Page 1

The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland

Guide for Candidates Local Council Elections 22 May 2014


CONTENTS Section

Page

1

Introduction

3

2

Roles and responsibilities

5

3

Election timetable

7

4

Becoming a candidate

10

5

Your election agent

16

6

Your campaign

18

7

Absent voting

20

8

Polling day

22

9

The count

25

10

After the election

30

11

Electoral offences

33

Annex A

EONI Area Electoral Officers

36

Annex B

Council DROs and Assistant DROs

39

Annex C

Nomination Pack

42

Annex D

Forms for appointment of polling, verification, counting and postal vote agents

52

Annex E

Canvasser Code of Conduct

58

Annex F

Requirement of Secrecy notification (both elections)

59

2


SECTION 1

INTRODUCTION

Background 1.1

This Guide is produced by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO). It provides practical advice for anyone who wants to stand as a candidate at the Local Council elections on 22 May 2014.

1.2

This Guide covers the aspects of the electoral process for which the CEO has responsibility. 1 It should not be relied on as legally definitive and the CEO does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions, or any loss arising from them. If you or your agent have any doubt about a particular point, you are strongly recommended to seek legal advice.

1.3

The Local Government (Boundaries) Act (Northern Ireland) 2008 provides that Northern Ireland will be divided into 11 Local Councils. The Local Government (Boundaries) Order (Northern Ireland) 2012 sets out the names and areas of each of those 11 new Councils and establishes new wards for each Council.

1.4

The District Electoral Areas (Northern Ireland) Order 2014 prescribes the grouping together of wards into electoral areas for the purpose of elections in each Local Council. There are a total of 80 District Electoral Areas (DEAs) across Northern Ireland - ten in the Belfast City Council area and seven in each of the ten other Councils. Maps of the DEAs can be found on the DEA Boundary Commissioner’s website http://www.deac-ni.org/index/current-review-of-district-electoral-areas/finalmaps.htm.

1.5

Electoral law sets deadlines by which certain actions must be taken during the election period. The election timetable which includes all the deadlines is shown in Section 3. It can also be viewed on www.eoni.org.uk/Elections/Information-forcandidates-and-agents and Local Council websites.

1.6

These elections will be combined with elections to the European Parliament.

Statutory references 1.7

The references in this Guide are to the legislation as it is in force. The abbreviations shown below are used in the footnotes when referring to legislation: Full Title

Abbreviation

Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

‘1962 Act’

Local Elections Rules (Schedule 5 to the 1962 Act)

‘LE Rules’

Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972

‘1972 Act’

Local Elections (Northern Ireland) Order 1985

‘1985 Order’

Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008

‘2008 Regulations’

The Representation of the People Act 1983

‘1983 Act’

1

The Chief Electoral Officer has responsibility for all aspects of the election except those listed in paragraph 2.7 which are the responsibility of the Electoral Commission. 3


1.8

The legislation can be viewed at www.legislation.gov.uk. Please note that all of these statutory provisions have been amended substantially since they came into effect and in some instances the online version of the legislation is not up-to-date.

Complaints 1.9

If you are concerned about the standard of service provided to you, you should try to resolve it informally by speaking to the individual concerned or their manager. If you are not satisfied with the outcome you can submit a formal complaint. A copy of the EONI Complaints Procedure is available on request or can be downloaded from http://www.eoni.org.uk/Utility/About-EONI/Make-a-complaint,-compliment-orsuggestion.

1.10

The Chief Electoral Officer, in his capacity as the Returning Officer, is an independent statutory office holder and is therefore not subject to the internal complaints mechanism. However, if you have a complaint in respect of any act or omission on the part of the Returning Officer you should write to: The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Constitutional and Political Group 1 Horse Guards Road London SW1A 2HQ

1.11

The complaints process is without prejudice to your right to seek to challenge any decision, act or omission in the courts. You may wish to consider taking legal advice before instituting proceedings. Further information about election petitions can be found in Section 10, ‘After the Election’.

1.12

Neither the Returning Officer nor the Deputy Returning Officer has any authority or responsibility for the investigation of any alleged criminal offences. If you believe that an offence under electoral or criminal law has been committed you should report the matter directly to the police.

4


SECTION 2 2.1

ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

A number of individuals and organisations have responsibilities in connection with the election. These are outlined below.

The Returning Officer 2.2

The Returning Officer for all elections in Northern Ireland is Graham Shields, the Chief Electoral Officer. He is also the Registration Officer for the whole of Northern Ireland, responsible for maintaining the register of electors and the absent voters list. He may be contacted as follows: Chief Electoral Officer St Anne’s House 15 Church Street Belfast BT1 1ER Tel: 028 9044 6660 Email: graham.shields@eoni.org.uk

The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland 2.3

The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland (EONI) is the collective name for the staff who assist the Returning Officer in the performance of his statutory duties. These staff are based in seven Area Electoral Offices throughout Northern Ireland and at EONI Headquarters in Belfast. Each office is managed by an Area Electoral Officer. They are responsible for: • • • • • • • •

2.4

arranging and equipping polling stations the delivery of poll cards processing and issuing postal and proxy votes opening postal votes preparing/providing stationery answering queries about registration and the Electoral Identity Card appointing and training poll staff training verification staff

The contact details for each Area Electoral Officer and the District Electoral Areas for which each has responsibility are at Annex A.

Deputy Returning Officers 2.5

Deputy Returning Officers (DROs) for these elections have been appointed by the 11 Statutory Transition Committees established under the Local Government (Statutory Transition Committees) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013. They must perform, on behalf of the CEO, delegated functions including: • • • •

receiving and processing nominations publishing the statement of persons nominated and notice of poll printing Local Council ballot papers and corresponding number lists preparing Local Council ballot boxes 5


• • • • • 2.6

appointing verification and count staff training count staff managing the combined verification of Local Council and European ballot boxes managing the Local Council count process and declaring results receiving returns and declarations of election expenses

As a candidate you (and your agent) should liaise directly with the DRO on these matters. The list of Council DROs is at Annex B.

The Electoral Commission 2.7

The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. They regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections. They are also responsible for voter awareness and publicity.

2.8

For further Information you should contact Roisin McDaid: Tel: 028 9089 4025 Email: rmcdaid@electoralcommission.org.uk Website: www.electoralcommission.org.uk

6


SECTION 3

ELECTION TIMETABLE

3.1

Polling day for the Council elections will be Thursday 22 May 2014. The election timetable 2 is shown below. It is also available on www.eoni.org.uk/Elections/Information-for-candidates-and-agents and Local Council websites.

3.2

Please note that: • •

neither the Returning Officer nor the DRO has any power to extend any statutory deadline; if no time is specified as the deadline for an event or requirement then the deadline is midnight on that day.

Event

Deadline

Publication by the DRO of notice of election

Monday 14 April 2014

Delivery of nomination papers

10.00am to 4.00pm on: Tuesday 15 April, Wednesday 16 April, Thursday 17 April, Tuesday 22 April, Wednesday 23 April, Thursday 24 April, Friday 25 April, Monday 28 April and 10.00am to 1.00pm on Tuesday 29 April 2014

2

Delivery of notices of withdrawals of candidature

10.00am to 4.00pm on:

Receipt of notice of appointment of election agents

1.00pm on Tuesday 29 April 2014

The making of objections to nomination papers

10.00am to 4.00pm on:

Tuesday 15 April, Wednesday 16 April, Thursday 17 April, Tuesday 22 April, Wednesday 23 April, Thursday 24 April, Friday 25 April, Monday 28 April and from10.00am to 1.00pm on Tuesday 29 April 2014

Tuesday 15 April, Wednesday 16 April, Thursday 17 April, Tuesday 22 April, Wednesday 23 April, Thursday 24 April, Friday 25 April, Monday 28 April and from 10.00am to 2.00pm on Tuesday 29 April 2014

Rule 1, LE Rules 7


Publication by the DRO of statement of persons nominated: a) If no objections made

6.00pm on Tuesday 29 April 2014 or as soon as practicable thereafter

b) If any objections are made, after they have been disposed of but no later than 24 hours after the deadline for delivery of nomination papers

1.00pm on Wednesday 30 April 2014

Receipt at Area Electoral Offices of postal and proxy vote applications

5.00pm on Thursday 1 May 2014

Receipt at Area Electoral Offices of late registration applications

Tuesday 6 May 2014

Receipt at Area Electoral Offices of additional information in relation to late registration applications

Monday 12 May 2014

Receipt at Area Electoral Offices of late postal and proxy vote applications

5.00pm on Wednesday 14 May 2014

Publication by the Returning Officer of notices of alteration as a result of late registration

Thursday 15 May 2014

Receipt by the DRO of notice of appointment of polling, verification and counting agents

5.00pm on Thursday 15 May 2014

Receipt of spoilt postal votes for replacement

5.00pm on Wednesday 21 May 2014

Polling day

7.00am to 10.00pm Thursday 22 May 2014

Alterations to the register due to clerical error

7.00pm on Thursday 22 May 2014

Verification of votes*

As soon as practicable after 10.00pm on Thursday 22 May 2014

Count commences

Following verification on Friday 23 May 2014

Count continues

9.00am on Saturday 24 May 2014

* The verification of ballot papers for both elections will take place at Local Council count venues (see paragraph 9.2). The verification of ‘unused’ ballot papers will begin shortly after 10pm on polling day and be conducted overnight. The verification of ‘used’ ballot papers (the opening of ballot boxes) will begin at 8am on Friday 23 May.

8


Note: the above timetable excludes Saturdays (with the exception of the count), Sundays and the following public holidays: • • •

Good Friday 18 April 2014 Easter Monday 21 April 2014 May Day Bank Holiday 5 May 2014

Receipt by candidates/agents of claims for election expenses

21 calendar days after the result of the election is declared

Payment by candidates/agents of claims for 28 calendar days after the result of the election expenses election is declared Receipt by the DRO of Return and Declaration of Election Expenses by Election Agent

35 calendar days after the result of the election is declared

Receipt by the DRO of candidate’s declaration of election expenses

7 calendar days after receipt of the agent’s declaration (or at the same time election agent delivers return) (If the Candidate is out of the UK, the declaration shall be delivered 14 calendar days after their return)

Publication by the DRO in two or more newspapers circulating in the District Electoral Area for which the election was held, a summary of the returns accompanied by a notice of the time and place at which the return and declarations (including the accompanying documents) can be inspected

10 calendar days after receipt from the election agent of return as to election expenses

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SECTION 4 4.1

BECOMING A CANDIDATE

You become a candidate at a Local Council election if: (a)

you are declared by yourself or others to be a candidate on or before the last day for publication of the Notice of Election; or

(b)

on the day you are declared by yourself or others to be a candidate or the day on which you are nominated as a candidate (whichever is earlier). 3

Qualification criteria 4 4.2 To be eligible to stand as a candidate at a Local Council election in Northern Ireland you must: • • • •

be at least 18 years old on the day of your nomination; be a British citizen, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of any other state of the European Union; not be disqualified from being a councillor (see below); meet at least one of the following three qualifications: (a)

you are a local elector for the district of the Council in which you are standing on both the day you are nominated and on polling day;

(b)

you have occupied as owner or tenant land in that district or have resided in that district during the whole of the period of twelve months immediately preceding the day of the poll;

(c)

your principal or only place of work during that twelve months has been in that district.

Disqualification 4.3

The law disqualifies certain people from being a councillor. The full range of disqualifications is set out in various statutory provisions. If you think that you may be disqualified you should consider seeking legal advice. The most common disqualifications are set out in section 4 of the Local Government Act (NI) 1972, a copy of which can be found in the Nomination Pack at Annex C.

4.4

A person cannot be validly nominated as a candidate in more than one DEA within the same Council area. 5

3

Section 130 (3A), 1962 Act Section 3, 1972 Act 5 Section 62, 1962 Act 4

10


Nomination process 6 4.5

The Nomination Pack at Annex C includes the following documents: LE2

Nomination paper and sample completed nomination paper

LE2(A)

Candidate’s consent to nomination

LE2(C)

Request to use party description/emblem

LE39(A)

Notification of election agent

---

Request for electoral register/absent voter list

---

Candidate checklist

4.6

You become a candidate by submitting a nomination paper and consent to nomination to the DRO for the DEA in which you wish to stand by 1pm on Tuesday 29 April. Use of the other forms in the Nomination Pack is optional.

4.7

It is good practice to submit your nomination papers in draft form so they can be checked. The DRO will tell you if there are any problems that need to be addressed before the formal submission of your nomination.

4.8

If you need assistance the DRO can complete a nomination paper for your signature provided you give all the necessary information. You will still have to get it signed by a proposer, a seconder and eight other electors.

4.9

The formal submission of your nomination must be done in person by • • •

4.10

you; or your election agent; or your proposer or seconder.

You should make an appointment with the DRO for the formal submission of your nomination papers, otherwise you may have to wait until they are available.

Completing the forms Full Name 4.11

The nomination paper must include your surname, then other names in full.

4.12

If you are usually known by another name which you want to appear on the ballot paper you can give this ‘commonly used name’ on the nomination paper but you must also give your surname and all your other names in full. There is no requirement to use a commonly used name: you have the option to stand under either your full name or any commonly used name you have.

4.13

The DRO will allow the use of the commonly used name(s) if satisfied that they are not likely to mislead or confuse electors, and are not obscene or offensive. If the

6

Rules 5-13, LE rules 11


name(s) are not permissible, the DRO will write to you stating the reason for disallowing them and in that instance your full name will be used. 4.14

The exact wording of your name or commonly used name (if allowed) will appear on the Statement of Persons Nominated and the ballot paper.

4.15

Titles or prefixes, such as Mr, Mrs or Dr must not be used. The format should be, for example: Miller, Andrew John. If this candidate is normally known by another name, such as the shortened first name of Andy, he has two options: (a)

His first option would be to use his full name rather than his commonly used name. In this case, even though he may be widely known as Andy, he should write the following on his nomination paper:

Candidate’s Details

Candidate’s surname

Miller

Other names in full

Andrew John

Commonly used surname (if any) Commonly used forenames (if any) The ballot paper would show: MILLER Andrew John Miller Alternatively, he can choose to use his commonly used name, in which case his nomination paper would read: Candidate’s Details

Candidate’s surname

Miller

Other names in full

Andrew John

Commonly used surname (if any) Commonly used forenames (if any) Andy The ballot paper would show: MILLER Andy Miller Address 4.16

You must state your home address in full including the postcode. You must not use any abbreviations. The address must be your current home address. Unless the address is outside the United Kingdom you must give the address in English. 12


Standing for a political party 4.17

If you wish to stand for a registered political party you have to gain the party’s permission. If you wish to register a new political party you must submit a completed application to the Electoral Commission by Friday 11 April 2014. You are strongly advised to contact the Commission well in advance of this date if you are considering registering a new party.

Description 4.18

If you are an independent candidate (i.e. not standing for a registered party) you can either leave the description part of the nomination paper blank or use the word ‘Independent’. You cannot use any other description. If you leave this section blank no description will appear on the ballot paper.

4.19

If you are representing a registered political party the nominating officer, or a person appointed to act on their behalf, may authorise you to use either the registered name of that party or a particular description registered with the Electoral Commission.

4.20

You can only use precisely what has been authorised. You cannot modify it in any way. If you do, your nomination will be rejected as invalid.

4.21

You will not be allowed to use a party name or description unless the DRO has received, before the close of nominations, authorisation signed by the party’s nominating officer or a person appointed to act for them. Where the authorisation is not signed by the nominating officer, evidence of the appointment of the person who signs it will also be required. The Returning Officer has provided party nominating officers with a template letter to be used. The candidate must also complete the request form in the Nomination Pack.

4.22

If you are representing two or more parties, the nominating officers of each party, or person or persons appointed by them, must authorise in writing, use of the proposed joint description. The joint description must be registered with the Electoral Commission.

4.23

It is a corrupt practice to fraudulently claim to be authorised to issue a certificate on behalf of a registered political party’s nominating officer. 7

Request to use an emblem on the ballot paper 4.24

If you have been authorised to use a party name or description the nominating officer of that party can also authorise the use of a registered emblem. The candidate must complete the request form in the Nomination Pack. Only registered emblems can be used and they cannot be modified in any way. The nominating officer should identify the emblem to be used by the unique number or description in the Northern Ireland Register of Political Parties at https://pefonline.electoralcommission.org.uk/search/searchintro.aspx. A copy of the emblem must also be submitted with the nomination paper.

4.25

If you are representing two or more parties, and the nominating officers of all of them request it in writing, a specified emblem of any one of the parties will appear next to

7

Rule 5A(2), LE Rules 13


your name on the ballot paper. The request must be signed by all the nominating officers and must reach the DRO before the close of nominations. Subscription of nomination paper 4.26

Your nomination paper must be signed by a proposer, a seconder and eight other persons. These ten people, known as subscribers, must all be listed on the register as at 1 April 2014 for the District Electoral Area in which the candidate is standing and must all be at least 18 years of age on polling day. Each candidate is entitled to receive a copy of the register for the DEA being contested from the DRO. Electors can only subscribe as many nomination papers as there are vacancies in the particular DEA.

4.27

You must ensure that the full electoral number for each subscriber, as shown on the electoral register as at 1 April 2014, is entered against their name.

Consent to nomination 4.28

In order for your nomination as a candidate to be valid, you must formally give your consent to nomination in writing. The consent form is included in the Nomination Pack.

4.29

The consent form includes a statement that you are not, to the best of your knowledge and belief, disqualified from being elected under the provisions of Section 4 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972. It also includes a Declaration against Terrorism.

4.30

You must sign the consent to nomination between Saturday 29 March 2014 and Tuesday 29 April 2014. Your signature must be witnessed, and the witness must also sign the form and give their full name and address. The form must be delivered to the DRO by 1pm on Tuesday 29 April.

False statements on nomination papers 4.31

Any information you provide on your nomination papers must be true to the best of your knowledge. It is a corrupt practice to make a false statement in a nomination paper (see paragraph 11.5).

Deposits 4.32 No deposit is required at this election. Right to attend nomination 4.33

Other than the Returning Officer, the DRO and those assisting in the nomination process, only the following can be present at the delivery of nomination papers: • • • • •

the person delivering nomination papers a person standing nominated as a candidate a proposer, seconder or election agent for a nominated candidate (or if the candidate is acting as their own election agent one other person nominated by them) Electoral Commission representatives one other person chosen by each candidate 14


4.34

Those present at the delivery of nomination papers (apart from Electoral Commission representatives and the one other person nominated by each candidate) have the right to inspect and object to the validity of the nomination papers.

4.35

The DRO will decide the process for dealing with any objection. The DRO’s decision on any objection cannot be challenged except by way of election petition.

Correction of minor errors 4.36

The DRO has power to correct minor errors made on a nomination paper, including errors of spelling in relation to the details of a candidate or a description. It is likely that this power will be used only where there is no doubt whatsoever that an error has been made. It is your responsibility to make sure that your nomination papers are correct.

Withdrawal of candidates 4.37

Once the DRO has accepted your nomination paper, you can still withdraw from the election if you deliver a written notice to the DRO before the close of nominations. The notice must be signed by you, and witnessed by one other person.

4.38

If you are outside Northern Ireland, a notice of withdrawal and declaration of your absence signed by your proposer will have the same effect.

4.39

If a candidate withdraws their nomination, their name will not be shown as standing nominated in the statement of persons nominated.

Statement of Persons Nominated and Notice of Poll 4.40

Provided there are no objections to the nominations, as soon as possible after 6.00pm on Tuesday 29 April, the DRO will publish the statement of persons nominated.

4.41

This will show the names, addresses and descriptions (if any) of the persons standing for election in each DEA and the names of those who subscribed their nomination papers.

4.42

The statement will include the Notice of Poll, giving the date and hours during which the poll will be taken.

4.43

The DRO will also publish the list of polling stations and electors entitled to vote at each station (the polling station scheme) on the Council website, and provide a copy to election agents.

Uncontested election 4.44

If the number of persons nominated is equal to, or less than, the number of seats in the DEA the candidates will be declared elected without a poll.

15


SECTION 5

YOUR ELECTION AGENT

5.1

Your election agent is the person responsible in law for the proper management of your election campaign. In particular, your election agent is responsible for the financial management of your campaign and for ensuring that declarations and returns of election expenses are properly completed and delivered to the DRO.

5.2

You are required to have an election agent 8. If you do not appoint one, you are deemed to be your own agent. In this Guide where a reference is made to an election agent, it applies to you if you have not appointed an election agent.

5.3

The appointment of an election agent should be considered carefully. Your election may be invalidated if your election agent does not promptly and correctly perform their duties. In some cases there could be criminal sanctions for both you and your agent.

Who can be an election agent? 5.4

Anyone can be appointed as an election agent except: • • •

the Returning Officer or any officer or clerk appointed by them under the rules9 any partner or clerk to the above individuals; or anyone not entitled to vote in the election as a result of the report of an election court or a conviction for a corrupt or illegal practice. 10

Appointment of election agent 5.5

You must declare in writing to the DRO the name, address and office address of your election agent no later than the close of nominations as shown on the election timetable. The declaration must be signed by you, as the candidate, and also by your agent to show acceptance of the post. The relevant form is included in the Nomination Pack at Annex C.

5.6

If before, during or after the election you revoke the appointment of your election agent or if your election agent dies, a new appointment can be made by the same process. Similarly, if you are acting as your own election agent you can also revoke that ‘appointment’ and appoint a new agent.

Election agent’s offices 5.7

Any election agent you appoint must have an office address within the Council area (this can be the agent’s home address) which must be provided on the appointment form. If you are acting as your own agent, the office address is deemed to be your home address as published on the statement of persons nominated.

5.8

It is good practice to provide a contact telephone number and email address for your election agent as well as their postal address. If this is not done there may be a delay in getting important information to them about the election.

8

Section 34, 1962 Act Section 99, 1983 Act 10 Section 165, 1983 Act 9

16


Limitation of election expenses 5.9

The maximum amount that you can spend on your election campaign is fixed by law. The Electoral Commission’s guidance “Candidate spending and donations at the local government elections in 2014 (NI)” can be found on their website www.electoralcommission.org.uk.

17


SECTION 6 6.1

YOUR CAMPAIGN

This section sets out some of your rights and duties as a candidate between the submission of your nomination papers and polling day.

Supply and use of electoral register and absent voter list 6.2

As a candidate you are entitled, on request, to a copy of the electoral register and absent voter list (see section 7) for your district electoral area. 11 The Nomination Pack includes a form that can be used to request these documents. The register must be collected by hand as it contains personal data.

6.3

You can use the documents and the information in them only for electoral purposes or for checking the validity of donations. If you or any of your campaign workers use them for any other purpose you will be breaking the law. If convicted you could be fined up to £5,000. 12 In the event that you do not complete the nomination process you will be required to return the register/absent voter list.

6.4

Unless you specifically request a paper copy, the documents will be supplied to you in data format (a comma separated values (CSV) file). CSV files can be read using a number of applications including Microsoft Excel, Access and Word, and may be used to create mailing labels or merged letters.

6.5

Instructions on how to create labels from a CSV file are available on the EONI website www.eoni.org.uk/Elections/Information-for-candidates-and-agents.

Campaign materials 6.6

Any leaflets, notices or other documents you issue are subject to certain restrictions under electoral law (see paragraph 11.14). In addition, under the Public Order Act 1986, it is an offence to publish or distribute threatening, abusive or insulting material that is intended to stir up racial hatred or which is likely to stir up racial hatred.

Details to appear on election publications 6.7

All documents you produce to promote your election (including leaflets, advertisements and posters) must bear the name and address of the printer and the publisher who will usually be your election agent (this is known as the ‘imprint’). If the document is a single sheet this information must be given on the face of the document. 13

Display of posters 6.8

Election posters must not be displayed on any property without consent. 14 Consent will not be given to display any poster or other election material in or on any building used for taking the poll or on or within any wall, railing, fence or gate enclosing it. It is

11

Regulations 101 and 103, 2008 Regulations Regulation 114, 2008 Regulations 13 Schedule 9 Part 3 Para 28, 1962 Act 14 Regulation 4, Planning (Control of Advertisements) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1992 12

18


illegal to pay anyone for displaying a poster, unless that is their normal business (e.g. an advertising agent). 15 6.9

It is up to you to ensure that all your posters are taken down within 14 days of polling day.

Right to send campaign material post free 16 6.10

As a candidate you are entitled to send an item of campaign material to electors free of charge for postage. You must send your item to every registered elector in the district electoral area and you must include the elector’s full postal address on the item.

6.11

Your item may contain only material relating to the election and must weigh no more than 60g. Royal Mail, who have responsibility for distributing the material, have produced guidance for candidates on their website: http://www.royalmail.com/specialist-services/candidate-mailing.

6.12

If you wish to use this service before the close of nominations you will have to sign off and agree with Royal Mail to pay for the costs involved if you do not stand as a candidate.

6.13

For further details of this service you should contact: Alex Denver Royal Mail Election Co-ordinator Northern Ireland Mail Centre Enterprise Way Newtownabbey BT36 4HQ Tel: 028 9084 6138 Email: alex.denver@royalmail.com.

Newspaper articles 6.14

15 16

Newspapers are not regulated in how they cover an election campaign. They may openly support a particular candidate or they may decline to carry any news relating to a particular candidate. You should note, however, that if you advertise in a newspaper the imprint requirements apply.

Schedule 9 Part 2 Para 18, 1962 Act Section 53, 1962 Act 19


SECTION 7

ABSENT VOTING

7.1

In certain circumstances an elector is entitled to an absent vote either for an indefinite period or for a particular election. 17

7.2

There are two main types of absent vote: • •

postal vote – where a ballot paper is sent to the elector for completion and return proxy vote – where the elector nominates someone (“a proxy”) to vote on their behalf.

7.3

A proxy can apply to vote by post. Such a person is known as a “postal proxy”.

7.4

In Northern Ireland there is no general right to an absent vote. Absent votes are only allowed when all the statutory criteria are met.

7.5

There are strict deadlines for the receipt of absent vote applications (see the election timetable) and any received after the deadlines will not be processed.

7.6

The Electoral Office will be responsible for the processing, issuing and opening of postal and proxy applications.

7.7

Completed postal ballot papers must be returned to the Area Electoral Office that issued them by 10pm on polling day. They cannot be handed in at a polling station or Council office.

Application forms 7.8

Any elector who wishes to apply for an absent vote should be advised to download a form from www.eoni.org.uk/Vote/Voting-by-post-or-proxy or to contact the EONI Helpline on 0800 4320 712.

7.9

Until 31 March 2014 the only applications available will be for permanent absent votes (on the grounds of disability, education or employment). On 1 April 2014 the temporary application, which may only be used for the elections on 22 May, will be made available both from EONI and Council offices/websites.

7.10

It is important that all applications are completed in strict accordance with the guidance notes. Incorrectly completed applications will not be granted and there may be insufficient time before the deadline to return them to the applicant. You should tell all applicants to return their completed form as early as possible so that, if staff are available, they can be checked before the deadline and returned for correction.

Issue and opening of postal votes 18 7.11

17 18

The DRO will give notice to your election agent of when and where postal votes will be issued and opened and of the number of agents you can appoint to represent you at these events.

Schedule 2 Part 1, 1985 Order Schedule 2 Part 3, 1985 Order 20


7.12

You must notify the DRO in writing, before the time fixed for the issue/opening, of the names and addresses of any agents you wish to be present. A form which you may use for this purpose is included at Annex D. You and/or your election agent may also attend.

7.13

You and your agents will have to produce photographic identification of a type that can be used by voters before being allowed to attend the proceedings.

7.14

It is likely that the last opening of postal voting envelopes will take place on polling day. The ballot box in use after that must be taken unopened to the count where any envelopes in it will be opened and any valid votes mixed with the contents of a ballot box from a polling station before the counting commences.

21


SECTION 8 8.1

POLLING DAY

The Local Council elections will take place on the same day as the European Parliamentary election. The new Local Council boundaries will be used for these elections and the revised polling station scheme will be available from 3 March 2014 on the EONI and Council websites. There will be two separate ballot boxes at each polling station, one for each poll, and these will be clearly labelled. The Local Council ballot paper will be yellow and the European ballot paper will be white. All election material will be colour coded where practicable.

Hours of poll 8.2

All polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm.

8.3

The doors to the polling station will be closed at 10pm. The law has recently changed to allow a voter who at the close of poll is in the polling station, or in a queue outside the polling station, to apply for a ballot paper. 19

Who can enter a polling station 20 8.4

The only persons who can enter any polling station are: • • • • • • • • • •

voters allotted to vote there persons under 18 years of age accompanying such voters companions of voters who have a disability candidates and their election agents polling agents appointed to that polling station the Returning Officer, the DRO and their staff the Presiding Officer and clerks appointed to that station constables on duty Electoral Commission representatives observers accredited by the Electoral Commission

Keeping order in the polling station 8.5

The Presiding Officer has a duty to keep order in the polling station. They may require any person who misconducts themselves to leave the station. If that person does not do so immediately, the Presiding Officer will call the police to have them removed. 21

8.6

The Presiding Officer may restrict the number of voters in the polling station and persons under the age of 18 who accompany them.

Requirement of Secrecy 8.7

Persons entitled to enter a polling station are bound by the statutory Requirement of Secrecy (Annex F).

19

Rule 34(1A), LE Rules Rule 29, LE Rules 21 Rule 30, LE Rules 20

22


Appointment of polling agents 22 8.8

You (or your agent) may appoint polling agents to be present at any polling station (ballot box). Written notice must be given to the DRO by 5pm on Thursday 15 May 2014 of the full names and addresses of your polling agents and of the boxes to which each is appointed. A form which you may use for this purpose is included at Annex D. Notices of appointment received after the deadline, which fail to give all the required information or are illegible, will be of no effect and persons named in them will not be allowed to enter the polling station.

Role of the polling agent 8.9

The primary role of a polling agent is to detect personation (when an individual votes as someone else - whether that person is living or dead, or is a fictitious person).

8.10

Additional duties which an agent may undertake include: • • •

checking that the ballot box is empty at 7am being present when the Presiding Officer marks a ballot paper on behalf of a voter being present at the close of poll to observe the sealing up of the ballot box and other packages. The agent can affix their own seal to the box or any packet in addition to the official seal.

Responsibilities of polling agents 8.11

Polling agents must observe the statutory Requirement of Secrecy. In particular they must not, before the close of poll, pass any information to anyone about: • • •

the name of anyone who has voted the electoral number of anyone who has voted the official mark

8.12

Polling agents must comply with all lawful instructions of the Presiding Officer and staff and with those set out in the “Polling Agents Instructions” a copy of which is at Annex D or available from the DRO.

8.13

A person may be appointed to be a polling agent at more than one polling station but only one polling agent for each candidate may be present at any polling station at the same time. 23

Identity check 8.14

22 23

Polling station staff will check the identity of any person presenting themselves as a polling agent against the list of names and addresses provided to the DRO. The polling agent will have to produce one of the forms of photographic identification used by a voter. If this is not done, or if the name and address given by the person does not match the list, the Presiding Officer will require the person to leave the polling station.

Rule 27, LE Rules Rule 29(2), LE Rules 23


Code of Conduct - Canvassing in the vicinity of the polling station 8.15

All political parties have agreed to the Code of Conduct for Canvassers in the vicinity of the polling station which is at Annex E. Please ensure that a copy of this is distributed to all your canvassers.

24


SECTION 9

THE COUNT

Time and place 9.1

The verification of ballot papers for both elections will take place at the Local Council count venues listed below. The verification of ‘unused’ ballot papers will begin shortly after 10pm on polling day and be conducted overnight. The verification of ‘used’ ballot papers (the opening of ballot boxes) will begin at 8am on Friday 23 May.

9.2

Local Council election counts will commence once the verification process has been completed. It is anticipated that the results will be declared either on the evening of Friday 23 May or the following day. See Annex B for the DRO contact details. Council

Count venue

Council DRO

Antrim and Newtownabbey

Valley Leisure Centre 40 Church Road Newtownabbey BT36 7LJ

Jacqui Dixon

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon

Banbridge Leisure Centre 15 Downshire Road Banbridge BT32 3JY

Dr Theresa Donaldson

Belfast

Belfast City Hall Donegall Square North Belfast BT1 5GS

Peter McNaney

Causeway Coast and Glens

Coleraine Leisure Centre 23 Railway Road Coleraine BT52 1PE

John Dempsey

Derry and Strabane

Templemore Sports Complex Buncrana Road Derry/Londonderry BT48 7QL

Sharon O’Connor

Fermanagh and Omagh

Omagh Leisure Complex Old Mountfield Road Omagh BT79 7EG

Joan McCaffrey

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Lagan Valley Leisureplex 12 Lisburn Leisure Park Governors Road Lisburn BT28 1LP

Adrian Donaldson

25


9.3

Mid and East Antrim

Seven Towers Leisure Centre Trostan Avenue Ballymena BT43 7BL

Anne Donaghy

Mid Ulster

Meadowbank Sports Arena Ballyronan Road Magherafelt BT45 6EH

John McLaughlin

Newry, Mourne and Down

Newry Sports Centre 61 Patrick Street Newry BT35 8TR

John Dumigan

North Down and Ards

Bangor Aurora Aquatic and Leisure Complex 3 Valentine Road Bangor BT20 4UT

Trevor Polley

The European election count will take place at the King’s Hall Pavilions, Belfast on Monday 26 May. It will begin at 9am and the result is expected to be declared the same day.

Who can be present 9.4

The Council DRO will issue a Count Centre Information Pack which will outline the arrangements for the count.

9.5

The only persons who can be present at the verification/count of the ballot papers are: 24 • • • • • • • •

the Returning Officer, the DRO and their clerks candidates for the relevant election and one other person chosen by them election agents for candidates standing at the relevant election counting agents for candidates standing at the relevant election constables on duty Electoral Commission representatives observers accredited by the Electoral Commission other persons permitted by the Returning Officer or the DRO

9.6

To gain access to the count all persons will have their name checked against a list of those entitled to be present. Counting agents will have to produce photographic identification of a kind that can be used when voting. Others, if not known to the staff on duty, may be required to prove their identity.

9.7

Under no circumstances must you, the person chosen by you, your election agent, any of your counting agents or any accredited observers attempt to enter the restricted area where the DRO’s staff verify and count the votes. The right to be

24

Rule 44, LE Rules 26


present is only to observe the process from immediately outside the restricted area. The restricted area will be clearly defined. Requirement of Secrecy 9.8

All those present at the count are bound by the statutory Requirement of Secrecy (Annex F).

Verification/Counting Agents 9.9

You are entitled to appoint verification/counting agents to attend at the verification and counting of votes. The DRO will give notice of the maximum number of agents that you can appoint. All candidates in the DEA will be allowed the same number of agents.

9.10

If you wish to appoint verification/counting agents you must give the DRO written notice of their full names and addresses no later than 5pm on Thursday 15 May 2014. Forms which you may use for this purpose are included at Annex D.

Verification process 9.11

The verification process will be combined. The Local Council and European ballot boxes for a particular polling station will be opened simultaneously and any ballot papers placed in the wrong ballot box will be recorded and passed to the correct counting table.

9.12

The ballot paper account for each ballot box will be verified by comparing it with the number of ballot papers found in each box and the number of spoilt and unused ballot papers from that polling station. The tendered votes will be verified in the same way.

9.13

The Council ballot papers will be verified face up and the European ballot papers will be verified face down. If the number of ballot papers according to the ballot paper account and the physical checks correspond, the verification of that box is complete. If they do not, the ballot papers will be recounted and the documentation checked until the DRO is satisfied as to the actual number of ballot papers to be included in the count. The results for each ballot box will be recorded on a separate verification statement for each poll.

9.14

When the verification of all the ballot boxes has been completed a copy of the signed verification statement will be available for election agents.

9.15

On completion of the verification stage the European election ballot papers will be transported to the King’s Hall Pavilions and stored securely until the counting of votes for that election begins on Monday 26 May. The counting of Local Council ballot papers will begin after the verification stage has been completed.

9.16

The order of the DEA counts will be advised by the Council DRO.

27


The count 9.17

During the count process the DRO will make important announcements. You must ensure that you are present or represented throughout the count process so that you do not miss any announcement. If you do not understand any announcement made you must seek clarification from the DRO.

9.18

Throughout the count process the ballot papers will be kept face up so that no one can see the ballot paper number or unique identifying mark. You should make sure that all your representatives know that they must not attempt to see the back of any ballot paper.

9.19

Ballot papers will be sorted into piles for each candidate according to the first preference marked. Any 'doubtful ballot papers’ (see below) will be put aside for adjudication.

9.20

The number of votes for each candidate will be counted and the total number of valid ballot papers calculated.

9.21

The quota will then be calculated using the following formula: total valid votes ignore any remainder and add 1

Q= total number of seats in the DEA + 1

9.22

Where the total number of votes for a candidate at any stage of the count is equal to or exceeds the quota that candidate shall be deemed to be elected.

9.23

The next stages of the count will involve either the transfer of the surplus vote from a candidate deemed to be elected or the exclusion of one or more candidates with the least votes.

9.24

If at any stage the number of continuing candidates equals the number of seats to be filled, then such candidates are deemed elected.

9.25

Candidates are advised to consult the relevant legislation for more detail about the single transferable vote system. 25

Doubtful ballot papers 26 9.26

During the counting of votes the count staff may find some invalid ballot papers. A ballot paper is invalid if one of the following is found: • • • • •

25 26

it does not bear the official mark; or the figure 1 is not placed to indicate a vote for any candidate; or the figure 1 is given for more than one candidate; or anything has been written by which the voter can be identified; or it is unmarked or void for uncertainty

Rules 45-56, LE Rules Rule 46, LE Rules 28


9.27

Before any ballot papers are rejected an announcement will be made telling candidates and agents that an adjudication on doubtful ballot papers is about to be made. You can attend the adjudication or nominate one person to represent you. The adjudication will not be delayed if you are not present or represented.

9.28

The adjudicator will inform those present of the decision on the validity of each ballot paper and the reason for it. That decision is final and can be challenged only by way of an election petition. If you do not agree with any decision to reject a ballot paper as invalid, you must tell the adjudicator who will stamp the paper ‘rejection objected to’.

Re-count 27 9.29

You, your election agent or counting agent may, at the end of any stage of the count but before the next stage proceeds, request a recount or a further recount. Only the most recent completed stage can be re-counted.

9.30

The DRO may refuse your request if he is of the opinion that it is unreasonable.

9.31

The DRO will call all candidates together at the end of the counting or any recounting of votes for any stage to give you a reasonable opportunity to request a recount or a further recount. Neither the start of the next stage nor the declaration of the result will be delayed if you fail to attend promptly.

Declaration of result28 9.32

The DRO will declare the names of those who have been elected. They will also give public notice of: (a) the number of first preference votes for each candidate; (b) any transfer of votes; (c) the total number of votes for each candidate at each stage of the count at which the transfer took place; and (d) the order in which the candidates were elected.

27 28

Rule 53, LE Rules Rule 56, LE Rules 29


SECTION 10

AFTER THE ELECTION

Successful candidate 10.1

Successful candidates must sign a declaration of acceptance of office before acting as a councillor. Persons elected will serve on the shadow councils for the period from the date of appointment until 31 March 2015, and from 1 April 2015 on the newly constituted councils.

Election petitions 29 10.2

The outcome of an election can be challenged only by way of an election petition. You are advised to seek legal advice if you wish to initiate proceedings. The procedure for presenting an election petition is outlined below.

10.3

An election petition can be presented by: • •

10.4

four or more persons who voted or were entitled to vote at the election a person alleging themselves to have been a candidate at the election

The only grounds for a petition are: • • •

that the successful candidate was disqualified at the time of the election that the successful candidate was not duly elected that the election was invalidated due to general corruption or on the grounds provided by sections 98 and 99 of the1962 Act.

10.5

The councillor whose election or return is complained about must be a respondent to the petition, and if the petition complains about the conduct of the Returning Officer or their staff during the election, the petition must be served on the Chief Electoral Officer.

10.6

The petition must be presented within 21 days after the day the result of the election is declared. The only exception is if the petition complains of corrupt or illegal practices involving the payment of money or other reward that has taken place since the election, or an illegal practice relating to election expenses, in which case more time may be allowed.

. Form of petition 10.7

The petition must be in the form prescribed by the Election Petition Rules 1964, and must include the following information: • • • •

10.8

29

the capacity in which the petitioner or petitioners are acting the date and result of the election in question the grounds on which the petition is being brought how the declared result should be changed.

The petition must be presented to the Clerk of the Crown (see below).

Part 9, 1962 Act 30


10.9

For more detailed information on the processes to be followed in issuing an election petition, you should consult the relevant legislation and contact: The Clerk of the Crown Royal Courts of Justice Chichester Street Belfast BT1 3JF Tel: 028 9072 4699

Election expenses returns 10.10 Within 35 calendar days of the declaration of the result, your election agent must submit an election expenses return, supporting documentation and the election agent’s declaration as to election expenses (both these documents must be submitted at the same time) to the Council DRO. 30 10.11 Within 7 calendar days of submission of these documents the candidate’s declaration of expenses must be submitted to the DRO. 31 10.12 The DRO has no power to extend either of the deadlines. 10.13 If a candidate or election agent fails to deliver the required return and declarations to the DRO within the 35 day deadline they will be prohibited from sitting and voting in the relevant local council until they have either submitted the return and declarations or the High Court grants an authorised ‘excuse’. If the person sits and votes in contravention of the prohibition they must forfeit £50 for every day that they sit or vote in the Council. 32 If the person fails to pay that money summary proceedings may be taken in the criminal courts. The person will be convicted of an offence and liable to a fine of the accumulated amount. 10.14 In addition, failure to submit any document on time is an illegal practice and will be referred to the Public Prosecution Service for investigation. 33 An illegal practice is a summary criminal offence with a penalty of up to £5,000. 10.15 Guidance on the forms to be used and on their completion is available on the Electoral Commission website www.electoralcommission.org.uk. 10.16 Election expenses may be inspected by any person at the office of the DRO. A fee of 20p per side is payable for any copy supplied. 34 Expenses documents are kept for a period of 12 months, after which you can have them returned to you or your agent, or they will be destroyed.

30

Section 46, 1962 Act Section 47, 1962 Act 32 Section 48, 1962 Act 33 Schedule 9 Paragraph 16, 1962 Act 34 Section 52, 1962 Act 31

31


Inspection and supply of marked registers and absent voter lists 10.17 The marked electoral registers and absent voters’ lists show who has been issued with a ballot paper, who has returned their postal ballot paper, and who has had a proxy vote cast on their behalf. 10.18 You can inspect or obtain copies of the marked register of electors and absent voters’ lists after the election if you make a request to the Chief Electoral Officer. 10.19 You can only use the information obtained from these documents for research or electoral purposes. 35 10.20 The request for inspection must specify: • • • • • •

which documents are requested the purposes for which the information in any document will be used where the request is to inspect the marked register or lists, any reason why inspecting the full register or unmarked lists would not be sufficient to achieve that purpose who will inspect the documents the date on which they wish to inspect the documents, and whether they would prefer to inspect the documents in a printed or data form

10.21 Inspection is under supervision and will be free of charge. You won’t be able to take copies, but may make handwritten notes. 10.22 The request for supply must specify: • • •

which of the marked register or lists (or the relevant part of the register or lists) are requested whether a printed copy of the records or lists is requested or a copy in data form the purposes for which the marked register or lists will be used and why the supply or purchase of a copy of the full register or unmarked lists would not be sufficient to achieve that purpose.

10.23 The requested document will be supplied for a fee based on the number of entries: In data form: £20 + £1.50 for each 1,000 entries or remaining part of 1,000 entries In printed form: £10 + £5.00 for each 1,000 entries or remaining part of 1,000 entries 10.24 Note that after 12 months these documents will be destroyed, unless a court order directs otherwise.

35

Schedule 3, Paragraph 5, Local Elections Order 2010 32


SECTION 11

ELECTORAL OFFENCES

11.1

The following list provides a summary of electoral offences. This list is not exhaustive and candidates are advised to consult the relevant legislation. It does not include offences relating to party and election finance, advice on which may be obtained from the Electoral Commission.

11.2

If you think that an offence may have been committed, you should refer the matter to the police. The Chief Electoral Officer has no investigatory role and cannot report offences on behalf of any other person.

Bribery36 11.3

The offence of bribery includes where someone directly or indirectly gives any money or procures any office to or for any voter, in order to induce any voter to vote or not vote.

Treating 37 11.4

A person is guilty of treating if either before, during or after an election they directly or indirectly give or provide any food, drink, entertainment or provision to corruptly influence any voter to vote or refrain from voting. Treating requires a corrupt intent - it does not apply to ordinary hospitality.

Undue influence 38 11.5

A person is guilty of undue influence if they directly or indirectly make use of or threaten to make use of force, violence or restraint, or inflict or threaten to inflict injury, damage or harm in order to induce or compel that person to vote or refrain from voting. A person may also be guilty of undue influence if they impede or prevent any voter from freely exercising their right to vote – even where the attempt is unsuccessful.

11.6

Undue influence doesn’t exclusively relate to physical access to the polling station. For example, a leaflet that threatens to make use of force in order to induce a voter to vote in a particular way could also be undue influence.

Personation39 11.7

Personation is where an individual votes as someone else either by post or in person at a polling station, as an elector or as a proxy. This offence applies if the person that is being personated is living, dead or fictitious. Aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the offence of personation is also an offence.

36

Schedule 9, Part 1 Para 1, 1962 Act Schedule 9, Part 1 Para 2, 1962 Act 38 Schedule 9, Part 1 Para 3, 1962 Act 39 Schedule 9, Part 1 Para 4, 1962 Act 37

33


False statements as to candidates 40 11.8

It is an illegal practice to make or publish a false statement of fact about the personal character or conduct of a candidate in order to affect the return of a candidate at an election. False statements that are not about another candidate’s personal character or conduct are not illegal under electoral law, but could be considered as libel or slander. It is also an illegal practice to make a false statement of a candidate’s withdrawal.

False statement in nomination paper 41 11.9

It is an offence to knowingly provide a false statement on a nomination paper. For example, if you know you are disqualified from election you must not sign the consent to nomination.

False registration information and false postal/proxy voting application 11.10 It is an offence to supply false information on a registration 42, postal vote or proxy vote application form. 43 False information includes a false signature. False application to vote by post or by proxy44 11.11 A person is guilty of an offence if they apply to vote by post or proxy to gain a vote to which they are not entitled or to deprive someone else of their vote. Multiple voting and proxy voting offences 11.12 There are various offences regarding multiple voting and proxy voting, including voting by post as an elector or proxy when subject to a legal incapacity to vote and inducing or procuring another to commit the offence. Breaches of the secrecy of the ballot 45 11.13 Everyone involved in the election process or attending certain proceedings must maintain the secrecy of the ballot. The Requirement of Secrecy for both elections is at Annex F. Campaign publicity material 11.14 Certain offences relate specifically to election campaign publicity material. Election campaign publicity material must contain an imprint, not resemble a poll card and not contain a false statement as to the personal character or conduct of another candidate.

40

Schedule 9, Part 2 Paras 19 and 20, 1962 Act Schedule 9, Part 1 Para 5A, 1962 Act 42 Section 13D, RPA 1983 43 Schedule 9, Part 1 Para 4A, 1962 Act 44 Schedule 9, Part 1 Para 4A, 1962 Act 45 Schedule 9, Part 3 Para 27, 1962 Act 41

34


Racial hatred 11.15 Under the Public Order Act 1986, it is an offence to publish or distribute threatening, abusive or insulting material that is intended to stir up racial hatred or which is likely to stir up racial hatred.

35


EONI Area Electoral Officers

Annex A

Area Electoral Officer

Contact details

New Council Areas

District Electoral Areas

Rae Kirk

Ballymena Area Electoral Office 122 Broughshane Street Ballymena BT43 6EE

Causeway Coast and Glens

The Glens Causeway Ballymoney

Mid and East Antrim

Larne Lough Coast Road Braid Ballymena Bannside

Mid Ulster

Carntogher Moyola Magherafelt

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon

Cusher Portadown Craigavon Lurgan Lagan River Banbridge

Newry, Mourne and Down

Slieve Gullion Newry Crotlieve The Mournes Slieve Croob Downpatrick

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Lisburn South Downshire East Downshire West

Tel: 028 9044 6600 Email: rae.kirk@eoni.org.uk

Majella Morgan

Banbridge Area Electoral Office 52 Bridge Street Banbridge BT32 3JU Tel: 028 9044 6610 Email: majella.morgan@eoni.org.uk


Maureen Carroll

Belfast Area Electoral Office 15 Church Street Belfast BT1 1ER

Belfast

Court Black Mountain Collin Balmoral Botanic Lisnasharragh

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Castlereagh South Lisburn North

Derry/Londonderry Area Electoral Office 20A Queen Street Derry/Londonderry BT48 7EQ

Causeway Coast and Glens

Coleraine Bann Benbradagh Limavady

Tel: 028 9044 6620

Derry and Strabane

Ballyarnett Foyleside The Moor Waterside Faughan Sperrin Derg

Antrim and Newtownabbey

Dunsilly Antrim Airport Ballyclare Three Mile Water Macedon Glengormley Urban

Belfast

Castle Oldpark

Mid and East Antrim

Knockagh Carrick Castle

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Killultagh

Tel: 028 9044 6680 Email: maureen.carroll@eoni.org.uk

Patricia Murphy

Email: patricia.murphy@eoni.org.uk

Janet Goodall

Newtownabbey Area Electoral Office 1-3 Portland Avenue Newtownabbey BT36 5EY Tel: 028 9044 6630 Email: janet.goodall@eoni.org.uk

37


Jeanette Murray

Martin Fox

Newtownards Area Electoral Office 2B Regent Street Newtownards BT23 4HL

Belfast

Ormiston Titanic

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Castlereagh East

Tel: 028 9044 6640 Email: jeanette.murray@eoni.org.uk

North Down and Ards

Ards Peninsula Comber Newtownards Bangor East and Donaghadee Bangor Central Bangor West Holywood and Clandeboye

Newry, Mourne and Down

Rowallane

Fermanagh and Omagh

Erne West Erne North Enniskillen West Tyrone Omagh Mid Tyrone Erne East

Mid Ulster

Cookstown Torrent Dungannon Clogher Valley

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon

Armagh

Omagh Area Electoral Office 21 Kevlin Avenue Omagh BT78 1ER Tel: 028 9044 6650 Email: m.fox@eoni.org.uk

38


Council DROs and Assistant DROs

Annex B

DRO

Assistant DRO

Contact Details

New Council Areas

District Electoral Areas

Jacqui Dixon

Hugh Kelly David McCammick

Newtownabbey Borough Council Mossley Hill Newtownabbey BT36 5QA

Antrim and Newtownabbey

Dunsilly Antrim Airport Ballyclare Three Mile Water Macedon Glengormley Urban

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon

Cusher Portadown Craigavon Lurgan Lagan River Banbridge Armagh

Belfast

Court Black Mountain Collin Balmoral Botanic Lisnasharragh Castle Oldpark Ormiston Titanic

Tel: 028 9034 0001 Email: jdixon@newtownabbey.gov.uk Dr Theresa Donaldson

John Briggs Liam Hannaway

Craigavon Borough Council PO Box 66, Lakeview Road Craigavon BT64 1AL Tel: 028 3831 2402 Email: theresa.donaldson@craigavon.gov.uk

Peter McNaney

Stephen McCrory Jim Hanna

Belfast City Council City Hall Belfast BT1 5GS Tel: 028 9027 0202 Email: mcnaneyp@belfastcity.gov.uk

39


John Dempsey

Liz Johnston

Ballymoney Borough Council 14 Charles Street Ballymoney BT53 6DZ

Causeway Coast and Glens

The Glens Causeway Ballymoney Coleraine Bann Benbradagh Limavady

Derry and Strabane

Ballyarnett Foyleside The Moor Waterside Faughan Sperrin Derg

Fermanagh and Omagh

Erne West Erne North Enniskillen West Tyrone Omagh Mid Tyrone Erne East

Lisburn and Castlereagh

Lisburn South Downshire East Downshire West Castlereagh South Lisburn North Killultagh Castlereagh East

Tel: 028 2766 0237 Email: john.dempsey@ballymoney.gov.uk Sharon O’Connor

Sharon Maxwell

Derry City Council 98 Strand Road Londonderry BT48 7NN Tel: 028 7137 6507 Email: sharon.oconnor@derrycity.gov.uk

Joan McCaffrey

Bronagh Brown

Omagh District Council The Grange Mountjoy Road Omagh BT79 7BL Tel: 8225 6203 Email: joan.mccaffrey@omagh.gov.uk

Adrian Donaldson

Carmel Connolly Colin McClintock

Lisburn City Council Lagan Valley Island 1 The Island Lisburn BT27 4RL Tel: 028 9250 9206 Email: adriand@lisburn.gov.uk

40


Anne Donaghy

Ian Eagleson Lorraine Hunter

Ballymena Borough Council 80 Galgorm Road Ballymena BT42 1AB

Mid and East Antrim

Larne Lough Coast Road Braid Ballymena Bannside Knockagh Carrick Castle

Mid Ulster

Carntogher Moyola Magherafelt Cookstown Torrent Dungannon Clogher Valley

Newry, Mourne and Down

Slieve Gullion Newry Crotlieve The Mournes Slieve Croob Downpatrick Rowallane

North Down and Ards

Ards Peninsula Comber Newtownards Bangor East and Donaghadee Bangor Central Bangor West Holywood and Clandeboye

Tel: 028 2566 0346 Email: anne.donaghy@ballymena.gov.uk John McLaughlin

Alan Burke

Magherafelt District Council 50 Ballyronan Road Magherafelt BT45 6EN Tel: 028 7939 7979 Email: chief.executive@magherafelt.gov.uk

John Dumigan

Marie Ward Eddy Curtis Robert Dowey

Down District Council Downshire Civic Centre Downshire Estate Ardglass Road Downpatrick BT30 6RA Tel: 028 4461 0800 Email: john.dumigan@downdc.gov.uk

Trevor Polley

Wendy Monson Brian Dorrian

North Down Borough Council The Castle Bangor BT20 4BT Tel: 028 9127 8000 Email: trevor.polley@northdown.gov.uk

41


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

Annex C

LE2

Local Council Elections

Nomination paper

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

We, the undersigned, being electors in the above mentioned district electoral area do hereby nominate the under-mentioned person as a candidate at this election. Candidate’s Details

Candidate’s surname Other names in full Commonly used surname (if any) Commonly used forenames (if any) Description (if any) Home address in full (including postcode) Electoral no. (see para 4.27) Print name

Signature Ward no.

Electoral no.

Proposer Seconder We, the undersigned, being electors for the above-mentioned district electoral area do hereby assent to the foregoing nomination. Full name

Signature

Ward no.

Electoral no.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. This form must be delivered to the Deputy Returning Officer by 1pm on 29 April 2014.

42


NOTES 1.

You are advised to read Section 4 of this Guide before completing the form and to complete all sections in CAPITAL LETTERS except for signatures and dates.

2.

The attention of candidates and electors is drawn to the rules for completing nomination papers and other provisions relating to nomination contained in the local elections rules in Schedule 5 to the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962, as substituted by Schedule 1 to the Local Elections (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and, in particular, to the need for a candidate to consent to their nomination.

3. Where the candidate is commonly known by some title (e.g. a Lord) he or she may be described by their title as if it were their surname. 3A. Where a candidate commonly uses a name which is different from any other name he or she has, the commonly used name may also appear on the nomination paper, but if it does so, the commonly used name (instead of any other name) will appear on the ballot paper. 3B. But the ballot paper will show the other name if the deputy returning officer thinks— (a) that the use of the commonly used name may be likely to mislead or confuse electors, or (b) that the commonly used name is obscene or offensive. 4.

An elector must not sign more nomination papers for the district electoral area than there are vacancies to be filled.

5.

A person whose name is entered in the register may not subscribe a nomination paper if the entry gives as the date on which he will become of voting age a date later than the day fixed for the poll.

6.

Where, because of blindness or disability, you are unable to sign a nomination paper or consent to nomination you may instead make your mark. The mark must be witnessed by a person who must sign the document and give their address. You may contact the Deputy Returning Officer for advice.

7.

This form, along with the consent to nomination, must be delivered to the Deputy Returning Officer by 1pm on 29 April 2014. Incomplete, illegible or incorrectly completed forms will be invalid.

43


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

LE2

Local Council Elections

District

NORTH DOWN & ARDS

District Electoral Area

NEWTOWNARDS

Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Sample Nomination paper

We, the undersigned, being electors in the above mentioned district electoral area do hereby nominate the under-mentioned person as a candidate at this election. Candidate’s Details

Candidate’s surname

CARTER

Other names in full

JOSEPH

Commonly used surname (if any) Commonly used forenames (if any)

JOE

Description (if any)

TRANSPORT WORKER PARTY

Home address in full (including postcode)

5 DOWN STREET, BANGOR, CO DOWN BT20 4HJ

Electoral no. (see para 4.27) Full name

Signature Ward no.

Electoral no.

Proposer

RUPERT DRIVER

R Driver

N08000116

1

Seconder

VERONICA LEEPER

V Leeper

N08000117

100

We, the undersigned, being electors for the above-mentioned district electoral area do hereby assent to the foregoing nomination. Full name

Signature

Ward no.

Electoral no.

1.

PATRICIA LOADER

P Loader

N08000116

257

2.

HORACE PARKER

H Parker

N08000117

265

3.

HARRY SKIDMORE

H Skidmore

N08000120

1457

4.

PETER SPEED

P Speed

N08000121

895

5.

RUTH SPRINGER

R Springer

N08000131

257

6.

ANTHONY WALKER

A Walker

N08000136

2486

7.

FRANCES WHEELER

F Wheeler

N08000140

24

8.

FRANK WHISTLER

F Whistler

N08000140

568

This form must be delivered to the Deputy Returning Officer by 1pm on 29 April 2014. 44


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

LE2(A)

Local Council Elections

Date of election

Candidate’s consent to nomination

Thursday 22 May 2014

I (name in full) of (home address in full) hereby consent to my nomination as a candidate for election as councillor for the

district electoral area

in the district of I declare that I have attained the age of 18 years and that I am a qualifying Commonwealth citizen or citizen of the Republic of Ireland or a citizen of another Member State of the European Union and that: *(a) I am a local elector for the district of the Council;

or

*(b) during the whole of the period of twelve months preceding the day of the poll: *(i) I have occupied as owner or tenant land in that district, or *(ii) resided in that district;

or

*(c) my principal or only place of work during that 12 months has been in that district. *delete as appropriate

or

I further declare that to the best of my knowledge and belief I am not disqualified for being elected by reason of any disqualification set out in section 4 of the Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972, a copy of which is printed overleaf, and I am not a candidate at an election in the same local government electoral area the poll for which is to be held on the same day as the election to which this consent relates. I declare that, if elected, I will not by word or deed express support for or approval of: (a) any organisation that is for the time being a proscribed organisation specified in Schedule 2 to the Terrorism Act 2000; or (b) acts of terrorism (that is to say, violence for political ends) connected with the affairs of Northern Ireland. Candidate’s date of birth DD

MM

Candidate’s signature

Date of consent

YEAR

Witness: I confirm the above-mentioned candidate signed the declaration in my presence. Witness’s signature

Date

Witness (name in full) Address of witness (in full) This form must be delivered to the Deputy Returning Officer by 1pm on 29 April 2014. 45


LE2(A)

Local Council Elections

Candidate’s consent to nomination

Candidates are advised to seek their own legal advice if they think they may be disqualified.

Local Government Act (Northern Ireland) 1972 (as amended) 4 Disqualifications (1) Subject to section 5, a person shall be disqualified for being elected or being a councillor if— (a) he holds any paid office or other place of profit (not being that of chairman or sheriff) in the gift or disposal of that or any other council; or (b) is the subject of (i) a bankruptcy restrictions order or interim order; or (ii) a debt relief restrictions order or interim order; (c) he is disqualified for being elected or being a councillor under Article 19 or 20 of the Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 2005; (cc) he has been found guilty of one or more offences by any court in Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the British Islands and sentenced or ordered to be imprisoned or detained indefinitely or for three months or more without the option of a fine and either of the periods mentioned in subsection (3) is current; or (d) he has within the five years immediately preceding the day of his election or at any time subsequent to that day been guilty of any conduct which the High Court has by order declared was reprehensible within the meaning of section 31; or (dd) within the five years immediately preceding the day of his election or at any time subsequent to that day, a determination has been made by the High Court that he has acted in breach of the terms of a declaration against terrorism as defined in section 7 of the Elected Authorities (Northern Ireland) Act 1989; or (e) he is disqualified for being elected or being a councillor either under section 6(2) or under any other statutory provision (including a provision relating to corrupt or illegal practices). (f) he has received a severance payment (within the meaning of section 19 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act (Northern Ireland) 2010). Subs.(2) rep. by 1985 NI 15 (3) The periods referred to in subsection (1)(cc) are— (a) the period of his actual imprisonment or detention (including any time when he is unlawfully at large), and (b) the period of five years beginning with his discharge. (4) For the purposes of subsections (1)(cc) and (3)— (a) consecutive terms of imprisonment or detention imposed in respect of offences of which the offender was found guilty in the same proceedings are to be treated as a single term, 46


(b) the release of an offender on licence or in pursuance of a grant of remission is to be treated as his discharge, whether or not his release is subject to conditions, but if, in respect of the same offence or offences, he is required to return to prison or detention for a further period the reference in subsection (3) to his discharge includes a reference to his discharge in respect of that further period, and (c) the reference in subsection (1)(cc) to a sentence or order does not, except in a case where the sentence or order does take effect for any term, include one that is ordered not to take effect unless the conditions specified in the order are fulfilled and, in such a case, the original sentence or order is to be treated as a sentence or order of imprisonment or detention for that term. (5) In the application of this section to a person who is a candidate to be returned under section 11D, 11E or 11F (casual vacancies) of the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962, references to the day of the person's election are to the date of the person's response under section 11D or declaration under section 11E or 11F (as the case may be). Note: 4(1)(c) and (e) above have been modified by Article 3(4) of The Local Government (Boundaries)(2008 Act)(Commencement, Transitional Provision and Savings) Order (Northern Ireland) 2013 which commenced on 3 October 2013 and provides: 3. (4) A reference in section 4(1)(c) or (e) of the 1972 Act to the disqualification of a person for being elected or being a councillor includes reference to a person disqualified for being elected or being a councillor in relation to an existing council or a new council as the case may be.

47


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

LE2(C)

Local Council Elections

Request to use party description/emblem

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Complete this form if you wish to have a party description or party emblem on the ballot paper next to your name. Candidate name (in full)

I wish to use the following description on my nomination paper

The emblem must be one of the emblems registered by your political party, or in the case of a joint candidate one of the parties registered with the Electoral Commission. Where a party has more than one registered emblem, the one that is authorised for use must be specified by giving the unique number or description allocated to it on the Electoral Commission website https://pefonline.electoralcommission.org.uk/search/searchintro.aspx. I wish to use the party emblem number/description as shown on the Electoral Commission website, a copy of which is attached. Emblem number/ description

Note: In the case of a joint candidate the schedule must be signed by the Nominating Officer of both parties, or a person authorised by them. The Nominating Officer has completed the schedule authorising my use of the above description and emblem on the ballot paper and lodged it with the Deputy Returning Officer. Candidate’s signature

Date

This form must be delivered to the Deputy Returning Officer by 1pm on 29 April 2014.

48


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

LE39(A)

Local Council Elections

Notification of election agent

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Candidate’s notification of their election agent

I, (Candidate name in full) Hereby declare that the name and address of my election agent is Agent’s name Agent’s address (in full) The office address of my election agent to which all claims, notices, legal process and other documents may be sent is (note: the address must be in the Local Council area): Agent’s office address (in full) Candidate’s signature (or signature of person authorised to act on behalf of candidate)

Date Confirmation of acceptance by election agent I [agent named above] confirm my acceptance as the election agent for the above named candidate. I understand that I must carry out my duties according to law. I understand that there are penalties if I fail to fulfil my duties according to law. Agent’s signature Date Agent’s other details in case of query (optional – will not be published)

Home telephone Work telephone Mobile telephone Email address This form must be delivered to the Deputy Returning Officer by 1pm on 29 April 2014. 49


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

Local Council Elections

Electoral Register/AV list request

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Warning: Please note the restrictions on use of the register and of the information contained in it set out in Part 6 of the Representation of the People (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2008. Contravention of these provisions is a criminal offence upon conviction for which the offender would be liable to a fine not exceeding ÂŁ5,000. Any person who obtains a copy of the register and does not complete the nomination process must return the register or the matter will be referred to the police. This form must be completed by the candidate and submitted to the Deputy Returning Officer.

Name of Candidate I declare that I am a candidate at the above named election. I will use my copy of the electoral register/absent voter list for electoral purposes and checking the validity of donations only. I will only allow others who are assisting me in my campaign to use my copy of the electoral register/absent voter list for the same purposes. My request is for the latest version of the register and any revisions or notices of amendment while I am a candidate. In the event that I do not complete the nomination process I undertake to return the registers/absent voters list. I understand that if I do not return these documents the matter will be referred to the police. Signed (Candidate)

My application is for the electoral register in (tick one box only) Paper format Data format Absent voter list required

Yes

No

Overseas register required

Yes

No

Full address (inc. postcode) Phone no. Email

50


Local Council Elections

Candidate checklist

This checklist is designed to assist candidates standing in the 2014 Local Council Elections in preparing to submit their nomination, and should be read alongside the Guide for Candidates.

Task

Tick

Nomination paper (all candidates) Add your full name – surname in the first box and all other names in the second. Optional - Use the commonly used name(s) boxes if you are commonly known by a name other than your full name and want it to be used instead of your full name. Description – Party candidates can use a party name or description registered with the Electoral Commission and supported by authorisation from that party; others can use ‘Independent’ or leave this blank. Add your full address (including postcode) Subscribers – all ten subscribers must sign and print their name. Use your copy of the electoral register to make sure the elector numbers of all subscribers are accurate.

Candidate’s consent to nomination (all candidates) You must be a British, Commonwealth or other European Union Citizen. You must also be 18 years old or older. You must meet at least one of the listed qualifications (a, b, or c). You must not sign the form if you are disqualified to stand. Make sure that you read the relevant legislation. If you are not sure if you are able to stand you should, if necessary, take your own independent legal advice. Add your full date of birth. Sign and date the document in the presence of a witness. The witness must complete and sign the witness section.

Request for party description/emblem Add your full name. Ensure the party Nominating Officer has completed the schedule authorising use of the description and emblem and lodged it with the Deputy Returning Officer. Ensure you have indicated the emblem you wish to use by giving the description and/or number from the Electoral Commission website. Attach a paper copy of the emblem.

Appoint an election agent (if not acting as own election agent) Give the name, address and office address of the appointed election agent. Ensure the appointed agent signs the form showing their acceptance.

Request for electoral register/absent voter list Specify the format required. Specify whether the absent voter list/overseas elector list is required.

51


Date received Time received Initials

LE39

Office Use only

Annex D

Local Council Elections

Appointment of polling agents

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Polling agents can be appointed by the candidate or their election agent. You can appoint a person to all Local Election boxes in the above DEA by writing ‘All’ in the third column, or list specific box numbers. Only one polling agent can be present at any Local Election box at any one time. Polling agents will have to produce photographic identification of a type that can be used by a voter to gain access to the polling station. This form must be delivered to the Council Deputy Returning Officer by 5pm on Thursday 15 May 2014. Incomplete, illegible or incorrectly completed forms will be invalid. Name of candidate Signature of candidate or election agent

I appoint the following people as polling agents: Full Name (CAPITAL LETTERS)

Full Address (CAPITAL LETTERS)

All or Local Election Box number(s)

52


Full Name (CAPITAL LETTERS)

Full Address (CAPITAL LETTERS)

All or Local Election Box number(s)

Continue on a separate sheet if necessary

53


LE39D

Local Council Elections

Polling Agent Instructions

These notes are provided for your guidance. You are advised to read them carefully. Contravening them is likely to result in your being excluded from the polling station and/or reported to the police for investigation and possible prosecution. A Your role: The only statutory duties of a polling agent are to: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Guard against personation (i.e. elector pretending to be someone else). Inspect the local election ballot box before the poll opens to ensure it is empty. Affix a seal to the local election ballot box at the close of poll. Be present when the presiding officer marks a ballot paper for a voter with disabilities.

B You must: 1. Obey the lawful instructions of the presiding officer and his/her staff. 2. Report to the presiding officer on every occasion that you enter or leave the polling station (i.e. the room where the poll is taking place). 3. Produce photographic identification (of a type used by electors) to the presiding officer or his/her staff when first entering the polling station and on request. 4. Sit at the table provided except when carrying out your duties (see section A above). 5. Conduct yourself in an orderly manner. C You must not: 1. Before 10pm pass information on who has voted to anyone inside or outside the polling station. 2. Before 10pm remove from the polling station a register or other document showing who has voted. 3. Try to persuade any person to vote in a particular way. 4. Use a mobile phone or other electronic equipment for speech, text or any other purpose. 5. Speak to the presiding officer or his/her staff except as required by your duties (see section A above). 6. Ask the presiding officer or his/her staff for confirmation on the number of ballot papers issued. 7. Speak to any elector except as required by your duties (see section A above). 8. Enter any polling booth other than to inspect it – you can do this only when the booth is not in use – or when watching the presiding officer assisting an elector. 9. Place any notice in any polling booth or deface any notice displayed. 10. Give a dummy ballot paper or other document to any elector. 11. Loiter anywhere within the premises used for the polling station – if you are not on duty at the local election ballot box you must leave the premises immediately. 12. Consume alcohol on the premises used for the polling station. 13. Smoke tobacco anywhere within the premises used for the polling station or in any playground or yard attached to the premises. 14. Eat food, other than sweets or similar items, anywhere on the premises used for the polling station. 15. Do anything which hinders the presiding officer or his/her staff in the performance of their duties or otherwise disrupt the smooth running of the polling station. D You may: 1. Wear a party rosette, it should be plain and not refer to a specific candidate or party. 2. Mark a copy of the electoral register to indicate the electors to whom a ballot paper has been issued but you must not take the marked copy out of the polling station before 10pm. 3. Ask the presiding officer or his/her staff to repeat the name and electoral number of any elector if you did not hear it. 4. Ask the presiding officer to put the local election statutory questions if you believe that an elector is attempting personation. 5. Leave the polling station whenever you wish after first having reported to the presiding officer or his/her staff. 6. Re-enter the polling station provided no other polling agent for the same candidate is present. You must report to the presiding officer or his/her staff whenever you re-enter the polling station.

54


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

LE40

Local Council Elections

Appointment of counting agents

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Counting agents can be appointed by the candidate or their election agent. The Council Deputy Returning Officer will tell you the maximum number of counting agents you can appoint once the number of candidates is known. Each candidate may nominate one other person to be present. Counting agents will have to produce photographic identification of a type that can be used by a voter to gain access to the count venue. This form must be delivered to the Council Deputy Returning Officer by 5pm on Thursday 15 May 2014. Incomplete, illegible or incorrectly completed forms will be invalid. Name of candidate Signature of candidate or election agent Name and address of other person entitled to be present

I appoint the following people to act as counting agents at the count of votes for the above DEA: Full name (CAPITAL LETTERS)

Full address including postcode (CAPITAL LETTERS)

55


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

LE40A

Local Council Elections

Appointment of verification agents

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Verification agents can be appointed by the candidate or their election agent. The Council Deputy Returning Officer will tell you the maximum number of verification agents you can appoint once the number of candidates is known. Each candidate may nominate one other person to be present. Verification agents will have to produce photographic identification of a type that can be used by a voter to gain access to the verification venue. This form must be delivered to the Council Deputy Returning Officer by 5pm on Thursday 15 May 2014. Incomplete, illegible or incorrectly completed forms will be invalid. Name of candidate Signature of candidate or election agent Name and address of other person entitled to be present

I appoint the following people to act as verification agents at the verification of votes for the above DEA: Full name (CAPITAL LETTERS)

Full address including postcode (CAPITAL LETTERS)

56


Office Use only

Date received Time received Initials

LE40B

Local Council Elections

Appointment of postal vote agents

District District Electoral Area Date of election

Thursday 22 May 2014

Postal vote agents can be appointed by the candidate or their election agent. The Council Deputy Returning Officer will tell you the maximum number of postal vote agents you can appoint and the place/date/time for the issue/opening of postal votes. Postal vote agents will have to produce photographic identification of a type that can be used by a voter to gain access to the issue/opening. This form must be delivered to the Council Deputy Returning Officer before the time fixed for the issue/opening. Incomplete, illegible or incorrectly completed forms will be invalid. Name of candidate Signature of candidate or election agent

I appoint the following people as postal vote agents for the above District Electoral Area: Full name (CAPITAL LETTERS)

Full address including postcode (CAPITAL LETTERS)

57


Annex E

Canvasser Code of Conduct

CODE OF CONDUCT CANVASSING IN THE VICINITY OF POLLING PLACES The following principles are intended to guide the conduct of canvassers in the vicinity of polling places: •

Canvassers shall be polite and courteous at all times when speaking to members of the public. They should be careful to avoid any behaviour which may leave them open to complaints of harassment or intimidation.

Canvassers will not engage in canvassing activities inside the grounds of a polling place.

Canvassers should not stop, or in any way impede, the free flow of vehicular traffic entering or leaving the grounds of a polling place.

Canvassers should not restrict or in any way impede pedestrian access to any entrance of a polling place.

Canvassers shall not attach flags, emblems, banners, posters or any other item used in connection with canvassing to a polling place or to any part of its perimeter wall or fence.

This Code of Conduct has been agreed with political parties. NB: The term ‘polling place’ is referred to in Section 18B of the Representation of the People Act 1983 but the actual meaning of the term is not defined in law. For the purposes of the Electoral Petition Hearing in September 2010 it was described as ‘The building inside which one or more polling stations are located.’

58


Annex F

LE29

Local Council Elections

Notification of Requirement of Secrecy

Your attention is drawn to the relevant provisions of paragraph 27 of Schedule 9 to the Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962 which apply to this election, and in particular to the maximum penalty for anyone guilty of an electoral offence. Level 5 is currently set at £5,000. It is the policy of the Chief Electoral Officer to report to the police any person suspected of breaking any of these provisions. Polling Station Paragraph 27 (1) A person attending at or admitted to a polling station in any capacity at an election shall be guilty of an electoral offence if before the poll is closed he communicates to any other person any information as to – (a) the name of any elector or proxy who has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted at a polling station; or (b) the number on the register of any elector who, or whose proxy, has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted at a polling station; or (c) the official mark. Paragraph 27 (3) A person shall be guilty of an electoral offence if he – (a) interferes with or attempts to interfere with a voter when recording his vote; or (b) otherwise obtains or attempts to obtain in a polling station information as to the candidate for whom a voter in that station is about to vote or has voted; or (c) communicates at any time to any person any information obtained in a polling station as to the candidate for whom a voter in that station is about to vote or has voted, or as to the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper issued to a voter at that station; or (d) directly or indirectly induces a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom he has or has not voted; or (e) being a person permitted, on making the declaration made by the companion of a voter with disabilities, to remain with a voter with disabilities while the presiding officer records his vote, communicates at any time to any person any information as to the candidate for whom that voter intends to vote or has voted, or as to the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper issued for use of that voter. Issue and receipt of postal ballot papers Paragraph 27 (4) Any person attending the proceedings in connection with the issue or receipt of ballot papers for persons voting by post shall be guilty of an electoral offence if he – (a) communicates, before the poll is closed, to any person any information obtained at those proceedings as to the official mark; or (b) except for some purpose authorised by law, communicates to any person at any time any information obtained at those proceedings as to the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper sent to any person; or (c) except for some purpose authorised by law, attempts to ascertain at the proceedings in connection with the receipt of ballot papers the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of any ballot paper; or (d) attempts to ascertain at the proceedings in connection with the receipt of the ballot papers the candidate for whom any vote is given in any particular ballot paper or communicates any information with respect thereto obtained at those proceedings. Count Paragraph 27 (2) Any person attending in any capacity at the count at any election shall be guilty of an electoral offence if he – (a) ascertains or attempts to ascertain at the count the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of any ballot paper; or (b) at any time communicates any information obtained at the count as to the candidate for whom any vote is given on any particular ballot paper. Section 111 (2A) (d) in the case of an offence under paragraph 27 of Schedule 9, a person guilty of an electoral offence at a local election shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months.

59


European Election

Notification of Requirement of Secrecy

Your attention is drawn to Regulation 30 of the European Parliamentary Elections (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2004, and in particular to the maximum penalty set out in sub-paragraph (7) for anyone found guilty of this offence. Level 5 is currently set at £5000. It is the policy of the Chief Electoral Officer to report to the police any person suspected of breaking any of these provisions. Polling Station (1) The following persons – (a) (b) (c)

the returning officer and every presiding officer or clerk attending at a polling station, every candidate or election agent or polling agent so attending, every person so attending by virtue of any of sections 6A to 6D of the 2000 Act shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of voting and shall not, except for some purpose authorised by law, communicate to any person before the poll is closed any information as to – (i)

the name of any elector or proxy for an elector who has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted at a polling station; (ii) the number on the register of electors of any elector who, or whose proxy, has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted at a polling station; or (iii) the official mark. (4) No person shall – (a) interfere with or attempt to interfere with a voter when recording his vote; (b) otherwise obtain or attempt to obtain in a polling station information as to the way in which a voter in that station is about to vote or has voted; (c) communicate at any time to any person any information obtained in a polling station as to the way in which a voter in that station is about to vote or has voted, or as to the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper given to a voter at that station; (d) directly or indirectly induce a voter to display his ballot paper after he has marked it so as to make known to any person the way in which he has voted. (6) No person having undertaken to assist a voter with disabilities to vote shall communicate at any time to any person any information as to the way in which that voter intends to vote or has voted, or as to the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper given for the use of that voter. Issue and receipt of postal ballot papers (5) Every person attending the proceedings in connection with the issue or the receipt of ballot papers for persons voting by post shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of the voting and shall not – (a) except for some purpose authorised by law, communicate, before the poll is closed, to any person any information obtained at those proceedings as to the official mark; or (b) except for some purpose authorised by law, communicate to any person at any time any information obtained at those proceedings as to the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of the ballot paper sent to any person; or (c) except for some purpose authorised by law, attempt to ascertain at the proceedings in connection with the receipt of ballot papers the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of any ballot paper; or (d) attempt to ascertain at the proceedings in connection with the receipt of the ballot papers the way in which any vote is given in any particular ballot paper or communicate any information with respect thereto obtained at those proceedings. Count (2) Every person attending at the verification of the ballot paper accounts or the counting of the votes shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of voting and shall not – (a) ascertain or attempt to ascertain at the counting of the votes the number or other unique identifying mark on the back of any ballot paper; (b) communicate any information obtained at the verification of the ballot paper accounts or the counting of the votes as to the way in which any vote is given on any particular ballot paper. (3) No person attending at the verification of the ballot paper accounts shall express to any person an opinion based on information obtained at that verification as to the likely result of the election. (7) If a person acts in contravention of this regulation he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months. 60


Local council election 22 may 2014 guide for candidates  
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