Schedule 3 – Free Delivery of Election Addresses

SCHEDULE 3   [Section 23]

FREE DELIVERY OF ELECTION ADDRESSES

 

PART 1

ELECTION ADDRESSES AND ELECTION BOOKLETS

 

Interpretation

1.—(1) In this Schedule—

“candidate” means a person who stands nominated as a candidate at a specified election;

“election address” is to be construed in accordance with paragraph 2;

“election booklet” is to be construed in accordance with paragraph 5;

“elector”, in relation to a specified election—

(a) means a person who is registered in a register of electors for the specified election on the last day for publication of notice of the election; and

(b) includes a person then shown in the register (or in the case of a person who has an anonymous entry in any such register, in the record of anonymous entries for that constituency) as below voting age if (but only if) it appears from the register (or from the record) that the person will be of voting age on the day fixed for the poll;

“print” means print by whatever means (and “printer” is to be construed accordingly);

“registered political party”, in relation to a specified election, means a party registered under Part 2 of the 2000 Act at the time by which the notice of that election is required to be published;

“specified election” means an election to which section 23 applies.

 

Election address

2. For the purposes of section 23 and this Schedule, an election address, in relation to a candidate, is a statement prepared by the candidate’s election agent which complies with the provisions of paragraphs 3 and 4.

Content of election address

 

3.—(1) An election address must contain matter relating to the specified election only.

(2) In particular, an election address must not contain—

(a) any advertising material (other than material promoting the candidate as a candidate at the specified election);

(b) any other material appearing to be included with a view to commercial gain; or

(c) any material referring to any other candidate.

(3) An election address may include representations of the registered emblem, or (as the case may be) one of the registered emblems of a registered political party if the address is prepared on behalf of an authorised party candidate.

(4) In sub-paragraph (3) “authorised party candidate”, in relation to a registered political party, means a candidate who has been authorised to use the emblem in question by a certificate—

(a) issued by or on behalf of the registered nominating officer of the party, and

(b) received by the returning officer before the last time for the delivery of nomination papers for the specified election.

(5) An election address must—

(a) contain a statement to the effect that it has been prepared by the candidate’s election agent;

(b) give the name and address of the election agent; and

(c) give the name and address of the candidate on whose behalf it has been prepared.

 

Formatting of election address

4.—(1) Subject to any requirements imposed by or under this paragraph, the format of a candidate’s election address may be determined by the candidate (and, in particular, may consist of a combination of words, pictures and artwork).

(2) An election address must be printed on not more than two sides of A5 paper; but if such an address is printed on two sides of such paper—

(a) it must, when submitted to the returning officer for inclusion in the election booklet, be accompanied by a second version printed on a single side of such paper; and

(b) if the total number of candidates from whom election addresses have been accepted by the returning officer by the last time for delivery of nomination papers for the specified election exceeds 15, the version to be included in the election booklet is the second version.

(3) An election address must—

(a) comply with such requirements as to typographical layout, margins and the use of colour as the returning officer may determine; and

(b) comply with such other requirements as the returning officer may determine with a view to facilitating its reproduction as a page or pages of the election booklet.

(4) An election address must, when submitted to the returning officer for inclusion in the election booklet, be accompanied—

(a) where the address is to contain a photograph of the candidate, by two identical copies of the photograph, of which one is signed on the back by the candidate; and

(b) in any case, by such copies of anything contained in the address as the returning officer may reasonably require in connection with the reproduction of the address.

 

Election booklet

5.—(1) For the purposes of this Schedule the election booklet is a document prepared by the returning officer which contains the election addresses of all candidates who—

(a) desire their election addresses to be included in the booklet, and

(b) have submitted—

(i) those addresses, and

(ii) any additional material required under paragraph 4(4),

to the returning officer by such date as the returning officer may determine.

(2) If—

(a) it appears to the returning officer that any of the requirements of paragraphs 3(3) to (5) and 4 has not been complied with in relation to an election address, or

(b) a candidate fails to make the payment required by paragraph 8 in respect of an election address,

the returning officer must decline to include the address in the election booklet.

 

Election addresses include in election booklet

6.—(1) The order in which the candidates’ election addresses appear in the election booklet is to be determined by lot drawn by the returning officer as soon as reasonably practicable after the date determined in accordance with paragraph 5(1)(b).

(2) The election booklet may include, in addition to candidates’ election addresses, a statement by the returning officer—

(a) explaining the nature and purpose of the election booklet;

(b) listing, in alphabetical order, the names of all the candidates at the election (whether or not their election addresses are included in the booklet); and

(c) giving the date of the election and such other information about it as the returning officer may determine.

(3) The election booklet must—

(a) contain a statement that it has been published by the returning officer; and

(b) give the name and address of the returning officer and those of the printer of the booklet.

(4) Subject to sub-paragraphs (1) to (3), the form of the election booklet is to be determined by the returning officer.

(5) The election agent of each candidate whose election address has been accepted by the returning officer for inclusion in the booklet must be given an opportunity to attend at a time and place notified to the election agent by the returning officer in order to check, and submit to the returning officer typographical corrections to, the proof of the candidate’s address.

(6) If the election agent of any such candidate fails to take up that opportunity, the returning officer may—

(a) make such typographical corrections to the proof as appear to the returning officer to be appropriate; and

(b) proceed with the printing and distribution of the election booklet without further reference to the candidate or the candidate’s election agent (and without incurring any liability for any errors in the candidate’s address).

(7) No person other than—

(a) the candidate on whose behalf an election address included in the election booklet was prepared; or

(b) the candidate’s election agent,

is to incur any civil or criminal liability in respect of the publication of that address in the election booklet or its dissemination in accordance with paragraph 7.

 

Delivery of election booklet

7.—(1) Copies of the election booklet must be delivered by the returning officer, in envelopes addressed to individual electors, at such time and by such means as the returning officer may determine.

(2) The returning officer may disseminate the contents of the election booklet by such other means as the returning officer may determine.

Payment towards expense of printing election booklet

 

8.—(1) Each candidate by whom an election address is submitted to the returning officer for inclusion in the election booklet must pay to the returning officer such reasonable sum (which is to be the same for each such candidate) as the returning officer may determine by way of contribution towards the expenses incurred by the returning officer in respect of the printing of the election booklet.

(2) The payment required by sub-paragraph (1) must be made at such time, and in such manner, as the returning officer may determine.

(3) A candidate is entitled to a full refund of any such payment if (but only if) the candidate has given notice of withdrawal of candidature before the last time for the withdrawal of candidates.

(4) If the total amount of the payments made by candidates under this paragraph exceeds the total amount of the expenses incurred by the returning officer in respect of the printing of the election booklet, the returning officer must—

(a) divide the amount of the excess between those candidates in equal shares, and

(b) send to each of those candidates a payment in respect of his share.

 

Payments under paragraph 8 to count as candidate election expenses

9.—(1) The amount of any payment made by a candidate under paragraph 8 (or, if sub-paragraph (4) of that paragraph applies, the net amount of any such payment after deducting the payment under that sub-paragraph) is to be taken, for the purposes of any provision listed in sub-paragraph (2), as an amount of election expenses incurred by the candidate in relation to the election.

(2) The listed provisions are any provision of—

(a) in relation to a parliamentary election, Part 2 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (the election campaign);

(b) in relation to an election to the European Parliament, Part 2 of the European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004 (the election campaign).

 

Disapplication of prohibition on third party expenditure

10.—(1) Nothing in any provision listed in sub-paragraph (2) is to be taken to apply, in relation to any candidate, to any expenses incurred by the returning officer in consequence of this Schedule.

(2) The listed provisions are—

(a) section 75(1) of the Representation of the People Act 1983 (restriction on third party election expenditure);

(b) in relation to an election to the European Parliament, regulation 46(1) of the European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004 (restriction on third party election expenditure).

 

PART 2

AMENDMENTS CONSEQUENTIAL ON PART 1

11. Section 91 of the Representation of the People Act 1983 is repealed (candidate’s right to send election address post free).

12. Regulation 63 of the European Parliamentary Elections Regulations 2004 (candidate’s right to send election address post free) is revoked.

2 thoughts on “Schedule 3 – Free Delivery of Election Addresses

  1. Like this idea of an election address booklet. Good to see each candidate getting equal coverage from the state in terms of what’s distributed, and making sure that every voter hears something about each candidate.

  2. Is the election booklet considered vulnerable to donkey voting, in which the order of the candidates on the paper affects voting patterns? If so, it may be worth considering the Robson Rotation system used in some Australian elections. Of course, if its effect is considered negligible, then there is no need.

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