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CIRCULAR OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD.
REGISTRATION OF ELECTORS: ABSENT VOTERS. Local Government Board,
4th March, 1919.
Sir, I am directed by the President of the Local Government Board to refer to certain matters arising under the Representation of the People Act, 1918, in connection with the registration of electors and voting by absent voters.
Absent Voters List. Notice R.P. 79 to Discharged Men.
The notifications by the Record Offices of men discharged from the Army include the names of men who on demobilisation are transferred to Army Reserve and Special Reserve and the names of men who, being members of the Territorial Force, are disembodied. In all the cases the men are regarded as no longer serving in the Forces, and the notice R. P. 79 should be sent to them.
Claim by a Person on behalf of another Person.
In the circular of 11th July, R.P. 33, the Board expressed the opinion that a claim on behalf of a number of persons made in a single form with the names and requisite particulars set out in a schedule to the form might properly be accepted as sufficient. This view applies equally to the substituted forms of claim, copies of which, R.P. 23 A and 23 B, will have been supplied to the Registration Officer.
Copies of Lists of Claims and Objections.
The Board suggested on page 7 of the circular of March 20th, R.P. 2, that short lists of claims and objection should be typed and they enclosed with the circular of 15th June, R.P. 30, copies of model forms, R. P. 31, for use in making out those lists. Some Registration Officers have caused the lists to be printed in the form of the register, and no objection is taken to this being done if there are many names in the lists. The Board, however, understand from the Stationery Office that in a number of cases separate lists have been printed for registration units in register form although only few names, or even one name only, appeared in a list. The printing of separate lists in these cases with the necessary headings is expensive, and the Registration Officer will realise that any unnecessary expense in printing should be avoided. Wherever possible he should cause short lists of claims and objections to be typewritten, and the Stationery Office are ready to arrange for work of this kind on being given two or three days' notice of their
assistance being desired, with information as to the number of registration units and approximate number of names. If, however, the Registration Officer wishes these short lists to be printed, the Stationery Office suggest that he should cause the claims or objections, as the case may be, for all the parishes or registration units in a polling district to be arranged under one display heading, the name of each parish or registration unit being printed in bold type. before the names relating to the parish or unit. No reference to the divisions of the register appears necessary either in the heading or in the list, as the letters denoting the claim or qualification. would indicate the division to which the name belongs. The complete list would of course be published in each parish or registration unit in the polling district.
Hearing of Claims and Objections.
In the circular of 15th June, R.P. 30, the Board intimated that any objections to persons included in the electors lists should not be heard by the Registration Officer until after five clear days from the date of the publication of the list of the persons objected to, and that any objections to claimants should not be heard until after five clear days from the date of publication of the list of claimants objected to. The last day for objections to claimants for registration in the second register now in preparation is 24th March, and the list of claimants objected to may not be ready for publication in some registration units until the end of the week commencing on that day. The requirement that the claims shall not be heard until five clear days after the date of publication of the list may therefore prevent the Registration Officer hearing the claims during the week commencing 31st March, and as there may be difficulty in his arranging to hear the claims in the Quarter Sessions week commencing on 7th April, the Board think that the hearing of the claims objected to both in counties and boroughs may take place as soon as the list of the claimants objected to has been published. It will be understood that this modification applies only for the purposes of the second register now in preparation, and that the view expressed in R.P. 30 as to hearing objections to persons in the electors lists and claims not objected to remains unaltered.
Notices R.P. 37 and R.P. 37A.
Under the arrangement with respect to the names in the absent voters list for the second register, which is prescribed by rule 44 of the Representation of the People Order, 1918, absent voters who are registered for the same qualifying premises as in the first register will retain the numbers borne by them in the first absent voters list as printed. The Record Offices will have included the names of those absent voters in their card indices, and the Board, after consultation with the Army Council, are of opinion that it is unnecessary to send the notices R. P. 37 to the absent voters who have already been notified as to their registration and as to the
mode of voting by absent voters. In some instances owing to insufficient information as to regimental number, unit, etc., the absent voter may not have been identified by the Record Office and consequently the notice R. P. 37 was not forwarded to him. If in the course of the preparation of the second register, further information has been procured which will enable the Record Office to trace the voter, the notice should be sent to him and the name will then be entered in the card index of the Record Office. But except in cases of this kind, the notice R.P. 37 will not be sent to absent voters whose names are continued from the first absent voters list as printed.
The notice should be sent to all absent voters whose names were not entered in the printed absent voters list for the first register and to the absent voters whose qualifying premises have changed. In the case of voters whose names are not in the first list as printed, the letters N.V. should be inserted on the card in the space for the number. In cases where the qualifying premises have changed, the old number should be given, prefixed by the letters O.N. In the case of a voter continuing from the first absent voters list, of whom further particulars have been obtained as above mentioned, the number only should be inserted.
The notices will be sent as on the former occasion to the appropriate Record Office by whom the particulars will be extracted for the purpose of their card indices and the cards despatched to the
The Army Council are desirous that the notices should reach the Record Offices in sufficient time for the indices of those Offices to be prepared before the new register comes into force. The cards will be comparatively few and numbers will only have to be inserted in a few cases where the names appeared in the printed absent voters list for the first register. The Board consider therefore that the despatch to the Record Offices should be completed by the 1st May. The Registration Officer is requested to make arrangements which will secure that the cards are sent to the Record Offices not later than that date.
The notices R. P. 37A. for absent voters other than those in the Army and Air Force will also be sent only in the cases above mentioned, but the letters N.V. or O.N. with numbers will not be given on these notices. The cards for men in the Navy will, as before, be forwarded under cover to the ship or establishment together with the double card (if any) containing the statement of the man's qualification under section 5 (2) of the Act. The despatch of the notices should be completed by the 1st May.
The cards are being reprinted and supplies will be obtainable from the Stationery Office on demand, showing the number required.
In accordance with rule 4 in the Third Schedule to the Act, a proxy paper issued during the continuance of the war or a period of twelve months thereafter will remain in force until the termination of that period if the elector continues to be registered and the proxy paper is not cancelled.
The prescribed form of proxy paper specifies the qualifying premises in respect of which the elector is registered. In some cases, an absent voter who has appointed a proxy during the currency of the first register will be registered in the second register as an elector for other qualifying premises in the same constituency. In a case of this kind difficulty would arise in the proxy voting at the polling station unless the proxy paper is corrected. The Registration Officer should therefore, before the new register comes into force, communicate with the proxy with the view to the issue to him of a corrected proxy paper. In the meantime the Registration Officer will no doubt find it convenient to cause a note of the cases where the qualifying premises have changed to be made in the list of proxy voters.
The Board understand that in a few constituencies applications for the appointment of proxies had been made prior to the general election, and the Registration Officer did not issue proxy papers as there was no contest. It appears to the Board that any application for the appointment of a proxy should be dealt with forthwith and the proxy paper be issued at the earliest practicable date, whether or not an election is in prospect.
Bye-elections: Addresses of Absent Voters.
In the circular of the 7th February, R.P. 83, reference was made to the subject of procedure connected with the holding of bye-elections. With the view to assisting the Registration Officer in recording the addresses of men in the Army and facilitating the inspection of the addresses by the agents of the candidates, the Army Council have arranged that the Record Offices shall furnish in triplicate the lists or rolls of the men and the location of their units.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
The Registration Officer.
CIRCULAR OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD. METROPOLITAN ASYLUMS BOARD. QUALIFICATION OF ELECTIVE MANAGERS. Local Government Board,
10th April, 1919.
Sir, I am directed by the President of the Local Government Board to state that consideration has been given to the qualification required for election as a Manager of the Metropolitan Asylums Board.
Article III. of the Order made by the Poor Law Board on the 15th May, 1867, prescribes for elected Managers the same qualification as that required by the Metropolitan Poor Act, 1867, for a nominated Manager of the Asylums Board, namely, being assessed to the poor rate within the District upon a net annual value of not less than Forty Pounds.
It appears to the Board that there is no occasion to retain this Regulation which might limit the field of selection open to a Board of Guardians in electing their representatives on the Board, and it has therefore been decided that the Regulation should be withdrawn. The Board accordingly hereby rescind Article III. of the Order of the 15th May, 1867, and prescribe that the qualification of an elective Manager shall be determined solely by Section 10 of the Act of 1867. Any person will now be eligible for election who is (a) a guardian of the electing Union or (b) a ratepayer qualified to be such a guardian.
I am, Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
A. B. LOWRY,
The Clerk to the Guardians.