Electoral Act, 1992

Special provisions where two or more elections have same polling day.

165.—(1) This section applies to the following polls:

(a) the poll at an election of a person to the office of President of Ireland;

(b) the poll at a Dáil election within the meaning of this Act;

(c) the poll at an election of representatives to the European Parliament under the European Assembly Elections Acts, 1977 to 1992;

(d) the poll at an election of members of Údarás na Gaeltachta under the Údarás na Gaeltachta Act, 1979;

(e) the poll at a referendum within the meaning of the Referendum Acts, 1942 to 1992;

(f) the poll at a local election.

(2) Where two or more polls to which this section applies are to be taken on the same day, the following provisions shall, notwithstanding any other enactment, have effect:

(a) the polls shall be taken at the same time, at the same places and in the same manner,

(b) the same official mark shall be used for the ballot papers at each poll,

(c) the ballot papers at each poll shall be of a different colour (for this purpose white being deemed to be a colour),

(d) the same or different ballot boxes may be provided,

(e) if separate ballot boxes are provided, a ballot paper shall not be invalid by reason only of its being put into the wrong ballot box,

(f) an authorisation by a returning officer to a person to vote at one poll at a polling station other than the one allocated to him may authorise the person to vote at that station at the other poll or polls, in the case of a Dáil election, presidential election or referendum in the same constituency or, in the case of a European election, in the same county or county borough or, in the case of a local election, in the same local electoral area.

(3) A candidate other than a candidate referred to in subsection (4) who would be entitled to exercise the right to free postage pursuant to section 57 or otherwise in relation to more than one poll may send a combined postal communication and include therein material in relation to each such poll.

(4) Where candidates of the same political party would be entitled to exercise the right to free postage under section 57 or otherwise in relation to more than one poll, a combined postal communication may be sent by or on behalf of such candidates and may include material in relation to each such poll.

(5) Subsections (3) and (4) shall not be construed as conferring on any candidate a right to free postage additional to the rights conferred by section 57 , section 34 of the Presidential Elections Act, 1937 and Rule 18 of the First Schedule to the European Assembly Elections Act, 1977 .

(6) The Minister may, by direction, order or regulation, provide for such matters as he considers necessary to give effect to this section.

(7) Any direction, order or regulation given or made under subsection (6) shall have effect notwithstanding anything contained in any other enactment and, in particular and without prejudice to the generality of the said subsection (6), may—

(a) define the powers and duties of returning officers and of any other persons employed in connection with the polls,

(b) make such modifications in the Acts, orders or regulations governing the taking of the polls or the arrangements for the counting of the votes as appear to the Minister to be necessary to enable the polls to be taken together or to facilitate or expedite the completion and ascertainment of the results of the elections,

(c) make provisions in relation to the form and transmission of polling information cards.

(8) The Minister for Finance may for the purposes of this section prepare a scale of maximum charges and indicate—

(a) the time when, and the manner and form in which, accounts are to be rendered to him,

(b) the manner in which the expenses of taking the polls concerned shall be apportioned between whichever of the following would, but for this provision, meet the costs of the polls concerned, that is to say, the Central Fund, the local authority or local authorities (within the meaning of Part VI of the Electoral Act, 1963 ) concerned and the Minister for the Gaeltacht.