European Parliament Elections Act, 1997

Local returning officers.

17.—(1) There shall for the purposes of this Act be a local returning officer for every county or county borough wholly or partly situate in a constituency and the local returning officer shall be—

(a) in the case of the counties of Cork, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal and South Dublin and the county boroughs of Cork and Dublin, the sheriff, and

(b) in every other case, the county registrar.

(2) Subject to subsection (3)(a), it shall be the duty of a local returning officer—

(a) to take the poll at a European election in the part of the constituency for which he or she is the local returning officer,

(b) to do such acts and things as he or she is otherwise by this Act required to do, and

(c) to render such assistance to the returning officer for the said constituency as that returning officer may require,

and if any doubt arises as to the duties of a local returning officer, the doubt shall be determined by the Minister.

(3) (a) Where a local returning officer is appointed under section 16 to be the returning officer for a constituency, it shall be lawful for the said officer to appoint a deputy local returning officer for the discharge of all or any particular part of his or her duties as local returning officer.

(b) Where at an election the same person is local returning officer for two or more counties or for a county and a county borough, the person may appoint in respect of each county or county borough (except one) a deputy local returning officer to open the ballot boxes and verify the ballot paper accounts.

(4) Where a vacancy occurs in the office of county registrar or sheriff and the holder was a local returning officer or a local returning officer is prevented by illness or other reasonable cause from performing all or any of his or her duties, the Minister shall, where appropriate, appoint a person to act as local returning officer during the period of the vacancy or prevention.

(5) A reference in this Act to the local returning officer shall, where appropriate, be construed as including a reference to a deputy or acting local returning officer.