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registered as county electors. It also enacted that the 107. parliamentary occupation franchise should be a qualification for a county elector, and a burgess. The county councillors are elected by the county electors and burgesses within the administrative county.
The Local Government Act, 1894, further extended local representative government by the creation of district and parish councils. The parliamentary and local government registers of electors, so far as they relate to a parish, form the register of parochial electors for that parish, and marriage does not disqualify a woman, who is an occupier, from being on such register.
Before the Act of 1832 no system of registration of voters existed; the returning officer received and counted the votes (where there was a poll), and it was long disputed whether his office was ministerial or judicial; but the Reform Act established the system of an annual registration of voters which, in its main features, continues at the present time.
Experience having shown that the complicated machinery of notices, claims, lists, &c., was not sufficiently understood by the annually appointed overseers, who had the principal part in carrying it into execution, the Parliamentary Voters Registration Act, 1843, was passed, giving elaborate and minute directions as to all the requisites of registration, and containing forms of precepts by which the clerks of the peace, and town clerks, were to instruct the overseers as to their duties.
The Representation of the People Act, 1867, was followed by the Registration Act, 1868, incorporating the former Registration Act (and its amending Acts), and directing the precepts, forms, &c., to be framed in accordance with the altered franchises, which led to a good deal of confusion and many decisions. In 1878 was passed the Parliamentary and Municipal Registration Act, which, for the first time, provided for the joint registration of parlia
mentary voters and municipal burgesses, when parliamentary and municipal boroughs coincided or overlapped, municipal registration having been up to that time conducted under the Municipal Corporation Acts by the mayor and assessors. This, of course, involved new precepts and forms, which were provided in the schedules to-the Act.
No important change took place in the law relating to registration until the year 1885, when the Representation of the People Act, 1884, was followed by the Registration Act, 1885. The chief peculiarity of this Act is the extension of the borough system of registration to counties, the far greater minuteness with which the duties of overseers were defined, and the elaborate instructions and directions given to them in the precepts in the schedules of the Act.
The County Electors Act, 1888, provided that there should, in every case, be joint registration of the parliamentary and local government electors, or burgesses, and to carry out the change, power was given that fresh forms might be issued by Order in Council. This power was continued and extended by the Local Government Act, 1888, and the very elaborate directions and forms given in the Registration Order, 1895, are the result. Under the Local Government Act, 1888, the clerk of the County Council discharges the duties formerly imposed on the Clerk of the Peace, so far as registration is concerned. The Local Government Act, 1894, provides for the formation of a separate list of parochial electors, whose names are not on the other lists.
After all the changes, however, that have been shortly sketched above, the substance of registration law is still to be derived from the Act of 1843.
It would be impossible to give any description of registration, in all its stages, in this place in sufficient detail to be of any value, but it may be shortly described as a system
by which the names of all voters in respect of occupation, and all ownership voters already on the register, are put upon lists which are published some time before the actual revision takes place, so that objectors and the voters themselves may have an opportunity of seeing them. Ownership claimants, persons left off the other lists by the overseers, lodgers, and parochial electors, make claims, which are published in the same manner, as are also objections to names on the lists.
The revision takes place before barristers who hold courts at the various assigned polling places, whose duty it is to go through the lists, and after hearing and deciding upon objections (and, in certain cases, after erasing and altering entries, without any objection being made), to sign the lists in open court, and initial any alterations made therein, and to return the lists revised to the clerks of the County Council and town clerks, who have them duly arranged in order and printed in a book. This book forms the parliamentary register and list of county electors, and, where the revision has been in a municipal borough, the burgess roll, for the ensuing year. It also forms the list of parochial electors.
The procedure at revision courts is regulated by statute, and will be found fully described in the text. There is a right of appeal to the High Court, and, with the leave of that Court, or of the Court of Appeal, a further appeal to the Court of Appeal, the decision of which Court is final.
This introduction has reference to the franchise and registration in England (including Wales), but reference is made in the work itself to some of the special provisions relating to Scotland and Ireland.
62 & 63 VICT. c. 14.
An Act to make better provision for Local Government in
1. The whole of the administrative county of London, Establishexclusive of the city of London, shall be divided into ment of metropolitan boroughs (in this Act referred to as politan boroughs), and for that purpose it shall be lawful for boroughs Her Majesty by Order in Council, subject to and in in London. accordance with this Act, to form each of the areas mentioned in the First Schedule to this Act into a separate borough, subject nevertheless, to such alteration of area as may be required to give effect to the provisions of this Act, and subject also to such adjustment of boundaries as may appear to Her Majesty in Council expedient for simplification or convenience of administration, and to establish and incorporate a council for each of the boroughs so formed.
2 (1.) The council of each borough shall consist of a Constitumayor, aldermen, and councillors. Provided that no tion of woman shall be eligible for any such office.
(5) Except as otherwise provided by or under this Act, the law relating to the constitution, election and proceedings of administrative vestries, and to the electors and members thereof, shall apply in the case of the borough councils under this Act and the electors and councillors thereof, and section forty-six of the Local Government Act, 1894, relating to disqualifications 56 & 57 shall apply to the offices of mayor and alderman.
Vict. c. 73.
3-(1.) The first elections of all borough councillors Date for under this Act shall be held on the first day of November elections of one thousand nine hundred, or on such later day, as lors. soon as practicable thereafter, as may be fixed by the Lord President of the Council, who shall also fix a corresponding date for the first elections of mayor and aldermen.