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estate and effects at the time of election, is considered to be a formal and express objection, obliging the member to give in his réntal.'
Of the Election and Subsequent Proceedings. At elections for knights of the shire, the returning of opening the officer, on the day appointed, between eight and eleven election. a m. proceeds in his full county, and opens the court by a proclamation for persons to give their attendance. In other places, no particular hour of the day is prescribed for commencing proceedings. In all, he begins the election by proclaiming (where it is general) the day and place of the meeting of parliament, and reading the writ or precept. He next takes an oath (administered by one or more magistrates of the county or place, or in their absence by three electors) that he is not bribed, and will make a fair return; reads openly (either by himself or his nominee) the bribery act (though the omission will not avoid the election) ;and in places not counties, and where the right of election is wholly or in part in freemen, the statute 3 G. 3. c. 15.;+ and over and above these in Aylesbury, the 44 G. 3. c. 60., in Cricklade, the 22 G. 3. c. 31., and in New Shoreham, the 11 G. 3. c. 55.7 He then asks the electors, whom they elect to serve them in parliament. Whereupon the candidates offer themselves, each being proposed by one elector, and seconded by another. And the election or choice of the majority is determined by, 1. The view ; 2. or the poll.
The eleetion is determined by the view : 1. Where Election by the there is no competition, that is, where the candidates do view. not exceed the requisite number; 2. where, notwithstanding a competition, it is evident in whose favour the majority of voices (for silencé goes for nothing) is, and no poll is demanded. In such cases, the returning officer declares the candidates duly elected, and returns them forthwith.8
1 Lud. 416.
23 H. 6. c. 14. 7 H. 4. c. 15.
5 44 G.3. c. 60.
Demand and If, however, a poll is demanded, it must be granted, in duration of an spite of a majority upon the view. The demand may be poll.
either by an eligible candidate or by an elector; and properly should be made before a majority has been declared upon the view; if after, within a reasonable time. The poll commences either on the day demanded, or the day following, unless a Sunday, and then the next day. Its duration cannot exceed fifteen days; seven hours at least each day, between eight and eight; and if kept open to the fifteenth day, it closes at or before three o'clock. In London, the poll terminates in seven days, with three days more for the ward motes; in both cases, Sunday excepted: and upon each day's adjournment, if desired by a candidate, the poll-books must be sealed up. At Winchester, as in other places, it cannot exceed fifteen days; but it may be adjourned for three days at farthest to Newport, in the Isle of Wight: the adjourned poll to
commence within four days from the close at WinchesAssistants, &c. Deputies may be appointed by the returning officer, to to the return. assist in conducting the poll. He must also upon the ing officer.
written request of a candidate, nominate and swear in two or more commissioners (at a guinea a day each) to administer the several oaths (excepting the bribery oath) to be taken hy the electors, and to certify the same.7 And upon a similar request he may add to their number if found insufficient. He likewise (on receiving a written notice three days before the election, and at the ultiinate expense of the candidates) provides booths, &c. for the commissioners; to be kept open eight hours a day during the poll, with liberty to the electors of free access, aud a disposition enabling the commissioners to act separately. He also appoints and swears in a sufficient number of in Westminster not exceeding twenty-six?') clerks, at not more than a guinea a day each (in county elections, payable by the candidates) to take the poll, in the presence of himself, his undersheriff, or deputy; thence denominated poll-clerks;ł? though a refusal to appoint them will not avoid the election.12 Their duty is, to set down each the name and abode of every freeholder whom he polls; the nature of his freehold, its occupier and situation, and if a rent, the situation of the land out of which it issues, together with the name of one or more of its owners or possessors; the candidates for whom he shall poll; the jurat or affirmation of every voter sworn; and to swear the voters, if no special commissioners are appointed. In addition to these officers (but in places not counties, in Westminster only) each candidate may have one inspector, to see that the poll-book is accurately kept; and for every poll-book, one check-book to be kept by such inspector :3 to which check-book, where the pollbook is not forthcoming, recourse would be had. The returning officer must likewise provide a sufficient number of printed forms of the declaration of fidelity, and certificates of electors having taken the oaths.5
14 Inst. 48. 1 Whitl. 387.
19 G. 2. c. 28.
7 34 G. 3. c. 73. 8 34 G. 3. c. 73. 9 34 G. 3. c. 73. 10 51 G. 3. c. 126. 11 7 & 8 W.3. c. 25. 18 G. 2. c. 18. 12 I Peck, 506,507.
Oaths (or in the case of Quakers or Moravians, solemn Oaths to be affirmations) to be taken by electors before they vote, are, taken by eles1. Of their being qualified. 2. Of allegiance and supremacy.? 3. Of abjuration.8 4. Against bribery.9 The first, if required by a candidate or elector; the second, if required by a candidate ;" the third, if required by a candidate or other person present at the election ;!2 the last, if required by a candidate or two electors.18 All which, excepting the last, may be administered by the sheriff, bis undersheriff, a poll-clerk, or a commissioner ;!4 the last, by the returning officer or his deputy only.15. They may be taken by twelve electors at a time. 16 And if the elector does not speak English, then in his own language.17 A refusal to take the bribery oath may be retracted.18 And the administering of illegal oaths will not avoid the election.19 In places that are counties of themselves, 20 and in places (whether counties or not) where there is no oath of qualification, 21 a peculiar oath is prescribed; and so
17 & 8 W. 3. c. 25. 10 Ann. c. 23.
18 G. 2. c. 18. 2 51 G. 3. c. 126. vide as to Norwich
3 G. 2. c. 18. 37 & 8 W. 3. c. 25. 18 G. 2. c. 18.
51 G. 3. c. 126.
10 18 G. 2. c. 18. 25 G. 3. c. 84,
likewise in Aylesbury,' Cricklade, London, New Shore
ham, and Norwich.5 Of tendering The elector tenders his vote, by declaring to the person one's vote. taking the poll, for whom he means to give it. Though
the fact of a vote having been tendered, may be inferred (by a committee) from circumstances. The yote should be tendered at the proper booth. Though if admitted at a wrong one, it is not thereby lost. Yet still if not recorded, the circumstance of its having been offered at a
wrong booth, will induce a committee to reject it. Describing
Having tendered his vote he must describe limself, by one's self;
giving his name and abode, together with the situation
that he is a master in Chancery, not adding any place of abode, is insufficient. 11 But this description
Rev. A. B.; residence, rector of X parish' is good. If living in a town, he should name the street.13 And having more abodes than one, he may, if he pleases, give them
all.14 The situation of
In describing the situation of the property, he must one's property, specify the parish, hamlet, township, tithing, or place.15 and its species;
And its particular kind, as whether messuage, land, rent, tithe, or otherwise, 16 Though' tenement' being taken, in its popular sense, to signify house, will do.17 As will this
descriptionpreferment in the church.'18 And the occu
In the case of several occupiers, one only need be pier.
named.19 And where there is actually none, the person entitled to possession may be given as the occupier.20 A clergyman describing his freehold as ' rectorship’ without stating an occupier, is sufficient.21 There are no presumptions in favour of the person given in as occupier, being such.22
It has been considered, that a vater, if required, must produce his title deeds. But it seems questionable whether, supposing him willing to take the oath, the returning officer can refuse the vote. So overseers, it is said, are bound to produce the rate, in the case of an inhabitant, paying scot and lot, voting. An elector, though possessed of several distinct qualifications, can vote but once;4 so that a subsequent vote will be a nullity.5 Tenants joint and in common have, before partition, one vote only.
1 44 G. 3. e. 60. 2 22 G. 3. c. 31. 3 11 G. 1. c. 18. 4 11 G.3. c. 55. 5 3 G. 2. c. 3. 6 Male 130. 2 Peek. 59. 7 1 Peck. 381. 396. 8 Roe 654. 9 2 Peck. 52. 10 Male 129. 11 2 Peck. 53.
12 2 Peck. 54. 13 2 Peck. 53. 14 I Peck. 390, 392. 15 27 Journ. 227. 16 2 Peek. 59. 17 2 Peck. 55. 18 2 Peck. 55. 19 2 Peck. 61. 20 2 Peck, 61. 21 2 Peck. 56. 12 Peck. 61.
If a claimant's right to vote seems doubtful, the return- Of receiving ing officer (all parties consenting?) receives the vote, sub- votes with a ject to his ultimate decision upon further consideration. query. This decision is usually given the same afternoon, after the poll adjourned ;8 and it must be given before the majority is finally declared ;' though with this limitation, it may be given after three o'clock on the fifteenth day.16 Leaving queried votes undecided on the poll, will not avoid the election. But if the proper parties neglect to support them, they may be struck out.13 In deciding on disputed votes, committees have made it a rule to increase rather than diminish the franchise. 13 And such votes will be deemed legal, as have been so declared by the last determination of select committees.?
The poll is taken in writing. And at Norwich the Poll taken in freemen confined for debt vote by an adjournment to the writing. gaol.15 The mistake, or even misbehaviour of the return- at Norwich. ing officer or poll-clerk, will not avoid the election.16 Misbehaviour And upon clear evidence (thus the check-book coupled of returning with other testimony), and proof of immediate application
Error in pollto the returning officer, an error in the poll--book will be book. rectified.17 Upon an equality in the poll, the returning Casting vote on officer has not a casting vote.
an equality. After a reasonable time for unpolled electors to come Of closing the forward, and none appearing, the returning officer closes poll. the poll. To this end he usually makes three proclamations, at a short distance from each other, that the poll will be closed at such an hour. And if before the final close an elector tenders his vote, the proclamations must
1 ] Peck. 210. 310. 374, 375. H.B.
301. 2 Male 162. in notis. 3 2 Peck. 166 n. (B.) 171. 4 18 G. 2. c. 18. 5 18 G. 2. c. 18. 6 7 & 8 W. 3. c. 25. 7 33 Joum. 162. 8 Male 143. in notis.
9 Male 141. 10 2 Peck. 338.342. 345. 370. 11 1 Peck. 286. 12 10 Journ. 520. 13 Male 126. in notis. 14 28 G. 3. c. 52. 15 3 G. 2. c. 8. 16 H. C. 342. I Lyd, 323, 17 H. C. 344.