Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation2002 c. 13
Year2002


Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act 2002

2002 CHAPTER 13

An Act to provide for the supply to the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland of the signatures, dates of birth and national insurance numbers of electors and persons seeking registration as electors in Northern Ireland and of information relating to their period of residence in Northern Ireland and addresses in respect of which they are or have applied to be registered; for the use of that information in connection with elections in Northern Ireland; for the issue of electoral identity cards by the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland; for the modification in relation to voters with disabilities of certain rules about voting procedure in Northern Ireland; and for connected purposes.

[1st May 2002]

B e it enacted y the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Registration: provision of signature, date of birth and other information

1 Registration: provision of signature, date of birth and other information

(1) The Representation of the People Act 1983 (c. 2) (in this Act referred to as ‘the 1983 Act’) is amended as follows.

(2) In section 10 (maintenance of registers: annual canvass), after subsection (4) there is inserted—

(4A) Subject to subsection (4B) below, the information to be obtained by the use of such a form for the purposes of a canvass in Northern Ireland shall include—

(a) the signature of each of the persons in relation to whom the form is completed;

(b) the date of birth of each such person; and

(c) in relation to each such person—

(i) his national insurance number or a statement that he does not have one,

(ii) a statement of whether or not he has been resident in Northern Ireland for the whole of the three-month period ending on the 15th October in the year in question, and

(iii) any address in the United Kingdom in respect of which he is or has applied to be registered (other than the address in respect of which the form is completed),

and the power in subsection (4) above to prescribe a form includes power to give effect to the requirements of this subsection.

(4B) The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland may dispense with the requirement mentioned in subsection (4A)(a) above in relation to any person if he is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for that person to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of any incapacity of his or because he is unable to read.’

(3) In section 10A (maintenance of registers: registration of electors)—

(a) after subsection (1) there is inserted—

(1A) Subject to subsection (1B) below, an application for registration in respect of an address in Northern Ireland shall include—

(a) the signature of each of the persons to whom the application relates;

(b) the date of birth of each such person; and

(c) in relation to each such person—

(i) his national insurance number or a statement that he does not have one,

(ii) a statement of whether or not he has been resident in Northern Ireland for the whole of the three-month period ending on the date of the application, and

(iii) any other address in the United Kingdom in respect of which he is or has applied to be registered,

and the power in subsection (1) above to prescribe requirements includes power to give effect to the requirements of this subsection.

(1B) The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland may dispense with the requirement mentioned in subsection (1A)(a) above in relation to any person if he is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for that person to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of any incapacity of his or because he is unable to read.’,

(b) in subsection (5), at the beginning there is inserted ‘Subject to subsection (5A) below,’,

(c) after subsection (5) there is inserted—

(5A) A person's name is to be removed from the register in respect of any address if—

(a) the form mentioned in section 10(4) above in respect of that address does not include all the information relating to him required by virtue of section 10(4A) above; or

(b) the registration officer determines that he is not satisfied with the information relating to that person which was included in that form pursuant to that requirement.’,

(d) in subsection (6), after ‘above,’ there is inserted ‘or his name is to be removed from it by virtue of subsection (5A) above,’, and

(e) in subsection (8), after ‘(5)’ there is inserted ‘, (5A)’.

(4) In section 13A (alteration of registers), after subsection (2) there is inserted—

(2A) Subject to subsection (2B) below, an application for registration under subsection (1)(a) above in respect of an address in Northern Ireland shall include—

(a) the signature of each of the persons to whom the application relates;

(b) the date of birth of each such person; and

(c) in relation to each such person—

(i) his national insurance number or a statement that he does not have one,

(ii) a statement of whether or not he has been resident in Northern Ireland for the whole of the three-month period ending on the date of the application, and

(iii) any other address in the United Kingdom in respect of which he is or has applied to be registered,

and the power in subsection (1)(a) above to prescribe requirements includes power to give effect to the requirements of this subsection.

(2B) The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland may dispense with the requirement mentioned in subsection (2A)(a) above in relation to any person if he is satisfied that it is not reasonably practicable for that person to sign in a consistent and distinctive way because of any incapacity of his or because he is unable to read.’

S-2 Dates of birth and ballot papers

2 Dates of birth and ballot papers

(1) Schedule 1 to the 1983 Act (parliamentary elections rules) is amended as follows.

(2) In rule 35 (questions to be put to voters)—

(a) after paragraph (1) there is inserted—

(1A) In the case of a person applying as an elector, the presiding officer may put the following additional question—

‘What is your date of birth?’.’, and

(b) in paragraph (2), after ‘mentioned’ there is inserted ‘in paragraph (1)’.

(3) In rule 37 (delivery of ballot paper to voter except in cases of doubt)—

(a) in paragraph (1B), for ‘the document’ to the end there is substituted—

‘(a) the document; or

(b) the apparent age of the voter as compared with his age according to the date supplied as the date of his birth pursuant to section 10(4A)(b), 10A(1A)(b) or 13A(2A)(b) of this Act,

raises a reasonable doubt as to whether the voter is the elector or proxy he represents himself to be.’,

(b) in paragraph (1C), for the words from ‘Where’ to ‘decides,’ there is substituted ‘Where in such a case it is a presiding officer who so decides,’, and

(c) for paragraph (1D) there is substituted—

(1D) Where in such a case it is a clerk who so decides, he shall refer the matter and produce the document to the presiding officer, who shall proceed as if it had been to him that the voter had presented himself and produced the document in the first place.’

(4) In rule 40 (tendered ballot papers), in paragraph (1B), after ‘where’ there is inserted—

‘(a) under paragraph (3) of rule 35 a ballot paper is not delivered to a person following his unsatisfactory answer to the question in paragraph (1A) of that rule; or

(b) ’.

S-3 Absent votes and declarations of identity

3 Absent votes and declarations of identity

(1) The Representation of the People Act 1985 (c. 50) is amended in accordance with subsections (2) and (3).

(2) In section 6 (absent vote at elections for an indefinite period)—

(a) in subsection (1), the word ‘and’ at the end of paragraph (b) is omitted, and after that paragraph there is inserted—

‘(ba) the application states the applicant's date of birth and the registration officer is satisfied that the date stated corresponds with the date supplied as the date of the applicant's birth pursuant to section 10(4A)(b), 10A(1A)(b) or 13A(2A)(b) of the principal Act,

(bb) the application is signed and (unless section 10(4B), 10A(1B) or 13A(2B) of the principal Act applies) the registration officer is satisfied that the signature on the application corresponds with the signature supplied as the applicant's signature pursuant to section 10(4A)(a), 10A(1A)(a) or 13A(2A)(a) of the principal Act,

(bc) the application either states the applicant's national insurance number or states that he does not have one, and the registration officer is satisfied as mentioned in subsection (1A) below, and’, and

(b) after subsection (1) there is inserted—

(1A) For the purposes of subsection (1)(bc) above, the registration officer must be satisfied—

(a) if the application states a national insurance number, that the requirements of subsection (1B) below are met, or

(b) if the application states that the applicant does not have a national insurance number, that no such number was supplied as his national insurance number pursuant to section 10(4A)(c)(i), 10A(1A)(c)(i) or 13A(2A)(c)(i) of the principal Act.

(1B) The requirements of this subsection are met if—

(a) the number stated as mentioned in subsection (1A)(a) above is the same as the one supplied as the applicant's national insurance number pursuant to section 10(4A)(c)(i), 10A(1A)(c)(i) or 13A(2A)(c)(i) of the principal Act, or

(b) no national insurance number was supplied under any of those provisions, but the registration officer is not aware of any reason to doubt the authenticity of the application.’

(3) In section 7 (absent vote at a particular election)—

(a) in subsection (1), the word ‘and’ at the end of...

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