The Prevention of Electoral Abuses Act, 1923

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Number 38.


THE PREVENTION OF ELECTORAL ABUSES ACT, 1923.


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I.

Corrupt Practices.

Section

1.

Definition of corrupt practice.

2.

Definition of bribery.

3.

Definition of personation.

4.

Definition of treating.

5.

Definition of undue influence.

6.

Penalties for corrupt practices.

7.

Disqualification of candidate guilty of corrupt practices.

PART II.

Illegal Practices.

8.

Excessive employment or payment to be illegal practice.

9.

Voting by prohibited, persons to be illegal.

10.

Voting when, disqualified or more than once to be illegal practice.

11.

Certain false statements concerning a candidate to be illegal practice.

12.

Disorderly conduct at a meeting to be illegal practice.

13.

Name and address of printer to be on all placards, etc.

14.

Expenses incurred by unauthorised persons.

15.

Punishment on conviction of illegal practice.

16.

Disqualification of candidate guilty of illegal practice.

17.

Certain expenditure to be illegal payment.

18.

Certain employment to be illegal.

19.

Certain premises not to be used for committee room.

20.

Punishment of illegal payment, employment or hiring.

21.

Saving for creditors.

PART III.

Prevention of Personation.

22.

Dáil candidate may appoint personation agents.

23.

Appointment of Sponsor and Challenger at a referendum.

24.

Personation agents at Seanad elections.

25.

Arrest of persons committing personation.

26.

Penalty for making false charge of personation.

PART IV.

Excuses and Exceptions for Corrupt Practices, Etc.

27.

Report exonerating candidate in certain cases of corrupt and illegal practice by agents.

28.

Power of High Court and election court to except innocent act from being illegal practice, etc.

PART V.

Dail Election Expenses.

29.

Nomination of election agent.

30.

Nomination of deputy election agent as sub-agent.

31.

Office of election agent and sub-agent.

32.

Making of contracts through election agent.

33.

Payment of expenses through election agent.

34.

Period for sending in claims and making payments for election expenses.

35.

Reference to taxation of claim against candidates.

36.

Personal expenses of candidate and petty expenses.

37.

Remuneration of election agent.

38.

Return and declaration respecting election expenses.

39.

Authorised excuse for non-compliance with provisions as to return and declaration respecting election expenses.

40.

Publication of summary of return of election expenses.

PART VI.

Election Agents at Seanad Elections.

41.

Appointment of election agent by Seanad candidate.

42.

Rights, duties and powers of Seanad election agents.

PART VII.

Disqualification of Electors.

43.

List in register of electors of persons incapacitated for voting by corrupt or illegal practices.

PART VIII.

Miscellaneous.

44.

Inquiry by Attorney-General into alleged corrupt or illegal practices.

45.

Removal of incapacity on proof that it was procured by perjury.

46.

Penalty for injuring ballot boxes or ballot papers.

47.

Penalties for certain offences relating to registration.

48.

Candidate at Seanad election becoming disqualified during election.

49.

Conditions on which employer may give leave of absence to employees to record their votes.

50.

Dáil candidates entitled to certain free postage.

51.

Election petitions in relation to Seanad elections.

52.

Limitation of time for prosecution of offence.

53.

Persons charged with corrupt practice may be found guilty of illegal practice.

54.

Prosecution on summary conviction, and appeal to quarter sessions.

55.

Publication of notices.

56.

Definitions.

57.

Repeals.

58.

Short title.

FIRST SCHEDULE.

Election expenses.

SECOND SCHEDULE.

Repeals.


Act Referred to

Electoral Act, 1923

No. 12 of 1923

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Number 38.


THE PREVENTION OF ELECTORAL ABUSES ACT, 1923.


AN ACT TO AMEND AND CONSOLIDATE THE LAW RELATING TO THE PREVENTION OF CORRUPT AND ILLEGAL PRACTICES AND OTHER ELECTORAL ABUSES AT ELECTIONS TO DAIL EIREANN, AND TO MAKE PROVISION FOR THE PREVENTION OF SUCH PRACTICES AND ABUSES AT ELECTIONS TO SEANAD EIREANN AND AT A REFERENDUM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES CONNECTED THEREWITH. [8th August, 1923.]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS OF SAORST?T EIREANN AS FOLLOWS:—

PART I.

Corrupt Practices.

Definition of corrupt practice.

1.—(1) The expression “corrupt practices” as used in this Act means any of the offences stated in this section to be a corrupt practice, and any person who commits any of such offences shall be guilty of a corrupt practice.

(2) The following offences as more fully defined in the following sections of this Part of this Act shall be corrupt practices, that is to say:—

(a) bribery,

(b) personation,

(c) treating,

(d) undue influence.

(3) The following offences shall also be corrupt practices, that is to say:—

(a) aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of the offence of personation;

(b) knowingly publishing, before or during a Dáil or Seanad election, a false statement of the withdrawal of a candidate at such election.

Definition of bribery.

2.—The following persons shall be deemed guilty of bribery, and shall be punishable accordingly:—

(1) Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself, or by any other person on his behalf, give, lend, or agree to give or lend, or shall offer, promise, or promise to procure or to endeavour to procure, any money or valuable consideration or any office, place or employment, to or for any voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any voter or to or for any other person, in order to induce any voter to vote, or to vote in a particular way or to refrain from voting, or shall corruptly do any such act as aforesaid, on account of such voter having voted or voted in a particular way or refrained from voting at any election;

(2) Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf make any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement as aforesaid, to or for any person, in order to induce such person to procure, or endeavour to procure, the return of any person to serve in the Oireachtas, or the vote of any voter at any election;

(3) Every person who shall, upon or in consequence of any such gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement, procure or engage, promise, or endeavour to procure the return of any person to serve in the Oireachtas, or the vote of any voter at any election;

(4) Every person who shall advance or pay, or cause to be paid, any money to or to the use of any other person with the intent that such money or any part thereof shall be expended in bribery at any election, or who shall knowingly pay or cause to be paid any money to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at any election;

(5) Every voter who shall, before or during any election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receive, agree, or contract for any money, gift, loan, or valuable consideration, office, place or employment, for himself or for any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote in a particular way or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting, or from voting in a particular way, at any election;

(6) Every person who shall, after any election, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, receive any money or valuable consideration on account of any person having voted or refrained from voting, or having induced any other person to vote or to refrain from voting, at any election;

(7) Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, corruptly induce or procure any person to withdraw from being a candidate at a Dáil or a Seanad election in consideration of any gift, loan, payment, office, place or employment or of any promise of any gift, loan, payment, office, place or employment;

(8) Every person who shall withdraw from being a candidate at a Dáil or a Seanad election in pursuance of any such inducement or procurement as aforesaid:

Provided always that this section shall not extend or be construed to extend to any money paid or agreed to be paid for or on account of any legal expenses bonâ fide incurred at or concerning any election.

Definition of personation.

3.—Every person who at an election applies for a ballot paper in the name of some other person, whether that name be the name of a living person or of a dead person or of a fictitious person, or who having voted once at an election applies at the same election for a ballot paper in his own name, shall be guilty of the offence of personation.

Definition of treating.

4.—(1) Any person who corruptly by himself or by any other person, either before, during, or after an election, directly or indirectly gives or provides, or pays wholly or in part the expenses of giving or providing, any meat, drink, entertainment or provision to or for any person, for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to give or refrain from giving his vote at the election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting, or being about to vote or refrain from voting at such election, shall be guilty of treating.

(2) Every elector who corruptly accepts or takes any such meat, drink, entertainment or provision as is mentioned in the foregoing sub-section shall also be guilty of treating.

Definition of undue influence.

5.—Every person who shall, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, make use of or threaten to make use of any force, violence, or restraint, or inflict or threaten to inflict, by himself or by any other person, any temporal or spiritual injury, damage, harm, or loss upon or against any person in order to induce or compel such person to vote or refrain from voting at any election or to withdraw from being a candidate at any election or on account of such person having voted or refrained from voting or having been or withdrawn from being a candidate at any election, or who shall by abduction, duress, or any fraudulent device or contrivance impede or prevent the free exercise of the franchise by any elector, or compel, induce, or prevail upon any elector either to give or to refrain from giving his vote at any election, or who shall by abduction, duress or any fraudulent device or contrivance impede or prevent any person from being a candidate at an election, or compel, induce or prevail upon any person to withdraw from being a candidate at an election, shall be guilty of undue influence.

Penalties for corrupt practices.

6.—(1) A person who commits any corrupt practice other than personation, or aiding, abetting, counselling, or procuring the commission of the offence of personation, shall on summary conviction be liable to be imprisoned, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding one year.

(2) A person who commits the offence of personation, or of aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of that offence shall—

(a) in the case of a first offence be liable, on summary conviction, to be imprisoned, with or without hard labour, for a term of not less than two months nor more than twelve months, and to be fined a sum not exceeding one hundred pounds;

(b) in the case of a second or any subsequent offence be liable, on summary conviction to be imprisoned, with or without hard labour, for a term of not less than six months and not more than twelve months and to be fined a sum not exceeding one hundred pounds, or on conviction on indictment to be imprisoned, with or without hard labour, for a term of not less than six months nor more than twelve months or to be sent to penal servitude for a term of three years, and in either case to be fined a sum of not exceeding two hundred pounds.

(3) A person who is convicted of any corrupt practice shall (in addition to the punishments mentioned in the foregoing sub-sections) be incapable during a period of seven years from the date of his conviction—

(a) of being registered as a Dáil, Seanad or Local Government elector; or

(b) of voting at a Dáil, Seanad or Local Government election or at a Referendum; or

(c) of voting at an election for any public office; or

(d) of holding any public or judicial office; and if any such person at the date of his conviction holds any public or judicial office, such office shall thereupon be vacated.

(4) A person who is convicted of any corrupt practice shall (in addition to the punishments and incapacities mentioned in the foregoing sub-sections) be incapable during a period of seven years from the date of his conviction of being a member of or elected to Dáil Eireann or Seanad Eireann or any local authority and if at the date of such conviction such person is a member of or has been elected to Dáil Eireann or Seanad Eireann or any Local Authority he shall as from such date cease to be a member thereof and his election thereto shall as from such date be void.

(5) In this section the expression “public office” means membership of any local authority, and the expression “judicial office” means the office of every judge who is required by Article 68 of the Constitution of Saorstát Eireann to be appointed by the Representative of the Crown on the advice of the Executive Council.

Disqualification of candidate guilty of corrupt practices.

7.—(1) Whenever an election court reports that any corrupt practice has been proved to have been committed in reference to any election to either House of the Oireachtas by or with the knowledge and consent of any candidate at such election, such candidate shall for ever be incapable of being elected to or being a member of the Oireachtas, and if he has been elected to either House of the Oireachtas, his election shall be void, and he shall also be subject to the same incapacities as if at the date of the report he had been convicted of a corrupt practice.

(2) Whenever an election court reports that any corrupt practice has been proved to have been committed in reference to an election to either House of the Oireachtas by any agent of a candidate at such election, such candidate shall, during a period of seven years from the date of the report, be incapable of being elected to or being a member of the Oireachtas and, if he has been elected to either House of the Oireachtas, his election shall be void.

PART II.

Illegal Practices.

Excessive employment or payment to be illegal practice.

8.—(1) Subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance, of this Act, no person shall be employed by a candidate at an election, or by his agent, in any capacity in relation to the conduct or management of such election in excess of the maximum number of persons authorized by this Act to be employed in that capacity.

(2) Subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance of this Act no sum shall be paid by a candidate at an election or by his agent for any purpose in relation to the conduct or management of such election in excess of the maximum amount authorized by this Act to be paid for that purpose.

(3) Any candidate or election agent who knowingly acts in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

Voting by prohibited persons to be illegal.

9.—(1) Any person who votes or induces or procures any person to vote at any election knowing that he or such person is prohibited, whether by this or any other Act, from voting at such election, shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(2) Provided that a candidate shall not be liable, nor shall his election be avoided for any illegal practice under this section committed by his agent other than his election agent.

Voting when disqualified or more than once to be illegal practice.

10.—(1) Every person who votes at an election while he is, by or under this or any other Act, declared to be incapable of voting at that election, shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(2) Every person who votes more than once at an election (whether in the same or in different constituencies) shall, notwithstanding the fact that the name of such person appears on the register of electors, be guilty of an illegal practice.

(3) The Court before which a person is convicted under this section of having voted more than once at an election may, if it is satisfied that the second question prescribed by sub-section (1) of section 29 of the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923) was not asked of such person on the second or any subsequent occasion on which he so voted, and the Court thinks it just in the special circumstances of the case so to do, mitigate or entirely remit any incapacity imposed by this Act by reason of such conviction.

Certain false statements concerning a candidate to be illegal practice.

11.—(1) Every person who, before or during any election and for the purpose of affecting the return of any candidate at that election, makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the personal character or conduct of such candidate, and the directors of any body or association corporate which before or during any election and for the purpose aforesaid makes or publishes any such false statement as aforesaid, shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(2) No person shall be guilty of an illegal practice under this section if he shows that he had reasonable grounds for believing, and did believe, the statement made or published by him to be true.

(3) A candidate shall not be liable nor shall his election be avoided for any illegal practice under this section committed by his agent other than his election agent, unless it is shown that the candidate or his election agent authorised or consented to the committing of such illegal practice by such other agent, or paid for the circulation of the false statement constituting the illegal practice, or unless an election court reports that it was proved that the election of such candidate was procured or materially assisted in consequence of the making or publishing of such false statement.

(4) Any person charged with an offence under this section, and the husband or wife of such person, as the case may be, shall be competent to give evidence in answer to such charge.

(5) Any person who shall make or publish any such false statement as is mentioned in this section may be restrained by injunction from any repetition of such false statement or any false statement of a similar character in relation to such candidate, and for the purpose of granting an interim injunction prima facie proof of the falsity of the statement shall be sufficient.

Disorderly conduct at a meeting to be illegal practice.

12.—(1) Every person who at a meeting to which this section applies acts in a disorderly manner for the purpose of preventing the transaction of the business for which the meeting was called together shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(2) Every person who incites others to commit an offence under this section shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(3) This section applies to all lawful public political meetings held in a constituency either—

(a) between the date of the issue of a writ for the election of a member or members of Dáil Eireann for that constituency and the day after the day on which such election is held; or

(b) between the date of a proclamation appointing the day on which a Seanad election is to be held and the day after the day on which such election is held; or

(c) between the date of a proclamation appointing the day on which a Referendum is to be taken and the day after the day on which such Referendum is taken.

Name and address of printer to be on all placards, etc.

13.—Every bill, placard, or poster having reference to an election shall bear upon the face thereof the name and address of the printer and publisher thereof; and any person printing, publishing, or posting, or causing to be printed, published, or posted, any such bill, placard, or poster as aforesaid, which fails to bear upon the face thereof the name and address of the printer and publisher, shall, if he is a candidate, or the election agent of a candidate, be guilty of an illegal practice, and shall, if he is not a candidate, or the election agent of a candidate, be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

Expenses incurred by unauthorised persons.

14.—(1) A person other than the election agent of a candidate shall not incur any expenses on account of holding public meetings or issuing advertisements, circulars or publications for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of any candidate at an election, unless he is authorised in writing to do so by such election agent.

(2) Every person who acts in contravention of this section shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(3) Any expenses incurred on account of any such purpose as aforesaid and authorised by the election agent of the candidate shall be duly returned as part of the candidate's election expenses.

Punishment on conviction of illegal practice.

15.—Every person guilty of an illegal practice, whether under any of the foregoing sections or any of the provisions hereinafter contained in this Act, shall on summary conviction be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds and shall, during a period of five years from the date of his conviction, be incapable of being registered as a Dáil, Seanad or Local Government elector, or of voting at any Dáil, Seanad or Local Government election or at a Referendum.

Disqualification of candidate guilty of illegal practice.

16.—(1) Whenever an election court reports that any illegal practice has been proved to have been committed in reference to an election to either House of the Oireachtas by or with the knowledge and consent of any candidate at such election, such candidate shall during a period of seven years from the date of the report, be incapable of being elected to or being a member of the Oireachtas, and if he has been elected to either House of the Oireachtas his election shall be void, and he shall also be subject to the same incapacities as if at the date of the report he had been convicted of an illegal practice.

(2) Whenever an election court reports that any illegal practice has been proved to have been committed in reference to an election to either House of the Oireachtas by any agent of a candidate at such election, that candidate shall be incapable of being elected to or being a member of Dáil Eireann during the continuance of that Oireachtas and shall be incapable of being elected to or being a member of Seanad Eireann before the next triennial elections thereto and if he has been elected his election shall be void.

Certain expenditure to be illegal payment.

17.—Every person who knowingly provides money for any payment which is contrary to the provisions of this Act, or for any expenses incurred in excess of any maximum amount allowed by this Act, or for replacing any money expended in any such payment or expenses shall be guilty of illegal payment, unless such payment is allowed in pursuance of this Act to be an exception.

Certain employment to be illegal.

18.—(1) No person shall, for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate at any election, be engaged or employed for payment or promise of payment for any purpose or in any capacity whatever, except for any purposes or capacities mentioned in the first or second parts of the First Schedule to this Act, or except so far as payment is authorised by the first or second parts of the First Schedule to this Act.

(2) Subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance of this Act, if any person is engaged or employed in contravention of this section, either before, during, or after an election the person engaging or employing him shall be guilty of illegal employment, and the person so engaged or employed shall also be guilty of illegal employment if he knew that he was engaged or employed contrary to law.

Certain premises not to be used for committee room.

19.—(1) No premises to which this section applies nor any part of any such premises shall be used as a committee room for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of a candidate at any election.

(2) Every person who hires or uses any premises to which this section applies or any part of any such premises for such committee room as aforesaid shall be guilty of an illegal hiring and the person letting such premises or part thereof if he knew that it was intended to use the same as such committee room shall also be guilty of an illegal hiring.

(3) This section applies to the following premises, that is to say:—

(a) any premises on which the sale by wholesale or retail of any intoxicating liquor is authorised by a licence (whether the licence be for consumption on or off the premises); or

(b) any premises where any intoxicating liquor is sold, or is supplied to members of a club, society or association other than a permanent political club; or

(c) any premises whereon refreshment of any kind, whether food or drink, is ordinarily sold for consumption on the premises; or

(d) the premises of any public elementary school in receipt of an annual parliamentary grant, or any part of any such premises.

(4) This section does not apply to any part of any such premises as aforesaid which is ordinarily let for the purpose of chambers or offices or the holding of public meetings or of arbitrations, if such part has a separate entrance and no direct communication with any part of the premises on which any intoxicating liquor or refreshment is sold or supplied as aforesaid.

Punishment of illegal payment, employment or hiring.

20.—(1) A person guilty of an offence of illegal payment, employment, or hiring shall, on summary conviction, be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred pounds.

(2) A candidate or an election agent of a candidate who is personally guilty of an offence of illegal payment, employment, or hiring shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

Saving for creditors.

21.—The provisions of this Act prohibiting certain payments and contracts for payments, and the payment of any sum, and the incurring of any expense in excess of a certain maximum, shall not affect the right of any creditor, who, when the contract was made or the expense was incurred, was ignorant of the same being in contravention of this Act.

PART III.

Prevention of Personation.

Dáil candidate may appoint personation agents.

22.—(1) Each candidate at a Dáil election in any constituency or the agent of such candidate may appoint one person (in this Act called a personation agent) to attend on behalf of such candidate at each polling station in each polling place in the constituency for the purpose of assisting in the detection of persons committing or attempting to commit the offence of personation.

(2) Each candidate or his agent shall, not less than twelve hours before the commencement of the poll, furnish to the returning officer in writing the names of all personation agents appointed under this section by him or on his behalf together with the name of the polling station to which each personation agent is allotted.

(3) Every personation agent duly appointed under this section and of whose appointment notice is duly given as aforesaid shall be entitled to attend in the polling station to which he is allotted during the whole time of the poll and during half an hour before and half an hour after that time.

(4) No personation agent shall while the poll remains open leave the polling station to which he is allotted without previously obtaining the permission of the presiding officer and depositing with the presiding officer all registers, books and documents in which he has made any note, writing or mark during the poll, which registers, books and documents shall be returned to him on his return to the polling station.

(5) Any personation agent who leaves a polling station in contravention of the foregoing sub-section shall not be permitted to return to such polling station until after the close of the poll, and shall in addition to any other penalty be guilty of an offence under this Act and be liable on summary conviction to a punishment not exceeding three months' imprisonment with or without hard labour.

Appointment of Sponsor and Challenger at a referendum.

23.—(1) Whenever a referendum is demanded under Article 47 of the Constitution—

(a) Dáil Eireann may appoint a person to be Sponsor of the Bill; and

(b) If the referendum is demanded by a Resolution of Seanad Eireann, Seanad Eireann may appoint a person to be Challenger of the Bill; and

(c) if the referendum is demanded by a Petition the members of Dáil Eireann or the members of Seanad Eireann upon whose demand the Bill was suspended in accordance with Article 47 of the Constitution may appoint a person to be Challenger of the Bill.

(2) The Sponsor and the Challenger shall each have the like power of appointing an agent in each constituency in Saorstát Eireann as is conferred by this Act or the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923) on a candidate at a Dáil election in such constituency, and every provision of this Act or the Electoral Act, 1923 , relating to the appointment of an agent by a candidate at a Dáil election shall apply to the appointment of agents by a Sponsor or a Challenger.

(3) Every agent appointed by a Sponsor or a Challenger shall have within the constituency for which he is appointed agent, the like powers of appointing sub-agents, personation agents and persons to be present at the counting of the votes as are conferred in that behalf by this Act or the Electoral Act, 1923 , on a candidate or the agent of a candidate at a Dáil election in that constituency, and every provision of this Act or the Electoral Act, 1923 , in relation to the appointment of such sub-agents, personation agents and other persons by any such candidate or his agent and the rights, powers and duties of such persons when so appointed shall apply to such persons when appointed by the agent of a Sponsor or Challenger.

(4) In this section the word “Bill” means the Bill which is the subject of the referendum.

Personation agents at Seanad elections.

24.—(1) At a Seanad election, the returning officer in each constituency shall fix the number of persons (not being less than six) who may be present on behalf of the candidates at the counting of the votes in the constituency so far as such counting is done by such returning officer.

(2) Each candidate at a Seanad election or any group of such candidates may appoint a person to be present on his or their behalf at the counting of the votes in each constituency.

(3) When the number of persons appointed under this section to be present at the counting of the votes exceeds the number fixed for that counting by the returning officer, the returning officer shall admit to such counting—

(a) every (if any) person who is appointed by a group of candidates not less in number than the number of candidates desiring to appoint persons for such counting, divided by the number of persons fixed by the returning officer for such counting; and

(b) such number of persons selected by lot from the other persons appointed under this section as shall be sufficient to make up the number fixed by the returning officer for that counting.

(4) Every enactment for the time being in force in relation to the appointment by a candidate or the agent of a candidate at a Dáil election of persons to be present at the counting of the votes on behalf of such candidate shall, so far as such enactments are not inconsistent with this section, apply to the appointment under this section of such persons by candidates at a Seanad election.

Arrest of persons committing personation.

25.—(1) If at the time any person tenders his vote at an election or at any time after he has voted and before he leaves the polling place any personation agent lawfully present in such polling place declares to the returning officer or a presiding officer that he verily believes and undertakes to prove that such person is committing or has committed the offence of personation, the returning officer or such presiding officer shall direct a police constable to arrest such person on the charge of having committed the offence of personation.

(2) If the returning officer or any presiding officer has reasonable ground for believing that any person who applies or has applied for a ballot paper is committing or has committed the offence of personation, such returning officer or presiding officer may, before such person leaves the polling place, direct a police constable to arrest such person on the charge of having committed the offence of personation.

(3) Any police constable shall, without any warrant, arrest on the charge of having committed the offence of personation, every person whom such police constable is directed by the returning officer or a presiding officer to arrest on such charge.

(4) Any police constable may, without any warrant, arrest any person who is found by such police constable committing the offence of personation or who is believed by such police constable to have committed such offence.

(5) Every person arrested under this section shall, as soon as may be after his arrest, be brought before a District Justice and dealt with according to law, and may be detained in custody until he can be so brought before a District Justice.

(6) Any arrest authorised by this section may be made at any place, whether in or out of a polling place.

Penalty for making false charge of personation.

26.—(1) Whenever any person is arrested under this Act in consequence of a charge made by a personation agent that such person had committed the offence of personation, and either such personation agent fails to appear before the District Justice and support such charge, or the District Justice acquits such person of having committed the offence and finds that the charge was made by the personation agent without reasonable or sufficient cause, the District Justice may, at the request of the person so charged but not otherwise, order the personation agent to pay to such person such sum not exceeding £20 as the District Justice shall think proper by way of damages, and such sum when duly paid shall be accepted by the person so charged in full satisfaction of all claims by him in respect of the said charge and his arrest and detention thereon.

(2) No action or other proceeding, civil or criminal, shall lie against any returning officer or presiding officer in respect of the arrest by his direction without malice of any person on a charge of having committed the offence of personation.

PART IV.

Excuses and Exceptions for Corrupt Practices, etc.

Report exonerating candidate in certain cases of corrupt and illegal practice by agents.

27.—Whenever an election court reports that a candidate has been guilty by his agents of the offence of treating and undue influence and illegal practice or of any of such offences and further that the candidate has proved to the court—

(a) that no corrupt or illegal practice was committed at such election by the candidate or his election agent and that the offences mentioned in the said report were committed contrary to the orders and without the sanction or connivance of such candidate or his election agent; and

(b) that such candidate and his election agent took all reasonable means for preventing the commission of corrupt and illegal practices at such election; and

(c) that the offences mentioned in the said report were of a trivial, unimportant, and limited character; and

(d) that in all other respects the election was free from any corrupt or illegal practice on the part of such candidate and of his agents;

the election of such candidate shall not, by reason of the offences mentioned in such report, be void, nor shall the candidate be subject to any incapacity under this Act.

Power of High Court and election court to except innocent act from being illegal practice, etc.

28.—Where, on application made, it is shown to the High Court or to an election court by such evidence as seems to the Court sufficient—

(a) that any act or omission of a candidate at any election, or of his election agent or of any other agent or person, would, by reason of being a payment, engagement, employment, or contract in contravention of this Act, or being the payment of a sum or the incurring of expense in excess of any maximum amount allowed by this Act, or of otherwise being in contravention of any of the provisions of this Act, be but for this section an illegal practice, payment, employment, or hiring; and

(b) that such act or omission arose from inadvertence or from accidental miscalculation or from some other reasonable cause of a like nature, and in any case did not arise from any want of good faith; and

(c) that such notice of the application has been given in the constituency for which the election was held as to the court seems fit;

and in the circumstances it seems to the Court to be just that the candidate and the said election and other agent and person, or any of them, should not be subject to any of the consequences under this Act of the said act or omission, the Court may make an order allowing such act or omission to be an exception from the provisions of this Act which would otherwise make the same an illegal practice, payment, employment, or hiring, and thereupon such candidate, agent, or person shall not be subject to any of the consequences under this Act of the said act or omission.

PART V.

Dail Election Expenses.

Nomination of election agent.

29.—(1) On or before the last day for receiving nominations at a Dáil election, a person shall be named by or on behalf of each candidate as his agent for such election (in this Act referred to as the election agent).

(2) A candidate may name himself as election agent, and thereupon shall, so far as circumstances admit be subject to the provisions of this Act both as a candidate and as an election agent, and any reference in this Act to an election agent shall be construed to refer to the candidate acting in his capacity of election agent.

(3) On or before the last day for receiving nominations the name and address of the election agent of each candidate shall be declared in writing by the candidate or some other person on his behalf to the returning officer, and the returning officer shall forthwith give public notice of the name and address of every election agent so declared.

(4) One election agent only shall be appointed for each candidate, but the appointment, whether the election agent appointed be the candidate himself or not, may be revoked, and in the event of such revocation or his death, whether such event is before, during, or after the election, then forthwith another election agent shall be appointed, and his name and address declared in writing to the returning officer, who shall forthwith give public notice of the same.

Nomination of deputy election agent as sub-agent.

30.—(1) In the case of the Dáil elections specified in that behalf in the First Schedule to this Act an election agent of a candidate may appoint the number of deputy agents therein mentioned (which deputy agents are in this Act referred to as sub-agents), to act within different polling districts.

(2) As regards matters in a polling district the election agent may act by the sub-agent for that district, and anything done for the purposes of this Act by or to the sub-agent in his district shall be deemed to be done by or to the election agent, and any act or default of a sub-agent which, if he were the election agent, would be an illegal practice or other offence against this Act, shall be an illegal practice and offence against this Act committed by the sub-agent, and the sub-agent shall be liable to punishment accordingly; and the candidate shall suffer the like incapacity as if the said act or default had been the act or default of the election agent.

(3) One clear day before the day fixed for taking the poll the election agent shall declare in writing the name and address of every sub-agent to the returning officer, and the returning officer shall forthwith give public notice of the name and address of every sub-agent so declared.

(4) The appointment of a sub-agent shall not be vacated by the election agent who appointed him ceasing to be election agent, but may be revoked by the election agent for the time being of the candidate, and in the event of such revocation or of the death of a sub-agent another sub-agent may be appointed, and his name and address shall be forthwith declared in writing to the returning officer, who shall forthwith give public notice of the same.

Office of election agent and sub-agent.

31.—(1) An election agent at a Dáil election shall have within the constituency, or within any county of a city or town adjoining thereto, or, in the case of a university constituency, in the city in which the university is situate, and a sub-agent shall have within his district, or within any county of a city or town adjoining thereto, an office or place to which all claims, notices, writs, summons, and documents may be sent, and the address of such office or place shall be declared at the same time as the appointment of the said agent to the returning officer, and shall be stated in the public notice of the name of the agent.

(2) Any claim, notice, writ, summons, or document delivered at such office or place and addressed to the election agent or sub-agent, as the case may be, shall be deemed to have been served on him, and every such agent may in respect of any matter connected with the election in which he is acting be sued in any court having jurisdiction in the city, town or county in which the said office or place is situate.

Making of contracts through election agent.

32.—(1) The election agent of a candidate by himself or by his sub-agent shall appoint every personation agent, clerk, and messenger employed for payment on behalf of the candidate at an election, and hire every committee room hired on behalf of the candidate.

(2) A contract whereby any expenses are incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of an election shall not be enforceable against a candidate at such election unless made by the candidate himself or by his election agent, either by himself or by his sub-agent: Provided that the inability under this section to enforce such contract against the candidate shall not relieve the candidate from the consequences of any corrupt or illegal practice having been committed by his agent.

Payment of expenses through election agent.

33.—(1) Except as permitted by or in pursuance of this Act, no payment and no advance or deposit shall be made by a candidate at a Dáil election or by any agent on behalf of the candidate, in respect of any expenses incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of such election, otherwise than by or through the election agent of the candidate, whether acting in person or by a sub-agent; and all money provided by any person other than the candidate for any expenses incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of the election, whether as gift, loan, advance, or deposit, shall be paid to the candidate or his election agent and not otherwise:

Provided that this section shall not be deemed to apply to a deposit pursuant to Section 20 of the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923) or to any sum disbursed by any person out of his own money for any small expense legally incurred by himself, if such sum is not repaid by him.

(2) A person who makes any payment, advance, or deposit in contravention of this section, or pays in contravention of this section any money so provided as aforesaid, shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

Period for sending in claims and making payments for election expenses.

34.—(1) Every payment made by an election agent, whether by himself or a sub-agent, in respect of any expenses incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of a Dáil election, shall, except where less than forty shillings, be vouched for by a bill stating the particulars and by a receipt.

(2) Every claim against a candidate at a Dáil election or his election agent in respect of any expenses incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of such election which is not sent in to the election agent within the time limited by this Act shall be barred and shall not be paid; and, subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance of this Act, an election agent who pays a claim in contravention of this enactment shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(3) Except as by this Act permitted, the time limited by this Act for sending in claims shall be fourteen days after the day on which the candidates returned are declared elected.

(4) All expenses incurred by or on behalf of a candidate at a Dáil election, which are incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of such election, shall be paid within the time limited by this Act and not otherwise; and, subject to such exception as may be allowed in pursuance of this Act, an election agent who makes a payment in contravention of this provision shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(5) Except as by this Act permitted, the time limited by this Act for the payment of such expenses as aforesaid shall be twenty-eight days after the day on which the candidate or candidates returned is or are declared elected.

(6) Where the election court reports that it has been proved to such court by a candidate that any payment made by an election agent in contravention of this section was made without the sanction or connivance of such candidate, the election of such candidate shall not be void, nor shall he be subject to any incapacity under this Act by reason only of such payment having been made in contravention of this section.

(7) If the election agent in the case of any claim sent in to him within the time limited by this Act disputes it, or refuses or fails to pay it within the said period of twenty-eight days, such claim shall be deemed to be a disputed claim.

(8) The claimant may, if he thinks fit, bring an action for a disputed claim in any competent court; and any sum paid by the candidate or his agent in pursuance of the judgment or order of such court shall be deemed to be paid within the time limited by this Act, and to be an exception from the provisions of this Act, requiring claims to be paid by the election agent.

(9) On cause shown to the satisfaction of the High Court, such court on application by the claimant or by the candidate or his election agent may by order give leave for the payment by a candidate or his election agent of a disputed claim, or of a claim for any such expenses as aforesaid, although sent in after the time in this section mentioned for sending in claims, or although the same was sent in to the candidate and not to the election agent.

(10) Any sum specified in the order of leave may be paid by the candidate or his election agent, and when paid in pursuance of such leave shall be deemed to be paid within the time limited by this Act.

Reference to taxation of claim against candidates.

35.—If any action is brought in any competent court to recover a disputed claim against a candidate at a Dáil election, or his election agent, in respect of any expenses incurred on account or in respect of the conduct or management of such election, and the defendant admits his liability, but disputes the amount of the claim, the said amount shall, unless the court, on the application of the plaintiff in the action, otherwise directs, be forthwith referred for taxation to the master, official referee, registrar, or other proper officer of the court, and the amount found due on such taxation shall be the amount to be recovered in such action in respect of such claim.

Personal expenses of candidate and petty expenses.

36.—(1) The candidate at a Dáil election may pay any personal expenses incurred by him on account of or in connection with or incidental to such election to an amount not exceeding one hundred pounds, but any further personal expenses so incurred by him shall be paid by his election agent.

(2) The candidate shall send to the election agent within the time limited by this Act for sending in claims a written statement of the amount of personal expenses paid as aforesaid by such candidate.

(3) Any person may, if so authorised in writing by the election agent of the candidate, pay any necessary expenses for stationery, postage, telegrams, and other petty expenses, to a total amount not exceeding that named in the authority, but any excess above the total amount so named shall be paid by the election agent.

(4) A statement of the particulars of payment made by any person so authorised shall be sent to the election agent within the time limited by this Act for the sending in of claims, and shall be vouched for by a bill containing the receipt of that person.

Remuneration of election agent.

37.—So far as circumstances admit, this Act shall apply to a claim for his remuneration by an election agent and to the payment thereof in like manner as if he were any other creditor, and if any difference arises respecting the amount of such claim, the claim shall be a disputed claim within the meaning of this Act, and be dealt with accordingly.

Return and declaration respecting election expenses.

38.—(1) Within thirty-five days after the day on which the candidate or candidates returned at a Dáil election is or are declared elected, the election agent of every candidate at that election shall transmit to the returning officer a true return (in this Act referred to as a return respecting election expenses), in the prescribed form, containing, as respects that candidate—

(a) a statement of all payments made by the election agent, together with all the bills and receipts (which bills and receipts are in this Act included in the expression “return respecting election expenses”);

(b) a statement of the amount of personal expenses, if any, paid by the candidate;

(c) a statement of all other disputed claims of which the election agent is aware;

(d) a statement of all the unpaid claims, if any, of which the election agent is aware, in respect of which application has been or is about to be made to the High Court;

(e) a statement of all money, securities, and equivalent of money received by the election agent from the candidate or any other person for the purpose of expenses incurred or to be incurred on account of or in respect of the conduct or management of the election, with a statement of the name of every person from whom the same may have been received.

(2) The return so transmitted to the returning officer shall be accompanied by a declaration made by the election agent before a District Justice or a Peace Commissioner in the prescribed form (which declaration is in this Act referred to as a declaration respecting election expenses).

(3) Where the candidate has named himself as his election agent, a statement of all money, securities, and equivalent of money paid by the candidate shall be substituted in the return required by this section to be transmitted by the election agent for the like statement of money, securities, and equivalent of money received by the election agent from the candidate; and the declaration by an election agent respecting election expenses need not be made, and the declaration by the candidate respecting election expenses shall be modified in the prescribed manner.

(4) At the same time that the agent transmits the said return, or within seven days afterwards, the candidate shall transmit or cause to be transmitted to the returning officer a declaration made by him before a District Justice or Peace Commissioner in the prescribed form (which declaration is in this Act referred to as a declaration respecting election expenses).

(5) If in the case of a Dáil election for any constituency the said return and declarations are not transmitted before the expiration of the time limited for the purpose, the candidate shall not, after the expiration of such time, sit or vote in the Dáil as member for that constituency until either such return and declarations have been transmitted, or until the date of the allowance of such an authorised excuse for the failure to transmit the same, as in this Act mentioned, and if he sits or votes in contravention of this enactment he shall forfeit on prosecution at the suit of the Attorney-General one hundred pounds for every day on which he so sits or votes.

(6) If without such authorised excuse as in this Act mentioned, a candidate or an election agent fails to comply with the requirements of this section he shall be guilty of an illegal practice.

(7) If any candidate or election agent knowingly makes the declaration required by this section falsely, he shall be guilty of an offence, and on conviction thereof on indictment shall be liable to the punishment for wilful and corrupt perjury; such offence shall also be deemed to be a corrupt practice within the meaning of this Act.

(8) Where the candidate is out of Saorstát Eireann at the time when the return is so transmitted to the returning officer, the declaration required by this section may be made by him within fourteen days after his return to Saorstát Eireann, and in that case shall be forthwith transmitted to the returning officer, but the delay hereby authorised in making such declaration shall not exonerate the election agent from complying with the provisions of this Act as to the return and declaration respecting election expenses.

(9) Where, after the date at which the return respecting election expenses is transmitted, leave is given by the High Court for any claims to be paid, the candidate or his election agent shall, within seven days after the payment thereof, transmit to the returning officer a return of the sums paid in pursuance of such leave accompanied by a copy of the order of the court giving the leave, and in default he shall be deemed to have failed to comply with the requirements of this section without such authorised excuse as in this Act mentioned.

Authorised excuse for non-compliance with provisions as to return and declaration respecting election expenses.

39.—(1) Where the return and declarations respecting election expenses of a candidate at a Dáil election for any constituency have not been transmitted as required by this Act, or being transmitted contain some error or false statement, then—

(a) if the candidate applies to the High Court or an election court and shows that the failure to transmit such return and declarations, or any of them, or any part thereof, or any error or false statement therein, has arisen by reason of his illness, or of the absence, death, illness, or misconduct of his election agent or sub-agent or of any clerk or officer of such agent, or by reason of inadvertence or of any reasonable cause of a like nature, and not by reason of any want of good faith on the part of the applicant; or

(b) if the election agent of the candidate applies to the High Court or an election court and shows that the failure to transmit the return and declarations which he was required to transmit, or any error or false statement therein, arose by reason of his illness, or of the death or illness of any prior election agent of the candidate, or of the absence, death, illness, or misconduct of any sub-agent, clerk, or officer of an election agent of the candidate, or by reason of inadvertence or of any reasonable cause of a like nature, and not by reason of any want of good faith on the part of the applicant:

the court may, after such notice of the application in the said constituency, and on production of such evidence of the grounds stated in the application, and of the good faith of the application, and otherwise, as to the court seems fit, make such order for allowing an authorised excuse for the failure to transmit such return and declaration, or for an error or false statement in such return and declaration, as to the court seems just.

(2) Where it appears to the court that any person being or having been election agent or sub-agent has refused or failed to make such return or to supply such particulars as will enable the candidate and his election agent respectively to comply with the provisions of this Act as to the return and declaration respecting election expenses, the court before making an order allowing the excuse as in this section mentioned shall order such person to attend before the court, and on his attendance shall, unless he shows cause to the contrary, order him to make the return and declaration, or to deliver a statement of the particulars required to be contained in the return, as to the court seem just, and to make or deliver the same within such time and to such person and in such manner as the court may direct, or may order him to be examined with respect to such particulars, and may in default of compliance with any such order order him to pay a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds.

(3) The order may make the allowance conditional upon the making of the return and declaration in a modified form or within an extended time, and upon the compliance with such other terms as to the court seem best calculated for carrying into effect the objects of this Act; and an order allowing an authorised excuse shall relieve the applicant for the order from any liability or consequences under this Act in respect of the matter excused by the order; and where it is proved by the candidate to the court that any act or omission of the election agent in relation to the return and declaration respecting election expenses was without the sanction or connivance of the candidate, and that the candidate took all reasonable means for preventing such act or omission, the court shall relieve the candidate from the consequences of such act or omission on the part of his election agent.

(4) The date of the order, or, if conditions and terms are to be complied with, the date at which the applicant fully complies with them, is referred to in this Act as the date of the allowance of the excuse.

Publication of summary of return of election expenses.

40.—(1) The returning officer at a Dáil election within ten days after he receives from the election agent of a candidate a return respecting election expenses shall publish in not less than two newspapers circulating in the constituency for which the election was held, a notice of the time and place at which the return and declarations (including the accompanying documents) can be inspected.

(2) The return and declarations (including the accompanying documents) sent to the returning officer by an election agent shall be kept at the office of the returning officer, or some convenient place appointed by him, and shall at all reasonable times during two years next after they are received by the returning officer be open to inspection by any person on payment of a fee of one shilling, and the returning officer shall on demand furnish copies thereof or any part thereof at the price of twopence for every seventy-two words. After the expiration of the said two years the returning officer may cause the said return and declarations (including the accompanying documents) to be destroyed, or, if the candidate or his election agent so require, shall return the same to the candidate.

PART VI.

Election Agents at Seanad Elections.

Appointment of election agent by Seanad candidate.

41.—(1) A candidate at a Seanad election shall have the like power of appointing an election agent as is conferred by this Act or the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), on a candidate at a Dáil election.

(2) Every provision of this Act or of the Electoral Act, 1923 , in relation to the appointment of an agent by a candidate at a, Dáil election shall apply to the appointment of an agent by a candidate at a Seanad election with the modifications that—

(a) references in such provisions to the last day for receiving nominations shall be construed as references to the second day after the date of the proclamation appointing the day on which the Seanad election is to take place;

(b) the returning officer to whom notice of the appointment of an election agent by a candidate at a Seanad election and of the name, address and office of such agent are to be given shall be the Seanad Returning Officer;

(c) it shall not be necessary to give public notice of the appointment, name, address or office of an agent appointed by a candidate at a Seanad election.

Rights, duties and powers of Seanad election agents.

42.—(1) Every provision of this Act or of the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), in relation to the rights, powers and duties of an agent appointed by a candidate at a Dáil election shall, save as is otherwise provided by this Part of this Act, apply to an agent appointed by a candidate at a Seanad election.

(2) Nothing in this Act or in the Electoral Act, 1923 , shall be deemed to authorize a candidate at a Seanad election or the agent of any such candidate to appoint a deputy agent, sub-agent or personation agent.

PART VII.

Disqualification of Electors.

List in register of electors of persons incapacitated for voting by corrupt or illegal practices.

43.—(1) The registration officer in every registration area shall annually make out a list containing the names and descriptions of all persons who, though entitled to be registered as Dáil or Seanad or Local Government electors in that registration area, are not capable of voting at an election by reason of having been found guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice on conviction or by the report of an election court, and the registration officer shall state in such list (in this Act referred to as “The Corrupt and Illegal Practices List”) the offence of which each such person has been found guilty.

(2) For the purpose of making out such list the registration officer shall examine the report of any election court which has inquired into an election held in any constituency in Saorstát Eireann.

(3) The registration officer shall publish the corrupt and illegal practices list in the manner directed by the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), and shall send a copy of such list to every other registration officer in Saorstát Eireann.

(4) Any person whose name is entered in the corrupt and illegal practices list may claim to have his name omitted therefrom, and any person entitled to object to any name appearing on the electors' lists as appearing to be entitled to be registered in that registration area may object to the omission of the name of any person from such list, and all such claims and objections shall be sent in, served and dealt with within the like time and in the like manner in all respects as claims and objections to the electors lists in that registration area are to be sent in, served and dealt with under the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), and any decision on a claim or objection made under this sub-section shall be subject to the like appeal as a similar decision on a claim or objection to the electors list aforesaid would be subject to under the Act aforesaid.

(5) The entry on the electors lists of the name of a person who by reason of his having been found guilty of a corrupt or illegal practice is not entitled to be registered or vote at an election shall not entitle such person to object to the registration of any other person.

PART VIII.

Miscellaneous.

Inquiry by Attorney-General into alleged corrupt or illegal practices.

44.—Where information is given to the Attorney-General of Saorstát Eireann that any corrupt or illegal practices have prevailed in reference to any election it shall be the duty of the Attorney-General to make such inquiries and institute such prosecutions as the circumstances of the case appear to him to require.

Removal of incapacity on proof that it was procured by perjury.

45.—Where a person has become subject to any incapacity by reason of a conviction or of a report of an election court, and any witness who gave evidence against such incapacitated person upon the proceeding for such conviction or report is convicted of perjury in respect of that evidence, the incapacitated person may apply to the High Court, and that court if satisfied that the conviction or report so far as respects such person was based upon perjury, may order that such incapacity shall thenceforth cease, and the same shall cease accordingly.

Penalty for injuring ballot boxes or ballot papers.

46.—(1) Any person who commits any of the following offences that is to say:—

(a) without lawful authority takes a ballot box out of the custody of a returning officer or of a presiding officer or of any person to whose care or custody a returning officer shall lawfully have entrusted such ballot box; or

(b) maliciously destroys, mutilates or injures any ballot box; or

(c) maliciously destroys, tears or defaces any ballot paper;

(d) counterfeits the official mark;

(e) removes, destroys or damages any instrument for stamping the official mark on ballot papers or makes or has in his possession any imitation or counterfeit of any such instrument;

shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding one year or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding two years or penal servitude for any period not less than three years nor more than five years.

(2) Every person who—

(a) forges or fraudulently defaces or fraudulently destroys any nomination paper, or delivers to the returning officer any nomination paper, knowing the same to be forged; or

(b) forges or counterfeits any ballot paper or the official mark on any ballot paper; or

(c) without due authority supplies any ballot paper to any person; or

(d) fraudulently puts into any ballot box any paper other than the ballot paper which he is authorised by law to put in; or

(e) fraudulently takes out of the polling station any ballot paper; or

(f) without due authority opens, or otherwise interferes with any ballot box;

shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding one year or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment with or without hard labour for any period not exceeding two years or penal servitude for any period not less than three years nor more than five years.

Penalties for certain offences relating to registration.

47.—(1) Every person who makes a false declaration for the purpose of a claim under Rules 9 and 10 of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), to be registered as a Dáil or Seanad or Local Government elector, whether such claim is made by such person on his own behalf or on behalf of some other person, and whether such falsity consists of an untrue statement or the omission of a material fact, shall be liable on summary conviction at the prosecution of the registration officer to a fine of not less than £5 or not more than £20.

(2) Every person who wilfully destroys, mutilates, effaces or removes any notice, list, copy of register or other document made available for inspection, posted up or otherwise published by a registration officer pursuant to the rules contained in the First Schedule of the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), shall be liable on summary conviction on the prosecution of the registration officer or police constable to a fine of not less than ten shillings nor more than forty shillings.

Candidate at Seanad election becoming disqualified during election.

48.—(1) If any candidate at a Seanad election becomes disqualified for being elected to Seanad Eireann at any time after the panel of candidates for that election has been formed and before the counting by the Seanad Returning Officer of the votes cast at that election has commenced, all the preferences recorded for that candidate shall be disregarded in the counting of the votes cast at that election.

(2) If any candidate at a Seanad election becomes disqualified for being elected to Seanad Eireann at any time after the commencement and before the completion of the counting by the Seanad Returning Officer of the votes cast at that election, due regard shall be had to the preferences recorded for that candidate, and if on such counting that candidate is found to be elected, one more candidate shall be returned as elected than there are vacancies to be filled.

Conditions on which employer may give leave of absence to employees to record their votes.

49.—Nothing in this Act shall make it illegal for an employer to permit electors in his employment to absent themselves from such employment for a reasonable time for the purpose of voting at an election, without having any deduction from their salaries or wages on account of such absence, if such permission is, so far as practicable without injury to the business of the employer, given equally to all persons alike who are at the time in his employment, and if such permission is not given with a view of inducing any person to record his vote for any particular candidate at such election, and is not refused to any person for the purpose of preventing such person from recording his vote for any particular candidate at such election.

Dáil candidates entitled to certain free postage.

50.—(1) Each candidate at a Dáil election shall, subject to regulations to be from time to time made by the Postmaster-General, be entitled to send, free of any charge for postage, to each person on the register of electors for the constituency, one postal communication containing matter relating to the election only and not exceeding two ounces in weight.

(2) A candidate shall not be entitled to exercise the right of free postage conferred by this section before he is duly nominated, unless he has given such security as may be required by the Postmaster-General for the payment of the postage on all communications sent by him under this section in case he does not eventually become nominated.

(3) For the purposes of this section, candidates who are, under the First Schedule to this Act, to be deemed to be joint candidates, shall be treated as a single candidate.

Election petitions in relation to Seanad elections.

51.—The enactments relating to the presentation and trial of election petitions in relation to Dáil elections shall apply to Seanad elections, with the following modifications, that is to say:—

(a) an election petition may relate to one constituency or to two or more constituencies;

(b) an election petition in respect of a Seanad election may be presented by any one candidate or by a group of two or more candidates.

Limitation of time for prosecution of offence.

52.—(1) A proceeding against a person in respect of the offence of a corrupt or illegal practice or any other offence under this Act shall be commenced within one year after the offence was committed, or if it was committed in reference to an election with respect to which proceedings are held before an election court, shall be commenced within one year after the offence was committed, or within three months after the report of such court is made, whichever period last expires, but so that it be commenced within two years after the offence was committed, and the time so limited by this section shall, in the case of any proceeding under the Summary Jurisdiction Acts for any such offence, whether before an election court or otherwise, be substituted for any limitation of time contained in the last-mentioned Acts.

(2) For the purposes of this section the issue of a summons, warrant, writ, or other process shall be deemed to be a commencement of a proceeding, where the service or execution of the same on or against the alleged offender is prevented by the absconding or concealment or act of the alleged offender, but save as aforesaid the service or execution of the same on or against the alleged offender, and not the issue thereof, shall be deemed to be the commencement of the proceeding.

Persons charged with corrupt practice may be found guilty of illegal practice.

53.—Any person charged with a corrupt practice may, if the circumstances warrant such finding, be found guilty of an illegal practice (which offence shall for that purpose be an indictable offence) and any person charged with an illegal practice may be found guilty of that offence, notwithstanding that the act constituting the offence amounted to a corrupt practice, and a person charged with illegal payment, employment, or hiring, may be found guilty of that offence, notwithstanding that the act constituting the offence amounted to a corrupt or illegal practice.

Prosecution on summary conviction, and appeal to quarter sessions.

54.—(1) All offences under this Act punishable on summary conviction may be prosecuted in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction Acts.

(2) A person aggrieved by a conviction by a court of summary jurisdiction for an offence under this Act may appeal to general or quarter sessions against such conviction.

Publication of notices.

55.—Any public notice required to be given by a returning officer under this Act shall be given in the manner in which he is directed by the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), to give a public notice under that Act.

Definitions.

56.—In this Act and the Schedules thereto unless the context otherwise requires—

The expression “Dáil Election” means an election of a member or members to serve in Dáil Eireann and includes a bye-election as well as a general election;

The expression “Dáil Elector” means a person entitled to vote at a Dáil election;

The expression “Seanad Election” means an election of Senators to serve in Seanad Eireann;

The expression “Seanad Elector” means a person entitled to vote at a Seanad election;

The word “Election” when used without qualification includes Dáil election, Seanad election and Referendum;

The expression “Election Court” means any court or tribunal constituted under any Act of the Oireachtas and having jurisdiction to inquire into, hear, determine or report upon allegations, charges, disputes or differences in respect of elections generally or any particular election or class of elections;

The expression “Summary Jurisdiction Acts” means the several Acts for the time being in force in Saorstát Eireann relating to courts of summary jurisdiction;

The expression “committee room” does not include any house or room occupied by a candidate at an election as a dwelling by reason only of the candidate there transacting business with his agents in relation to such election; nor shall any room or building be deemed to be a committee room for the purposes of this Act by reason only of the candidate or any agent of the candidate addressing therein electors, committeemen, or others;

The expression “personal expenses” as used with respect to the expenditure of any candidate in relation to any election includes the reasonable travelling expenses of such candidate and the reasonable expenses of his living at hotels or elsewhere for the purposes of and in relation to such election;

The expression “Local Authority” includes a county, county or other borough, urban district, or rural district council, a board of guardians, the town commissioners of any town, and any other public body which may be established by any County Scheme to perform any of the functions of any of the above-named bodies, and any committee or joint committee of or wholly or partly appointed by any such authority or body;

The expression “prescribed” means prescribed by order made by the Minister for Local Government;

The expression “Local Government election” means an election of a member or members of a Local Authority;

The expression “police constable” includes any member of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and any member of the Civic Guard;

The word “payment” includes any pecuniary or other reward;

The expressions “pecuniary reward” and “money” include any office, place or employment, and any valuable security or other equivalent for money, and any valuable consideration;

Every expression relating to registration, electors, or elections used in this Act which is also used in the Electoral Act, 1923 (No. 12 of 1923), shall, if not otherwise defined in this Act, have the same meaning as such expression has in the Electoral Act, 1923 .

Repeals.

57.—(1) The enactments mentioned in the Second Schedule to this Act are hereby repealed to the extent specified in the third column of that Schedule, except so far (if at all) as they apply to elections other than Parliamentary elections.

(2) All references in any existing statute, order, regulation or rule to any of the Acts wholly or partially repealed by this Act shall be deemed to be references to this Act, but in the case of Acts partially repealed by this Act only so far as such references relate to the portion of such Act so repealed.

Short Title.

58.—This Act may be cited as “The Prevention of Electoral Abuses Act, 1923.”

FIRST SCHEDULE.

PART I.

Persons legally employed for payment.

1. One election agent and no more.

2. In a county constituency one deputy election agent (in this Act referred to as a sub-agent) to act within each polling district, and no more.

3. One personation agent at each polling station and no more.

4. In a borough constituency, a number of clerks and messengers, not exceeding in number one clerk and one messenger for every complete five hundred electors in the constituency, and if there is a number of electors over and above any complete five hundred of electors, then one clerk and one messenger may be employed for such number, although not amounting to a complete five hundred.

5. In a county constituency, for the central committee room one clerk and one messenger for every complete five thousand electors in the constituency; and if there is a number of electors over and above any complete five thousands of electors, then one clerk and one messenger may be employed for such number although not amounting to a complete five thousand.

6. In a county constituency a number of clerks and messengers not exceeding in number one clerk and one messenger for each polling district in the constituency, or where the number of electors in a polling district exceeds five hundred, one clerk and one messenger for every complete five hundred electors in the polling district, and if there is a number of electors over and above any complete five hundred or complete five hundreds of electors, then one clerk and one messenger may be employed for such number although not amounting to a complete five hundred: Provided always that the number of clerks and messengers so allowed in any constituency may be employed in any polling district where their services may be required.

7. In a university constituency, one clerk for every complete thousand electors in the constituency; and if there is a number of electors over and above any complete thousand of electors, then one clerk may be employed for such number although not amounting to a complete thousand.

PART II.

Legal Expenses in Addition to Expenses under Part I.

1. The personal expenses of the candidates.

2. The expenses of printing, the expenses of advertising, and the expenses of publishing, issuing, and distributing addresses and notices,

3. The expenses of stationery, messages, postage, and telegrams.

4. The expenses of holding public meetings.

5. In a borough constituency the expenses of one committee room for every complete five hundred electors in the constituency; and if there is a number of electors over and above any complete five hundreds of electors, then of one committee room for such number although not amounting to a complete five hundred.

6. In a county constituency the expenses of a central committee room, and in addition of a number of committee rooms not exceeding in number one committee room for each polling district in the constituency; and where the number of electors in a polling-district exceeds five hundred one additional committee room may be hired for every complete five hundred electors in such polling-district over and above the first five hundred.

7. In a university constituency the expenses of one committee room.

8. Expenses in respect of miscellaneous matters other than those mentioned in Part I. and in this Part of this Schedule, so nevertheless that such expenses are not incurred in respect of any matter or in any manner constituting an offence under this or any other Act, or in respect of any matter or thing, payment for which is expressly prohibited by this or any other Act.

PART III.

Maximum Scale.

The expenses mentioned in Parts I. and II. of this Schedule, other than personal expenses and the fee, if any, paid to the election agent (not exceeding in the case of a county election seventy-five pounds and of a borough election fifty pounds, without reckoning for the purposes of that limit any part of the fee which may have been included in the expenses first above mentioned) shall not exceed an amount equal—

in the case of a county election to fivepence for each elector on the register;

in the case of an election for a borough to fourpence for each elector on the register.

Where there are two or more joint candidates at an election the maximum amount of expenses in Parts I., II., and III. of this Schedule shall, for each of the joint candidates, be the amount produced by multiplying a single candidate's maximum by one-and-a-half and dividing the result by the number of joint-candidates.

PART IV.

General.

1. For the purposes of this Schedule the number of electors in a constituency or a polling district at any election shall be the number of electors whose names appear on the register of electors for the time being in force for that constituency or district as being entitled to vote at that election.

2. Where the same election agent is appointed by or on behalf of two or more candidates at an election, or where two or more candidates, by themselves or any agent or agents, hire or use the same committee rooms for such election, or employ or use the services of the same sub-agents, clerks, messengers, or polling agents at such election, or publish a joint address or joint circular or notice at such election, those candidates shall be deemed for the purpose of this enactment to be joint candidates at such election:

Provided that—

(a) The employment and use of the same committee room, sub-agent, clerk, messenger, or polling agent, if accidental or casual, or of a trivial and unimportant character, shall not be deemed of itself to constitute persons joint candidates.

(b) Nothing in this enactment shall prevent candidates from ceasing to be joint candidates.

SECOND SCHEDULE.

Session and Chapter

Short Title.

Extension of Repeal.

13 & 14 Vic. c. 69.

Representation of the People (Ireland) Act, 1850.

Secs. 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97.

17 & 18 Vic. c. 102.

Corrupt Practices Prevention Act, 1854.

Secs. 2, 3, 7, 8.

35 & 36 Vic. c. 33.

The Ballot Act, 1872.

Part III.

46 & 47 Vic. c. 51.

The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, 1883.

Sections 1 to 39 so far as unrepealed. Section 61. Schedules 1 & 2.

48 & 49 Vic. c. 56.

Parliamentary Elections Corrupt Practices Act, 1885.

The whole Act.

58 & 59 Vic. c. 40.

Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, 1895.

The whole Act.

8 Geo. V. c. 64.

Representation of the People Act, 1918.

The whole Act so far as unrepealed.

Note:—The repeal of the above enactments effected by this Act does not prejudice the applications of such enactments to Local Government Elections.