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On his refusal to act, the election cannot be taken before
a third person. Election by If improper persons join with the proper officers in another than
holding the election, it is nevertheless valid. And in the proper re
the case of an adverse claim or defective title, turning Officer.
proceedings of the person in possession of the office will be adopted. Unless, indeed, the rightful claimant interposes, and giving public notice of the illegality of the other's proceedings, opens a poll himself; in which case,
his election will have the preference.
in In cases where the county sheriff is the returning the office of the officer, and he dies before the end of his year or lawful returning
removal, the undersheriff supplies his place. In other Officer.
that if two fill the office and one has vacated it at the time of the writ issued, the other may
As may any elector, where the office is altogether vacant.6 . Though, on its being regularly filled up, the successor will be the proper officer. The same principies will probably apply to the case of vacancy after the writ issued. And as well to precepts as to writs.8
of the Time, Place, and Preparations for Election.
In elections for knights of the shire, the sheriff, within ten days after the receipt of the writ, proclaims a special court, for a Wednesday in Yorkshire, in other places for any day but Sunday, not earlier than the tenth, nor later than the sixteenth day from the proclamation. This special court is, in Glamorganshire, holden at Bridgend;10 in other counties, at the most public and usual place of election within the county, where it has been held for the last forty years. 11 In Hampshire, the sheriff, at the request of one candidate, may adjourn the court from Winchester to Newport in the Isle of Wight. But in no other county can he adjourn to another place, unless all consent. The time of opening the election is between 8 and 11 a. m.2 And the proceedings are de die in diem.3
Time and place
1 30 Jourr. 456. 466. 595.
13. 17, 18.
7 1 Journ. 397. 10 Journ. 300, 301.
In places counties of themselves, and electing imme- In places that diately under the writ itself, the sheriff forthwith gives are Counties of at least three days' public notice (exclusive of the days of themselves ; receiving the writ and election) of the time and place of election; and thereupon proceeds to election within eight days after the receipt of the writ. The place of election must be the most public and usual place, where it has been held for the last forty years.
In places not counties of themselves, the returning And in places officer gives four days' notice of election, (one inclusive, that are not the other exclusives); and proceeds to election within Counties of eight days from the receipt of the precept, except in Aylesbury, Cricklade, 8 and New Shoreham, where the election must be not later than twelve nor earlier than eight days from such receipt. The notice must be special, expressing the particular purpose of meeting. And in Aylesbury,Cricklade," and New Shoreham, must be fixed on the market-house or church door. In Aylesbury,13 the notice must be given at the towns of Great Missenden, Wendover, and Haddenham ; in Cricklade, 14 within the borough, and at the towns of Highworth, Malmsbury, Swindon, and Wootton Basset; in New Shoreham,15 within the borough, and at the towns of Bramber and Steyning; in Wales, 16 to the out-corporations and boroughs as well; and in other places, within the precinct. In some places, by particular custom, notice is given by ringing a bell or blowing a horn. And where there is no certain returning officer, the notoriety by communication of one burgholder to another, has been held to supersede the necessity of a more formal notice. The place of election must in Wales be at such lawful and reasonable place as the mayor shall assign;"7 in other places, at the usual spot, generally the guildhall.18 In all cases, the notice must be given between eight in Notice of
Election. 17 & 8 W.3.c. 25. s. 3.
10 44 G. 3. c. 60. s. 4. 2 23 H. 6. c. 14.
11 22 G. 3. c. 31. s.5. 37 & 8 W. 3. c. 25. s. 3.
19 11 G. 3. c. 55. s. 5. 4 19 G. 2. c. 28. s. 7.
13 44 G. 3. C. 60. s. 4. 5 3 Lud.
14 22 G. 3. c. 31. s. 5. 6 7 & 8 W. 3. c. 25.
15 11 G. 3. c. 55. s. 5. 744 G.3. c. 60. s. 4.
16 35 H. 8. c. 11. 8 Journ. 417. 8 22 G. 3. c.31. s. 5.
17 35 H. 8. c. 11. s. 3.. 911 G. 3. c. 55. s. 5.
18 3 Lud. 27.
the forenoon and four in the afternoon, from the 25th Oct. to the 25th March inclusive; and between eight and six, from the 25th March to the 25th Oct. inclusive. And may, as it seems, be given on a Sunday. In places being counties of themselves, it is reckoned, exclusive of the days both of receiving the writ and of the election; 2 in places not counties, one day is exclusive, the other inclusive. Without notice, the election is void. Bat the rule is to presume, that it has been duly and correctly
given. Erection of The returning officer need not ultimately be at any Booths in elections for Coun expense for the election. In certain cases, however, he ţies at large.
must be at the trouble and first expense (to be ultimately repaid by the candidates) of erecting booths and furnishing them with proper superintendents and documents. Since, in elections for knights of the shire and several candidates, if any candidate, three days before the poll, desire it, the sheriff must erect not exceeding fifteen booths, corresponding to the number of rapes, lathes, wapentakes, wards, or hundreds in the county; and affix to each the name of the division for which it is allotted. At the same time, appointing a poll-clerk or clerks (at not exceeding a guinea a day for each clerk) in each several booth; and furnishing candidates with lists (at two shillings each) of every town, village, parish, and hamlet, wholly or in part in the division. Even where no request is made to erect booths, he must allow a check-book for every poll-book, the same as where booths have been
erected.? For places that In places being counties of themselves, there are no are Counties of themselves.
directions as to booths, except in Coventry. In that place, the returning officer must erect booths in the widest, and most convenient part of the open marketplace, called Cross Cheaping, not contiguous to any other
buildings For places that Nor in places that are not counties are there any direcare not Counties tions, except in Westminster. In that place, the sheriff of themselves.
is to provide a booth at the expense of the candidates; to make out a list of the several parishes, districts, or divisions (not exceeding eleven in the whole) into which the same is apportioned or allotted ; and (upon request
1:33 G. 3, c. 64. s. 1.
5 (94, 95.)
and payment) to furnish the candidates with a copy of such list.
In all cases, upon the written request of any candidate, Booths for adthree days before the poll, the returning officer (ulti- ministering the mately at the expense of the candidates) must provide oaths, proper places for administering the oaths, and persons (at a guinea a day each) for administering them.
A candidate becomes such by assuming the character; The term Canthus, by asking an elector to vote for him, or by doing didate defined. any other act evincing his intention. And whether he has assumed it, is a question of fact; to be decided, therefore, by the jury in an action for the election expenses. But excepting where the Statute Law has made him liable, he is not chargeable with any expenses, unless incurred at his own quest express or implied.5
One day at least before the election, the Military quar- Removal of the tered or billetted in the place (excepting garrisons--the Military. guards in Westminster and Southwark--those in personal attendance upon the King and Royal Family-and military, being electors) must, upon the written order of the Secretary at War, or person officiating in his place, remove to the distance of two miles or more, not to approach nearer till one day after the close of the poll. Which order, in the case of a general election, the - Secretary must issue of his own accord; in that of a Vacancy, only upon notice from the officer making out the writ. It seems that calling in the military to quell a riot during the election will not avoid it, where the necessity is plain; unless, indeed, the proceedings have been thereby made irregular. Nor, with a similar qualification, will the riot itself.
The Postmaster General and his deputy-Postmasters Interference of and their deputies-persons engaged in the Post-office certain persons
at Elections prorevenue-Commissioners and others engaged in the hibited. revenue of excise, customs, or that arising from certain other duties, are prohibited from conçerồing themselves in elections. By an order of the House of Commons, "it is a high infringement of the liberties and privileges of the Commons of the United Kingdom, for any Lord of Parliament, or other Peer or Prelate, not being a Peer of
08 G. 2. c. 30. Vide 42 G. 3. c. 90.
151 G. 3. c. 126. s. 1.
7 9 Ann. c. 10. s. 44.
Ireland at the time elected, and not having declined to serve for any county, city, or borough of Great Britain, to concern himself in the election of members to serve for the Commons in Parliament, except only any Peer of Ireland, at such elections in Great Britain respectively, where such Peer shall appear as a candidate, or by himself, or any others, be proposed to be elected; or for any Lord-lieutenant or governor of any county, to avail himself of any authority derived from his commission, to influence the election of any members to serve for the Commons in Parliament.” So, likewise, by a resolution of the House, “it is highly criminal in any Minister or servant under the Crown, directly or indirectly, to use the powers of office in the election of representatives to serve in parliament; and an attempt of such influence will at all times be resented by this House, as aimed at its own honour, dignity, and independence; as an infringement of the dearest rights of every subject throughout the empire, and tending to sap the basis of this free and happy Constitution."
And the right claimed by the Wardens of the Cinque Ports, to nominate and recommend to each of the Cinque Ports, the two ancient towns, and their respective members, one person to be elected for each of such places, has been declared contrary to law.3. Any interference, however, in defiance of these prohibitions, will not, it seems, avoid the election.
Of the Qualifications of Electors.
The following persons are disabled from votingAliens ;4 Idiots;5 Lunatics, though not declared such ;6 women ; infants under twenty-one; outlaws;& convicted felons, unless they have received their clergy or been pardoned ;9 persons attainted ;1o those convicted of perjury or subornation of perjury;ll or of bribery ;12 a commis
Of persons that
1 57 Journ. 5. 376. 34. (345.)
77 & 8 W. 3. c. 25. s. 8.