CHAPTER 14 - REFERENDUM ACT: SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

INDEX TO SUBSIDIARY LEGISLATION

Referendum Regulations

REFERENDUM REGULATIONS

[Section 6,7 and 10]

Arrangement of Regulations

   Regulation

PART I
PRELIMINARY

   1.   Title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Functions of Director of Elections

   4.   Appointment of referendum officers

   5.   Form of oath or affimation for referendum officers

   6.   Revocation of appointment of referendum officers to be notified

PART II
PROCEDURE FOR THE POLL

   7.   Poll to be conducted by secret ballot

   8.   Establishment of polling stations

   9.   Commencement and close of poll

   10.   Right to vote

   11.   Duty of returning officer and publication of notices at polling stations

   12.   Ballot boxes, official seals and official marks

   13.   Ballot papers

   14.   Procedure before commencement of poll

   15.   Control of person entering polling stations

   16.   Application for ballot paper

   17.   Procedure for casting vote

   18.   Votes to be cast without undue delay

   19.   Polling assistant may act during temporary absence of presiding officer

   20.   Spoilt ballot papers

   21.   Presiding officer, a relative or a friend may assist incapacitated voter

   22.   Voting by persons employed on election duties

   23.   Voting elsewhere than where registered

   24.   Lost, etc., voter’s registration card

   25.   Restriction on communication in precincts of polling station

   26.   Adjournment of poll in case of emergency

   27.   Procedure after close of poll

PART III
PROCEDURE FOR THE COUNT AND DECLARATION OF RESULT OF REFERENDUM

   28.   Duty of returning officer to arrange for counting of votes and notification of public

   29.   Persons who may attend counting of votes

   30.   Examination of seals of envelopes and ballot boxes received by returning officer

   31.   The count

   32.   Rejection of ballot papers

   33.   Recounting of votes

   34.   Declaration of result of poll in constituency and notification of Commission

   35.   Declaration of result of referendum by Commission

   36.   Form of declaration under section 23 of the Act

   37.   Questions arising on decision of returning officer

   38.   Ballot papers to be sealed in marked envelopes after completion of counting

   39.   Verification of ballot paper counts

   40.   Custody and destruction of referendum matter

PART IV
CORRUPT PRACTICES AND REFERENDUM OFFENCES

   41.   Bribery

   42.   Personation

   43.   Treating

   44.   Undue influence

   45.   Corrupt practices and penalties

   46.   Obstruction of voter

   47.   Unlawful conduct at public meeting

   48.   Unlawful broadcasting

   49.   Referendum offences

   50.   Prohibition of breach of secrecy

   51.   Offences by referendum officers

   52.   Offences by printers and publishers

   53.   Penalties.

PART V
CANVASSING

   54.   Application

   55.   Interpretation

   56.   Functions of Director of Elections

   57.   Canvassing

   58.   Content of written statements

   59.   Publication of written statements

   60.   Contravention an offence

   61.   Content, etc., of oral statements

   62.   Request to public media

   63.   Offences

   64.   Penalties

   65.   Revocation

      SCHEDULE

Act 13 of 1994,

SI 97 of 1990.

[Regulations by the Referendum Commission]

PART I
PRELIMINARY

1.   Title

These Regulations may be cited as the Referendum Regulations.

2.   Interpretation

In these Regulations, unless the context otherwise requires-

“assistant returning officer” means a person appointed as an assistant returning officer under regulation 4;

“ballot box” means a ballot box provided to a presiding officer under regulation 11 for the taking of a poll;

“ballot paper” means a document in Form REF. 2 in the Schedule;

“ballot paper account” means a document in Form REF. 6 in the Schedule;

“Commission” means the Referendum Commission established by section 4 of the Act;

“constituency” shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 3 of the Act;

“counting assistant” means a person appointed as a counting assistant under regulation 4;

“Director of Elections” means the person for the time being holding or acting in the public office of Director of Elections;

“district referendum officer” means the person appointed as a district referendum officer under regulation 4;

“national registration card” means a national registration card, issued under the National Registration Act, which is not cancelled or required to be cancelled under that Act, and, in relation to any person, means a national registration card in the lawful possession of that person under the Act;

“national registration number” means the serial number inserted on the national registration card under the National Registration Act;

“official mark” means a mark provided to a presiding officer under regulation 11 for the taking of a poll;

“official seal” means a seal provided to a presiding officer under regulation 11 for the taking of a poll;

“polling assistant” means a person appointed as a polling assistant under regulation 4;

“polling day” means a day specified under section 2 of the Act as a day on which voting in a referendum shall take place, and includes any day appointed under regulation 26;

“polling district” has the meaning assigned to it in section 3 of the Act;

“polling station” means a place established as a polling station under regulation 8;

“presiding officer” means a person appointed as a presiding officer under regulation 4;

“registered” means, in relation to a person, a person registered in a register of voters under the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Regulations;

“register of voters” means a register of voters prepared and certified and, in force, under the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Regulations, and “copy”, in relation to a register of voters means a copy of the register of voters provided to a presiding officer under regulation 11 for the taking of the poll;

“returning officer” means a person appointed as a returning officer under regulation 4;

“voter” means a person registered in a register of voters;

“voter’s registration card” means a voter’s registration card issued under the Electoral (Registration of Voters) Regulations, which is not cancelled or deemed to be cancelled under the provisions of those Regulations

3.   Functions of Director of Elections

The Director of Elections shall—

      (a)   ensure that every referendum officer performs his functions under these Regulations with impartiality and in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations;

      (b)   issue to any referendum officer such instructions as he may deem necessary to ensure due compliance with the provisions of these Regulations; and

      (c)   perform all such functions as are conferred or imposed upon him by these Regulations.

4.   Appointment of referendum officers

   (1) In respect of each polling district, there shall be—

      (a)   a district referendum officer;

      (b)   such approved number of presiding officers and polling assistants as the district referendum officer for that polling district may, by notice in writing, appoint.

   (2) In respect of each constituency, there shall be—

      (a)   a returning officer who shall be such person as the Commission shall specify, by Gazette Notice, as the returning officer for that consituency;

      (b)   such approved number of assistant returning officers and counting assistants for a constituency as the district referendum officer may, by notice in writing, appoint.

   (3) Whenever a district referendum officer appoints any person to be a presiding officer, polling assistant, an assistant returning officer or a counting assistant under paragraphs (b) and (c) of sub-regulation (2) of regulation 4, he shall deliver a copy of the notice referred to in paragraphs (b) and (c) to the Director of Elections.

   (4) In this regulation-

“approved” means approved by the Director of Elections.

5.   Form of oath or affirmation for referendum officers

   (1) Every returning officer shall, before exercising any of the functions conferred upon him under these Regulations, take and subscribe an oath, or make an affirmation in lieu thereof, before a magistrate in the appropriate form set out in Form REF. 1 in the Schedule.

   (2) Every presiding officer, polling assistant, assistant returning officer and counting assistant appointed under paragraphs (b) and (c) of sub-regulation (2) of regulation 4 to assist a returning officer in the exercise of his functions shall, before exercising any of the functions conferred upon him under these Regulations, take and subscribe an oath, or make an affirmation in lieu thereof, before a magistrate or returning officer in the appropriate form set out in Form REF. 1 in the Schedule.

6.   Revocation of appointment of referendum officer to be notified

   (1) Where the Commission revokes the appointment of a returning officer, it shall publish a notice of such revocation in the Gazette.

   (2) Where a district referendum officer revokes the appointment of an assistant returning officer, a presiding officer, a counting assistant or a polling assistant, he shall give notice, in writing, of the revocation to the person concerned and shall deliver a copy of the notice to the Director of Elections.

PART II
PROCEDURE FOR THE POLL

7.   Poll to be conducted by secret ballot

At any referendum held pursuant to section 2 or paragraph (a) of sub-section (1) of section 21 of the Act, the poll shall be taken by means of a secret ballot and the result of such referendum shall be ascertained in accordance with the provisions of Part III.

8.   Establishment of polling stations

   (1) The district referendum officer for a polling district shall appoint a place at which the polling station for that polling district shall be established, and shall cause notice of every place so appointed to be published in such manner as the Director of Elections may direct.

   (2) With the approval of the Director of Elections, the same polling station may be appointed under this regulation for two or more polling districts.

9.   Commencement and close of poll

The poll shall commence and, subject to the provisions of regulation 26, close at such time as the Commission shall, by Gazette Notice, direct:

Provided that the presiding officer shall permit every voter who at the time of closing the poll—

      (i)   is inside the polling station; or

      (ii)   is in his opinion, in the immediate precincts of the polling station and was prevented from entering the polling station owing to congestion therein;

to cast his vote before closing the poll.

10.   Right to vote

   (1) A voter shall be entitled to vote in a referendum at the polling station appointed for the polling district in which he is registered and, except by virtue of the provisions of regulation 22 or 23, shall not be entitled to vote at any other polling station.

   (2) At the taking of a poll in a referendum a voter shall be entitled to cast one, and only one, vote in respect of the question submitted to the referendum and, if a voter’s name appears in error or for any other reason in more than one register of voters or more than once in the same register of voters, he shall not be entitled to cast more than one vote in respect of such question.

11.   Duty of returning officer and publication of notices at polling stations

For the taking of a poll in a referendum a returning officer shall, in respect of each polling district within his constituency—

      (a)   ensure that in each polling station there are sufficient compartments within which voters may mark their ballot papers in secrecy and screened from observation;

      (b)   provide each presiding officer with such number of ballot boxes, ballot papers, official marks, official seals, copies of the register of voters relating to that polling district and such other things as may be necessary for the purposes of these Regulations;

      (c)   do such other acts and make such arrangements to facilitate the taking of the poll as may be necessary for ensuring that it is taken in the manner provided in these Regulations and in accordance with any instructions issued by the Commission or the Director of Elections; and

      (d)   publish, both inside and outside each polling station, notices showing the question submitted to the referendum.

12.   Ballot boxes, official seals and official marks

   (1) Every ballot box shall be so constructed that, after it is sealed under regulation 14, the ballot papers can be placed in it by voters but not taken out without breaking the seals.

   (2) In respect of every referendum, the official seals and official marks shall be in such form as the Director of Elections may determine.

13.   Ballot papers

   (1) Every ballot paper shall be as in Form REF. 2 in the Schedule and shall show—

      (a)   the question submitted to the referendum;

      (b)   the word “YES” and the word “NO” printed separately on it; and

      (c)   the symbol of a hand with the index finger raised representing the word “YES” and the symbol of a foot representing the word “NO”.

   (2) Every ballot paper shall be attached to a counterfoil bearing the same serial number as that printed on the ballot paper.

14.   Procedure before commencement of poll

   (1) Immediately before the commencement of a poll, the presiding officer at each polling station shall, in the presence of at least one polling assistant, show every ballot box, open and empty, to any person whose presence is permitted under regulation 15 so that such person may see that it is empty, and shall then lock and seal with the official seal every ballot box, and the seal shall not be broken until the ballot box is opened in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.

   (2) The presiding officer at each polling station, shall, in the presence of at least one polling assistant, place the key to every ballot box in an envelope marked “A” as soon as such ballot box has been locked in accordance with sub-regulation (1), and shall then seal the envelope with the official seal, and the seal shall not be broken until the ballot box is opened in accordance with the provisions of these Regulations.

   (3) The presiding officer at each polling station shall place every ballot box locked and sealed under sub-regulation (1) in such a position in the polling station that it can be seen throughout the taking of the poll by the presiding officer and by any person whose presence is permitted under regulation 15.

   (4) The presiding officer at each polling station shall ensure that there is available throughout the taking of the poll in each compartment provided under paragraph (a) of regulation 11 a suitable pencil or pen for the use of every voter when marking his ballot paper.

15.   Control of persons entering polling station

   (1) The presiding officer at each polling station shall keep order in such polling station and in its precincts, and shall regulate the number of voters to be admitted at a time to such polling station.

   (2) The presiding officer at each polling station may require any person, other than—

      (a)   Members of the Commission or its members of staff;

      (b)   the Director of Elections;

      (c)   the returning officer and any assistant returning officer for the constituency in which such polling station is situated;

      (d)   the district referendum officer for the polling district;

      (e)   the polling assistants appointed under regulation 4 in respect of such polling station;

      (f)   a police officer on duty; or

      (g)   any person authorised in writing by the Director of Elections to enter and remain in such polling station;

to leave such polling station and its precincts:

Provided that any of the above persons may be required by the presiding officer to leave the polling station and its precincts if, in the opinion of the presiding officer, such person is causing a disturbance which is likely to interfere with the taking of the poll.

   (3) Every person authorised in writing by the Director of Elections to enter and remain in a polling station shall, before attending at the taking of a poll in any polling station in a constituency, take and subscribe an oath, or make an affirmation in lieu thereof, in the form prescribed in regulation 5 and, for that purpose, the returning officer for such constituency shall have the power to administer such oath.

   (4) The powers conferred by this regulation shall not be exercised so as to prevent any voter who is otherwise entitled to vote at a polling station from having an opportunity of voting at such polling station.

16.   Application for ballot paper

   (1) A person, in order to vote at a referendum, shall apply for a ballot paper and, for that purpose, shall—

      (a)   except where the provision of regulation 22 or 23 apply, present himself at the polling station appointed under regulation 8 for the polling district in which he is registered;

      (b)   except where the provisions of regulation 24 apply, produce his voter’s registration card to the presiding officer or polling assistant at such polling station;

      (c)   identify himself by producing the national registration card bearing the national registration number recorded on his voter’s registration card; and

      (d)   if so required by the presiding officer or polling assistant, present both his hands for inspection by that officer;

and no person shall be issued with a ballot paper unless he complies with the above requirements.

   (2) A presiding officer or polling assistant at a polling station may put to any applicant for a ballot paper such question as he may consider necessary to enable him to identify the applicant with a name on the copy of the register of voters at such polling station.

   (3) No applicant for a ballot paper shall be issued with a ballot paper or permitted to vote at a polling station unless the presiding officer or polling assistant for that polling station is satisfied—

      (a)   except where the provisions of regulation 22 or 23 apply, that the applicant is registered in the polling district for which that polling station is appointed;

      (b)   except where the provisions of regulation 24 apply, that the applicant has produced the voter’s registration card issued to him in respect of such registration;

      (c)   that the applicant has properly identified himself under paragraph (c) of sub-regulation (1);

      (d)   that the applicant has not previously voted in the referendum in respect of which he is applying for ballot paper; and

      (e)   that the applicant is not disqualified from voting at elections to the National Assembly.

17.   Procedure for casting vote

If a presiding officer or polling assistant at a polling station is satisfied under regulation 16, 22, 23 or 24 that an applicant is entitled to be issued with a ballot paper and to vote, the following procedure shall, subject to the provisions of regulation 21, be followed—

      (a)   the voter shall, prior to receiving a ballot paper immerse a thumb up to at least the whole of the exposed nail in ink provided by the presiding officer:

Provided that-

      (i)   in the case of a voter without any thumb, such voter shall immerse a finger up to at least the whole of the exposed nail; and

      (ii)   in the case of a voter without any thumb or fingers, this paragraph shall not apply;

      (b)   before issuing a ballot paper to the voter the presiding officer or polling assistant shall—

      (i)   except where the provisions of regulation 22 or 23 apply, draw a line through the number and name of the voter in the copy of the register of voters as evidence that such voter has received a ballot paper;

      (ii)   stamp the ballot paper with the official mark;

      (iii)   enter on the counterfoil of the ballot paper the number of the voter as recorded in the copy of the register of voters; and

      (iv)   except where the provisions of regulation 24 apply, stamp the voter’s registration card produced by the voter under regulation 16 with the official mark;

      (c)   the presiding officer or polling assistant shall then detach the ballot paper from its counterfoil and deliver it to the voter;

      (d)   the voter, on receiving the ballot paper, shall enter one of the compartments provided under regulation 11 in the polling station and shall record his vote by secretly marking the ballot paper with the mark X opposite either the word “YES” or the word “NO” and shall then fold the ballot paper in such a way that the official mark stamped on it is visible and the mark signifying his vote is not visible; and

      (e)   the voter shall then leave the compartment and shall, in the presence of the presiding officer or polling assistant, place the folded ballot paper in the ballot box provided in the polling station for that purpose.

18.   Votes to be cast without undue delay

   (1) A voter shall vote without undue delay and shall leave the polling station as soon as he has placed his ballot paper in the ballot box.

   (2) Where the presiding officer is of the opinion that any person present in the compartment has delayed unduly in it and that the delay may hinder the adequate or orderly conduct of the poll, he may require that person to complete the producre set out in paragraph (d) of regulation 17 within a period of two minutes immediately thereafter.

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