ELECTION OFFENCES AND PENALTIES – Part 6, Elections Act, Cap.1.02 (Sections 74 – 87)

74.   OFFENCES BY ELECTION OFFICERS

(1)    Every election officer who—

(a)    makes, in any record, return or other document which he or she is required to keep or make under this Act, any entry which he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe to be false, or does not believe to be true;

(b)   permits a person whom he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe not to be a blind person or an incapacitated person to vote in the manner provided for blind persons or incapacitated persons, as the case may be;

(c)   refuses to permit any person whom he or she knows or has reasonable   cause   to  believe   to  be   a  blind   person   or  an incapacitated person to vote in the manner provided for blind persons or incapacitated persons, as the case may be;

(d)   wilfully prevents any person from voting at the polling station at which he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe such person is entitled to vote;

(e)    wilfully rejects or refuses to count any ballot paper which he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe is validly cast for any candidate in accordance with this Act; or

(f)     wilfully counts any ballot paper as being cast for any candidate, which he or she knows or has reasonable cause to believe was not validly cast for such candidate,

commits  an  offence  against  this  section  and,  on  conviction  on indictment, is liable to imprisonment for 2 years.

(2)    An election officer who whilst having any duty to perform under this

Act—

(a)    attempts to persuade any person to vote for or support or to refrain from voting for or from supporting any person as a candidate for any election or as a candidate for nomination on behalf of any political party for such election, or to support any political party, or attempts to ascertain for what candidate or party any person intends to vote; or

(b)   canvasses voters for any candidate or political party, wears any emblem or garment signifying support for or opposition to any candidate or political party, is   liable   on   summary   conviction   to   a  fine   of   $1,000   or   to imprisonment for 6 months of 12 months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

75.   LOUDSPEAKERS,  ENSIGNS, BANNERS ETC. PROHIBITED ON POLLING DAY

(1)    A  person  shall  not  furnish  or  supply  any  loudspeaker,  bunting, ensign, banner, standard, set of colours, or flag, to any person with intent that it shall be carried, worn or used on motor cars, trucks or other vehicles, as political propaganda, on polling day, and a person shall not with any such intent, carry, wear or use, on motor cars, trucks  or  other  vehicles,  any  such  loudspeaker,  bunting,  ensign, banner, standard, or set of colours, or flag, on polling day.

(2)   A person shall not furnish or supply any flag, ribbon or label to any person with intent that it be worn or used by any person within any electoral district on polling day, as a party badge to distinguish the wearer as the supporter of any candidate, or of the political or other opinions   entertained   or   supposed   to  be   entertained   by   such candidate; and no person shall use or wear any flag, ribbon or label as such badge, within any electoral district on polling day.

(3)   Nothing  contained  in  either  of  the  preceding  subsections  of  this section shall be deemed to extend to the furnishing or supplying or using of any banner, flag, badge or rosette bearing only the name of any candidate or only such name with or without the symbol allotted to such candidate, preceded by the words “Vote for”.

(4)   Any  person  who  contravenes  this  section  is  liable  on  summary conviction to a fine of $1,000 or to imprisonment for 12 months.

 

76.   ORDER AT POLLING STATIONS

(1)    Subject to subsection (2) during the hours when the poll is open upon election  day  no  persons  shall  assemble  or  congregate  within  100 yards of any building in which is situate any polling station.

(2)    This section shall not apply—

(a)    to any electors who are waiting to poll their votes at such polling station and who obey any instructions which may be given by the presiding officer or any constable for the purpose of forming a queue with other electors also so waiting; or

(b)   to any person who may under this Act lawfully enter or remain in such polling station.

(3)  Every person who contravenes or fails to comply with this section commits an offence against this section and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $250 or to imprisonment for 3 months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

77.   INFLUENCING ELECTORS TO VOTE

(1)    During the hours that the poll is open upon polling day a person shall not upon any public road or in any public place within 100 yards of any building in which a polling station is situate seek to influence any elector to vote for any candidate or to ascertain for what candidate any elector intends to vote or has voted.

(2)   A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $250 or to imprisonment for 3 months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

 

78.   BRIBERY

The  following  persons  shall  be  deemed  guilty  of  bribery  within  the meaning of this Act—

(a)    Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, gives, lends, or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure any money or valuable consideration to or for any elector, or to or for any other person in order to induce any elector to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act aforesaid on account of any elector having voted or refrained from voting at any election.

(b)   Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, gives or procures, or agrees to give or procure, or offers, promises, or promises to procure or to endeavour to procure any office, place or employment to or for any elector, or to or for any person on behalf of any elector, or to or for any other person in order to induce such elector to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of any elector having voted or refrained from voting at any election.

(c)   Every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, makes any gift, loan,offer, promise, procurement to or agreement with any person, in order to induce such person to procure, or endeavour to procure, the return of any person as an elected member of the House or the vote of any elector at any election.

(d)   Every  person  who,  upon  or  in consequence  of  any  gift,  loan, offer, promise, procurement, or agreement, procures or engages, promises or endeavours to procure the return of any person as an elected member of the House or the vote of any elector at any election.

(e)    Every person who advances or pays, or causes 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 knowingly pays or causes to be paid, any money to any person in discharge or repayment of any money wholly or in part expended in bribery at any such election.

(f)   Every elector who, before or during any election, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, receives, agrees, or contracts for any money, gift, loan or  valuable  consideration,  office,  place,  or  employment  for himself or herself or for any other person, for voting or agreeing to vote, or for refraining or agreeing to refrain from voting at any such election.

(g)    Every person who, after any election, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, receives 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 refrain from voting at any such election.

(h)   The foregoing provisions of 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 lawful expenses incurred in good faith at or concerning an election.

(i)     For the purpose of this section “lawful expenses” include—

(i)   the  payment  of  the  agents,  clerks,  canvassers  and messengers of candidates,

(ii)   payments made for the purpose of hiring vehicles for the conveyance of electors to or from a polling station,

(iii) payments made for the use of any premises for a public meeting in furtherance of the candidature of any person or for the use of any committee room or office for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of candidate,

(iv)  payments made in respect of postage, stationery, printing, advertising, the distribution of advertising material and the use of any public address system.

 

79.   TREATING

The following persons shall be deemed guilty of treating within the meaning of this Act—

(a)    every person who corruptly, by himself or herself 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 food, drink, entertainment, or provision to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person, or any other person, to vote or to refrain from voting at such election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting at such election.

(b)   every voter who corruptly accepts or takes any such food, drink, entertainment, or provision.

 

 

80.   UNDUE INFLUENCE

A person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or by any other person on his or her behalf, makes use of or threatens to make use of, any  force,  violence,  or restraint,  or  inflicts  or threatens  to inflict,  by himself or herself or by any other person, any injury, damage, harm, or loss upon  or against  any  person,  in order  to induce  or compel  such person  to  vote  or refrain  from  voting  or on  account  of  such  person having  voted  or  refrained  from  voting  at  any  election,  or  who  by abduction, duress, or any fraudulent contrivance, impedes or prevents the free exercise of the franchise of any elector, or thereby compels, induces, or prevails upon any elector either to give or refrain from giving his  or  her  vote  at  any  election,  commits  undue  influence  within  the meaning of this Act.

 

81.   PERSONATION

A person who at an election applies for a ballot paper in the name of another person, whether that name be the name of a person living or dead or of a fictitious person, or who, having voted once at any election, applies at the same election for a ballot paper in his or her own name, commits personation within the meaning of this Act.

 

82.   PENALTY FOR BRIBERY, TREATING, UNDER INFLUENCE, PERSONATION

(1)    Every person who commits—

(a)    bribery;

(b)    treating;

(c)     undue influence; (d)   personation;

(e)    aiding, abetting counselling or procuring the commission of any one of the foregoing offences, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for 6 months.

(2)   Every person who is convicted of any offence under subsection (1) hereof,  shall  (in  addition  to  any  other  punishment)  be  incapable during a period of 7 years from the date of conviction—

(a)    of being registered as an elector, or voting at any election of a member of the House;

(b)    of being elected a member of the House or if elected before his or her conviction, of retaining his or her seat as such member.

 

83.   PENALTY FOR CERTAIN ILLEGAL PRACTICES

(1)    Every person who—

(a)    votes, or induces or procures any person to vote, at any election, knowing that he or she or such other person is prohibited by any law, from voting at such election;

(b)   before   or  during   an  election   knowingly   publishes   a  false statement of the withdrawal of a candidate at such election for the purpose of promoting or procuring the election of another candidate;

(c)     between the date of notification by the Supervisor of Elections of the issue by the Governor General of a writ for purposes of an election and the day before polling at such election, whether in a general election or in a by-election, acts in a disorderly manner, with intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a public meeting called for the purpose of promoting the election of a candidate or prospective candidate as a member to serve in the House, commits an illegal practice, and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for 6 months.

 

(2)    Every  person  who,  between  the  date  of  notification  by  the  Chief Elections Officer of the issue by the Governor General of a writ for purposes of an election and the day before polling at such election, whether in a general election or in a by-election, incites, combines or conspires with others to act in a disorderly manner with intent to prevent the transaction of the business of a public meeting called for the purpose of promoting the election of a candidate or prospective candidate as a member of the House of Assembly, commits an illegal practice  and,  on  summary  conviction  thereof  is  liable  to imprisonment for 6 months.

(3)   Any person  who,  before  or during  an election  for the purpose  of affecting the return of any candidate or prospective candidate at such election, makes or publishes any false statement of fact in relation to the personal character or conduct of such candidate or prospective candidate commits an illegal practice and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for 6 months or to both such fine and imprisonment.

(4)   Any person who during the period of 14 days ending with the day after  polling  day  wilfully  detains  an  identification  card  issued  to another person commits an illegal practice and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for 6 months.

(5)   Any person who sells or attempts to sell or purchase or attempts to purchase, or pledges or attempts to pledge, or receives by way of pledge in any manner whatsoever an identification card of an elector or  a  poll  card  issued  to  an  elector  or  any  document  or  thing purporting to be an identification card of an elector or a poll card issued to an elector commits an illegal practice and is liable on summary  conviction  to  a  fine  of  $500  or  to  imprisonment  for  6 months.

(6)   Any person who is convicted of any offence declared to be an illegal practice under this Act shall, in addition to any other penalty for such offences, be incapable during a period of 5 years from the date of his or her conviction—

(a)  of being registered as an elector or voting at any election; and

(b) of being elected a member of the House of Assembly or, if elected before his or her conviction, of retaining his or her seat as such member,

However, in the event of any appeal the incapacity shall continue until the appeal is determined and thereafter unless the conviction is quashed   remain   in   force   for   a   period   of   5  years   from   the determination of the appeal except the court hearing the appeal shall direct that the period of 5 years shall run from the date of conviction.

 

84.   OFFENCES IN RESPECT OF BALLOT PAPERS

(1)    A person who—

(a)   forges or counterfeits, or fraudulently defaces or destroys, any ballot paper;

(b)   without due authority supplies a ballot paper to any person;

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

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

(e)     without  due  authority  destroys,  takes,  opens,  or  otherwise interferes with any ballot box or packet of ballot papers then in use for the purpose of any election; or

(f)    not being duly registered as an elector, votes at an election,

is liable, on summary conviction, if he or she is the returning officer or presiding officer, or clerk employed at a polling station, to a fine of $1,000 or to imprisonment for 12 months and, if he or she is any other person, to a fine of $500 or to imprisonment for 6 months.

(2)   In any information or prosecution for an offence in relation to the ballot boxes, ballot papers, and other things, in use at an election, the property in such ballot boxes, ballot papers, or things may be stated to be that of the returning officer at such election or of the Chief Elections Officer.

 

85.   SECRECY

(1)   Every election officer, candidate or agent, in attendance at a polling station shall maintain and aid in maintaining the secrecy of the voting in such station, and shall not communicate except for some purpose authorised by law, to any person any information as to the name or number on any list of electors, of any elector who has or has not applied for a ballot paper or voted at that station and no person shall interfere with or attempt to interfere with an elector when marking his or her vote or otherwise attempt to obtain in the polling station any information as to the candidate for whom any elector in such station is about to vote or has voted.

(2)   Every  election  officer,  candidate  or  agent  in  attendance  at  the counting  of  the  votes  shall  maintain  and  aid  in  maintaining  the secrecy of the voting and shall not communicate or attempt to communicate any information obtained at such counting as to the candidate or candidates for whom any vote is given in any particular ballot paper.

(3)   A person shall not, directly or indirectly, induce any voter to display his or her ballot paper after he or she has marked it so as to make known to any person the name of the candidate for whom or against whose name he or she has marked his or her vote.

(4)    A  person  who  acts  in  contravention  of  this  section  is  liable  on summary  conviction  to  a  fine  of  $500  or  to  imprisonment  for  6 months.

 

86.   OFFENCES RE VOTING BY POLICE ELECTORS

(1)    A  person  who  fraudulently  contravenes  Schedule  2  to  this  Act commits an offence and, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $250 or to imprisonment for 6 months.

(2)   Any presiding officer who wilfully supplies any ballot paper to any person  claiming  to  be  a  person  whose  name  appears  upon  the Register of Police electors for the electoral district in which is comprised the polling station of such presiding officer commits an offence and, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of $250 or to imprisonment for 3 months.