Referendum (Amendment) Act, 1979

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Number 10 of 1979


REFERENDUM (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1979


ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

Section

1.

Constitutional referenda in relation to Sixth Amendment of the Constitution (Adoption) Bill, 1978, and Seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Election of Members of Seanad Éireann by Institutions of Higher Education) Bill, 1979.

2.

Constituencies.

3.

Forms of ballot papers.

4.

Short title, collective citation and construction.

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Number 10 of 1979


REFERENDUM (AMENDMENT) ACT, 1979


AN ACT TO AMEND THE REFERENDUM ACTS, 1942 TO 1973. [1st June, 1979]

BE IT ENACTED BY THE OIREACHTAS AS FOLLOWS:

Constitutional referenda in relation to Sixth Amendment of the Constitution (Adoption) Bill, 1978, and Seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Election of Members of Seanad Éireann by Institutions of Higher Education) Bill, 1979.

1.—At a constitutional referendum in relation to the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution (Adoption) Bill, 1978, and at a constitutional referendum in relation to the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Election of Members of Seanad Éireann by Institutions of Higher Education) Bill, 1979—

(a) a polling card sent under section 64 (1) of the Electoral Act, 1963 , shall contain the statement set out in the Appendix to this section,

(b) a polling card shall also be sent by the local returning officer for a constituency to every elector whose name is on the register of Dáil electors for such constituency and is on the postal voters list for such constituency,

(c) a polling card sent under paragraph (b) of this section—

(i) shall indicate that it is for a postal voter and shall accordingly not state the number and place referred to in the said section 64 (1),

(ii) shall contain the statement referred to in paragraph (a) of this section, and

(iii) shall be sent by post to the elector at the same time as his ballot paper is sent, being addressed to him at the same address as is stated on the envelope in which the ballot paper is sent,

(d) subsections (3) to (6) of the said section 64 shall apply in relation to polling cards sent under paragraph (b) of this section,

(e) copies of the statement referred to in paragraph (a) of this section shall be displayed by a presiding officer in and in the precincts of his polling station:

Provided that no referendum shall be invalidated by reason of any failure to display such copies in or in the precincts of any polling station,

(f) in applying Rule 18 (inserted by the Electoral Act, 1963 ) of the First Schedule to the Referendum Act, 1942 , the following paragraph shall be substituted for paragraph (5)—

“(5) (a) Where a ballot paper is to be marked pursuant to paragraph (3) of this Rule, the presiding officer may assist the voter by reading out in full from the ballot paper the proposal stated therein and asking the voter ‘Do you approve of or do you object to that Bill becoming law?’ and shall then, unless it is a case to which subparagraph (b) of this paragraph applies, mark the ballot paper in accordance with the answer of the voter, but he shall not act on any written instruction.

(b) Where the voter fails to understand the import of the said question, the presiding officer—

(i) shall read out to the voter such statement of the proposal which is the subject of the referendum as is set out in paragraph 1 of the Appendix to section 1 of the Referendum (Amendment) Act, 1979,

(ii) shall then ask the voter ‘Which do you wish to do—to vote in favour of the proposal to change the Constitution or to vote against the proposal to change the Constitution?’,

and

(iii) shall then mark the ballot paper in accordance with the answer of the voter, but shall not act on any written instruction.”

APPENDIX

1. You may vote at the Referenda on two proposals:—

WHITE BALLOT PAPER

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution (Adoption) Bill, 1978, proposes that an adoption which is in accordance with laws enacted by the Oireachtas shall not be invalid solely by reason of the fact that the relevant order or authorisation was not made or given by a judge or court but by a person or body designated for the purpose by those laws. The Bill relates to past as well as future adoptions. Its object is to ensure that adoption orders made by An Bord Uchtála (the Adoption Board) will not be in danger of being declared to be invalid because they were not made by a court.

GREEN BALLOT PAPER

The Seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Election of Members of Seanad Éireann by Institutions of Higher Education) Bill, 1979, proposes the election by universities and other institutions of higher education specified by law of such number of members of Seanad Éireann, not exceeding 6, as may be specified by law. Those so elected would be in substitution for an equal number of the members elected at present (3 each) by the National University of Ireland and the University of Dublin. The Bill also proposes that nothing in Article 18 of the Constitution shall prohibit the dissolution by law of those Universities.

2. If you APPROVE of the proposal in the Bill to which the ballot paper relates, mark X opposite the word YES on the paper.

3. If you DO NOT APPROVE of the proposal in the Bill to which the ballot paper relates, mark X opposite the word NO on the paper.

4. Copies of the Bills can be inspected free of charge, and purchased for two and a half pence each, at any Post Office.

Constituencies.

2.—(1) For the purpose of taking the poll at a referendum referred to in section 1 of this Act—

(a) each county and each county borough in the State shall be deemed to be a constituency and the poll shall be taken separately in each such constituency, and

(b) each voter at the poll shall record his vote in the constituency in which he would be entitled to vote at a general election of members of Dáil Éireann if each county and each county borough in the State were a constituency for such an election,

and the Referendum Acts, 1942 to 1979, shall be construed as if each county and county borough in the State were a constituency and those Acts shall apply and have effect accordingly with any necessary modification.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1) of this section—

(a) paragraphs (c) and (e) of section 11 of the Referendum Act, 1942 , shall not have effect in relation to a poll at a referendum referred to in the said section 1, and

(b) the Referendum Act, 1942 , shall have effect in relation to a poll at a referendum referred to in the said section 1 as if “constituency” were substituted for “such constituency” in paragraphs (d) (inserted by the Electoral Act, 1963 ) and (f) of the said section 11.

Forms of ballot papers.

3.—The Electoral Act, 1963 , is hereby amended—

(a) as respects a constitutional referendum in relation to the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution (Adoption) Bill, 1978, by the insertion at the beginning of the front of the form of ballot paper set out in Part I of the Fourth Schedule (inserted by the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 1972 ) of—

“UCHT?IL—ADOPTION”,

and

(b) as respects a constitutional referendum in relation to the Seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Election of Members of Seanad Éireann by Institutions of Higher Education) Bill, 1979, by the insertion at the beginning of the front of the said form of ballot paper of—

“IONADA?OCHT SEANAID—SEANAD REPRESENTATION”.

Short title, collective citation and construction.

4.—(1) This Act may be cited as the Referendum (Amendment) Act, 1979.

(2) The Referendum Acts, 1942 to 1973, and this Act may be cited together as the Referendum Acts, 1942 to 1979.

(3) This Act shall be construed as one with the Referendum Acts, 1942 to 1973.

Acts Referred to

Electoral Act, 1963

1963, No. 19

Electoral (Amendment) Act, 1972

1972, No. 4

Referendum Act, 1942

1942, No. 8

Referendum Acts, 1942 to 1973