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attending as the guards of Her Majesty, or any person of the Royal family, and those usually stationed or employed within the Bank of England, are excepted.
The execution of the act is provided for by directing the Clerk of the Crown in Chancery, immediately after making out the writ, to give notice thereof to the Secretary of War, who is to give notice in writing, before the election, to the general officer commanding in the district, who is to give the necessary orders in all places under his command.
Refreshment Tickets. — These are declared illegal by the twenty-third section of the “Corrupt Practices Act”-“And whereas doubts have also arisen as to whether the giving of refreshment to voters on the day of nomination or day of polling be or be not according to law, and it is expedient that such doubts should be removed: Be it declared and enacted, that the giving or causing to be given to any voter on the day of nomination or day of polling, on account of such voter having polled or being about to poll, any meat, drink, or entertainment, by way of refreshment, or any money or ticket to enable such voter to obtain refreshment, shall be deemed an illegal act, and the person so offending shall forfeit the sum of forty shillings for each offence to any person who shall sue for the same, together with full costs of suit."
Bands, ribbons, and chairing.—These are all declared to be illegal payments by the seventh section of the “ Corrupt Practices Act,” and the cockades are specially struck at by a penalty of forty shillings-“No candidate before, during,
or after any election, shall, in regard to such election, by himself or agent, directly or indirectly, give or provide to or for any person having a vote at such election, or to or for any inhabitant of the county, city, borough, or place for which such election is had, any cockade, ribbon, or other mark of distinction; and every person so giving or providing shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of two pounds to such person as shall sue for the same, together with full costs of suit; and all payments made for or on account of any chairing, or any such cockade, ribbon, or mark of distinction, as aforesaid, or of any bands of music, or flags, or banners, shall be deemed illegal payments within this act.”
Special constables. On the other hand, the elector is released from the obligation of keeping the peace on the nomination day. By the eighth section of the same statute, no person having a right to vote at the election for any county, city, borough, or other place, shall be liable or compelled to serve as a special constable at or during any election for a member or members to serve in Parliament for such county, city, borough, or other place, unless he shall consent so to act; and he shall not be liable to any fine, penalty, or punishment whatever, for refusing so to act, any statute, law, or usage to the contrary notwithstanding."
These are the principal legal incidents of the nomination day." If there is no opposition, the member moves a vote of thanks to the returning officer, and departs. If the election is contested, we now enter upon another stage.
In contested elections, after the show of hands, the unsuccessful candidate, usually by his proposer, demands a poll. A poll, however, may be demanded by any elector. When a poll has been demanded, it is an abandonment of every thing that has been done before, and every thing anterior is not of the substance of the election, nor to be so received. (See Sir W. Scott, 1 Haggard's Consistory-Court Cases,
When a poll is demanded it cannot be refused; having been demanded, the demand cannot be waived. The returning officer is bound to take it both by statute (7 and 8 W. III. c. 25. s. 3.) and at Common Law. Lord Coke says (4 Inst. 48), “ If the party or the freeholders demand the poll the sheriff cannot deny the scrutiny.” If there be any irregularity in the mode of demanding the poll, the taking of it would be a complete waiver of such irregularity. (See Tindal, C.J., 5 Ad. & El. 88.)
So soon as a poll is demanded the proceedings are adjourned, for the purpose of taking it. By section 62. of the Reform Act, amended by 16 and 17 Vic. c. 15., it is directed that the polling of counties shall commence at eight o'clock in the forenoon of the next day but two after the day of nomination, unless such next day but two should be Saturday or Sunday, and then on the Monday following.
By the 2d section of the 5 and 6 W. IV. c. 36. the polling for boroughs is to commence at eight o'clock of the day next following the day fixed for the election, unless the day following should be Sunday, Good Friday, or Christmas-day, then on the day following the excepted day.
During the interval between the nominationday and the day of polling the booths are erected in the respective districts; the deputies of the returning officers are also appointed and sworn-one to preside at each polling-booth ; the poll-books are prepared, the poll-clerks are appointed and sworn, and the check-clerks and agents are authorized to act.
We must deal with these preparations separately.
The Polling-places for Counties. The polling districts are directed by the Reform Act, are fixed by the Boundary Act, may be increased by the Queen in Council on the petition of Justices in Session, founded on a notice of two Justices, or ten voters (6 & 7 W. IV. c. 102.), and may be varied or suppressed by Order in Council, 16 & 17 Vic. c. 68., sections 7. and 8.
By the Reform Act, the sheriff, or his deputies, if required so to do by or on behalf of any Candidate on the day fixed for the election, or, if it shall appear to him expedient, shall cause to be erected a reasonable number of booths for taking the poll at the principal place of election, and also at each of the polling-places, and shall cause to be affixed on the most conspicuous part of each of the booths the names of the several parishes, townships, and places for which such
booth is allotted; and no person shall be admitted to vote except at the booth allotted for his parish, and if no booth shall be so allotted for his parish, then at any of the booths for the same district; and in case any parish or place shall happen not to be included in any of the districts to be appointed, the votes in respect of property situate in such parish or place so omitted shall be taken at the principal place of election.
By the subsequent act of 6 & 7 W. IV. c. 102. this requisition by the Candidate is rendered unnecessary. That act requires the high sheriff at every contested county election to provide as many polling-booths as will allow one for every 450 electors on the registry.
Polling-places for Boroughs. — By the 68th section of the Reform Act, the returning officer, on the requisition of any candidate, or on his behalf, or if he shall himself deem it expedient, shall cause to be erected different booths for different parishes, districts, or places, so that no greater number than 600 shall be required to poll at any one compartment; and the returning officer shall appoint a clerk to take the poll at each compartment, and shall cause to be affixed on the most conspicuous part of each of the booths the names of the several parishes, districts, and parts for which such booth is allotted. No person can be admitted to vote except at the booth allotted for the parish, district, or part wherein the property may be situate in respect of which he claims to vote, or in case he does not claim to vote in respect of property, then wherein his place of abode as