county elector who retains his freehold is a disqualification. As to the actual contest at the hustings and the polling-booths, these questions are unimportant.
Voters are also disqualified by office, and this disqualification is of more practical importance ; because, although a voter so disqualified must be entered in the poll-book if he tender his vote, yet the disqualifying statutes frequently impose penalties upon the voter so acting.
The principal disqualifying act is 22 Geo. III. c. 41., which is so stringent, that it may be useful to have the exact terms of the act at hand during a contested election. They are as fol
“For the better securing the freedom of elections of members to serve in Parliament, be it enacted by the King's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from and after the first day of August, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-two, no commissioner, collector, supervisor, gauger, or other officer or person whatsoever, concerned or employed in the charging, collecting, levying, or managing the duties of excise, or any branch or part thereof; nor any commissioner, collector, comptroller, searcher, or other officer or person whatsoever, concerned or employed in the charging, collecting, levying, or managing the customs, or any branch or part thereof; nor any commissioner, officer, or other person concerned or employed in collecting, receiving, or managing, any of the duties on stamped vellum, parchment, and paper, nor any person appointed by the commissioners for distributing of stamps; nor any commissioner, officer, or other person employed in collecting, levying, or managing, any of the duties on salt; nor any surveyor, collector, comptroller, inspector, officer, or other person employed in collecting, managing, or receiving, the duties on windows or houses ; nor any postmaster, postmasters-general, or his or their deputy or deputies, or any person employed by or under him or them in receiving, collecting, or managing the revenue of the post-office, or any part thereof, nor any captain, master, or mate, of any ship, packet, or other vessel, employed by or under the postmaster or postmasters-general in conveying the mail to and from foreign ports, shall be capable of giving his vote for the election of any knight of the shire, commissioner, citizen, burgess, or baron, to serve in Parliament for any county, stewartry, city, borough, or cinque 'port, or for choosing any delegate in whom the right of electing members to serve in Parliament, for that part of Great Britain called Scotland, is vested: and if any person hereby made incapable of voting as aforesaid, shall nevertheless presume to give his vote, during the time he shall hold, or within twelve calendar months after he shall cease to hold or execute any of the offices aforesaid, contrary to true the intent and meaning of this act, such votes so given shall be held null and void to all intents and purposes whatsoever, and every person so offending shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds, one moiety thereof to the informer, and the other moiety thereof to be immediately paid into the hands of the treasurer of the county, riding, or division, within which such offence shall have been committed, in that part of Great Britain called England ; and into the hands of the clerk of the justices of the peace of the counties or stewartries, in that part of Great Britain called Scotland, to be applied and disposed of to such purposes as the justices at the next general quarter session of the peace to be held for such county, stewartry, riding, or division, shall think fit; to be recovered by any person that shall sue for the same, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in any of his Majesty's courts of record at Westminster, in which no essoin, protection, privilege, or wager of law, or more than one imparlance, shall be allowed; or by summary complaint before the court of session in Scotland ; and the person convicted on any such suit shall thereby become disabled and incapable of ever bearing or executing any office or place of trust whatsoever under his Majesty, his heirs and successors."
There are exceptions in favour of commissioners of land-tax, holders of freehold offices, and the coal and corn-meters of London. Proceedings are limited to twelve months after the offence. Persons in the employ of the Postoffice and the metropolitan and rural police-force, together with the stipendiary magistrates, and all their staff, are disqualified by other statutes. Local constables, appointed under the County and District Constables' Act (3 and 4 Vic. c. 88.) The disqualification of the police is, however, local, not extending to places distant from the sphere of their duties.
THE CANDIDATE. The candidate must be a British subject-of the full age of twenty-one years-holding no disqualifying office or contract--not in ordersnot having been engaged in a contest for the same place during the same Parliament, and declared by a Committee to have been, by himself or his agents, guilty of bribery or treating—not attainted of treason or felony, or a criminal outlaw-not a peer of Parliament or of Scotlandand possessed of a property qualification of 3001. a year for boroughs (in England and Ireland), or 6001. a year for counties.
It will be necessary to enlarge a little upon these conditions of qualification.
1. He must be a British subject. Nothing but an act of naturalization can enable an alien born to sit in Parliament. Certificates of naturalization under the 7 and 8 Vic. c. 66. have not this effect. Persons obtaining the certificate, and taking the oath prescribed by that act,“ enjoy all the rights and capacities which a natural-born subject of the United Kingdom can enjoy or transmit, except that such alien shall not be capable of becoming of Her
Majesty's Privy Council, nor a member of either House of Parliament, nor of enjoying such other rights and capacities, if any, as shall be specially excepted in the certificate.”
A man whose father is a British subject is himself a British subject wherever his place of birth or domicile may have been. The right of the son is not affected by any attempts that may have been made by the father to divest himself of his allegiance.
2. He must be of full age. If there be reason to believe that a candidate has not attained the age of 21, the opposing candidate should issue notice of this fact. The votes given for him after such notice will be thrown away, and the other candidate declared duly elected. (See C. J. Abbott's judgment in Claridge v. Evelyn, 5 B and Ald. 87.) If a minor be returned, the Committee will, even if he do not appear to defend his seat, resolve that his election and return were vexatious. (See the Flintshire case, 1 Peck, 526.)
3. He must hold no disqualifying office. Disqualifying offices are of two sorts, those which disqualify a candidate from being elected, and those which disqualify a member from sitting,
Of the latter class are those officers who are disqualified by the 5 W. and M. c. 7., which enacts, that no member shall be concerned in managing duties granted by Parliament; except only the Commissioners of the Treasury. The 11 and 12 W. III., which enacts, that no member shall be capable of being an officer in the Customs. These offices do not form an objection at the hustings, for they may