Returning officer

In various parliamentary systems, a returning officer is responsible for overseeing elections in one or more constituencies.

Australia

In Australia a returning officer is an employee of the Australian Electoral Commission or a state electoral commission who heads the local divisional office full-time, and oversees elections in their division, or an employee of a private firm which carries out elections and/or ballots in the private and/or public sectors, or anyone who carries out any election and/or ballot for any group or groups.

Canada

In Canada, at the federal level, the returning officer of an electoral district is appointed for a ten-year term by the Chief Electoral Officer. The returning officer is responsible for handling the electoral process in the riding,[1] and updating the National Register of Electors with current information about voters in the electoral district to which they are appointed.[2] Before enactment of the Canada Elections Act in 2000, in the case of a tie between the two leading candidates in an election, the returning officer would cast the deciding vote.[3] Since 2000, a tie between two leading candidates automatically results in a by-election.[4]

The provinces and territories of Canada each have their own returning officers.

Germany

Germany has a Federal Returning Officer and a returning officer in each State.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, the returning officer is usually an administrative officer[5] of the government.[6]

India

The returning officer of a parliamentary or assembly constituency is responsible for the conduct of elections in the parliamentary or assembly constituency concerned as per the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Returning officer is the statutory authority to conduct the polling, counting process and to decide validity of ballot paper and election commission has no power to overrule him or her.

The Election Commission of India nominates or designates an officer of the government or a local authority as the returning officer for each of the assembly and parliamentary constituencies in consultation with the state government/union territory administration. In addition, the Election Commission of India also appoints one or more assistant returning officers for each of the assembly and parliamentary constituencies to assist the returning officer in the performance of his functions in connection with the conduct of elections.[7]

Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the post of returning officer in Dublin and Cork is held by the city sheriff, and in the other areas by the county registrar of the area (a senior court official). For local elections, the position is held by the administrative head of the local council. The returning officer for presidential elections and referendums is a senior official in the franchise section of the Department of the Environment.

Singapore

The Returning Officer in Singapore is in charge of overseeing the conduct of parliamentary (by-elections and general elections) and presidential elections.[8] The RO declares results for the parliamentary general elections and the presidential elections in the following manner:

For SMCs:

(Before 2015) Parliamentary general election year. Results for the electoral division of name of seat. Name of first candidate, party of first candidate, number of votes. Name of following candidate, party of following candidate, number of votes. Rejected votes, number of rejected votes. Total votes cast, number of total votes including rejected votes. The local votes counted for the electoral division of seat name are conclusive of the results. Pursuant to Section 49, Subsection 7E, Paragraph A of the Parliamentary Elections Act, I declare name of winning candidate of the party name as the candidate elected for the electoral division of seat name.
(After 2015) Results for name of seat. Name of first candidate, party of first candidate, number of votes. Name of following candidate, party of following candidate, number of votes. Total votes cast for the candidates, number of total votes excluding rejected votes. Rejected votes, number of rejected votes. The votes cast in Singapore counted for seat name are conclusive of the results. I declare name of winning candidate of the party name as the candidate elected for seat name.

For GRCs:

(Before 2015) Parliamentary general election year. Results for the electoral division of name of seat. Names of candidates in first group, party of first group, number of votes. Names of following candidates in following group, party of following group, number of votes. Rejected votes, number of rejected votes. Total votes cast, number of total votes including rejected votes. The local votes counted for the electoral division of seat name are conclusive of the results. Pursuant to Section 49, Subsection 7E, Paragraph A of the Parliamentary Elections Act, I declare names of winning group of candidates of the party of group of candidates as the group of candidates elected for the electoral division of seat name.
(After 2015) Results for name of seat. Names of candidates in first group, party of first group, number of votes. Names of following candidates in following group, party of following group, number of votes. Total votes cast for the candidates, number of total votes excluding rejected votes. Rejected votes, number of rejected votes. The votes cast in Singapore counted for seat name are conclusive of the results. I declare names of winning group of candidates of the party of group of candidates as the group of candidates elected for seat name.

For presidential elections:

Result for the presidential election year. Name of first candidate, number of votes. Name of following candidate, number of votes. Rejected votes, number of rejected votes. Total votes cast, number of total votes. The local votes counted are conclusive of the results. Pursuant to Section 32, Subsection 8D, Paragraph A of the Presidential Elections Act, I declare name of winning candidate as the candidate elected as the President of Singapore.

For SMCs with a walkover:

Parliamentary general election year. Announcement of result on nomination day, the electoral division of name of seat. Name of candidate, party of candidate, is the only candidate nominated for the electoral division of name of seat. Under Section 33 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, I declare name of candidate of the party of candidate as the candidate elected for the electoral division of seat name.

For GRCs with a walkover:

Parliamentary general election year. Announcement of result on nomination day, the electoral division of name of seat. Name of candidates in party of first group, party of first group, is the only group of candidates nominated for the electoral division of name of seat. Under Section 33 of the Parliamentary Elections Act, I declare name of winning group of candidates of the party of group of candidates as the group of candidates elected for the electoral division of seat name.[9]

Section 49, Subsection 7E, Paragraph A of the Parliamentary Elections Act [or Section 32, Subsection 8D, Paragraph A of the Presidential Elections Act], are stated, only if the total number of overseas electors lawfully entitled to vote at the election in that electoral division is less than the difference between the number of votes given to the two best-performing candidates or group of candidates.[10] In the event where the total of overseas voters is more than the difference between the number of votes given to the two best-performing candidates, the RO may declare the number of votes cast in Singapore for the candidates, and announce the date and premises for the counting of overseas votes, in accordance with Section 49, Subsection 7E, Paragraph B of the Parliamentary Elections Act [or Section 32, Subsection 8D, Paragraph B of the Presidential Elections Act].[10] The RO's duties also encompasses announcing the best-performing losing candidates as NCMP post-elections in the government gazette.[11]

List of returning officers

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, returning officers are appointed by the Commissioner of Elections under the Registration of Electors Act, No. 44 of 1980 for all Presidential, General (Parliamentary), Provincial and Local government elections held in the island. Normally public officers are appointed as returning officers and they may appoint assistant returning officers to assist them.[14]

In the Parliament of Sri Lanka, the Secretary-General acts as the returning officer for votes conducted within the Parliament.

United Kingdom

General elections

In England and Wales the post of returning officer for general elections is an honorary one, held by the high sheriff of the county for a county constituency or the mayor or chairman of the local council for a borough constituency. If a constituency overlaps district and county borders, the returning officer is designated by the Secretary of State for Justice.

In practice, the task of conducting the election is delegated to an acting returning officer, who is usually a senior officer in the local authority (the only duties which can be reserved and undertaken by the returning officer are related to the receipt of the writ and the declaration of the result,[15] and only if written notice is given by the returning officer to the acting returning officer[16]). In an English or Welsh constituency where the returning officer is the chairman of the local district council or the mayor if a borough council, the electoral registration officer is automatically the acting returning officer. In an English or Welsh constituency where the high sheriff or mayor is returning officer, the acting returning officer is designated by the Secretary of State for Justice.

In Scotland, there is no office of acting returning officer and the position of returning officer is not an honorary one. The returning officer for general elections is the same person who has been appointed returning officer for the election of councillors in the local authority in which the constituency is situated. If a constituency covers more than one local authority area, the Secretary of State for Justice designates which local authority returning officer will discharge the function.

In Northern Ireland, the Chief Electoral Officer acts as the returning officer.[17]

Returning officers normally announce the results after the count in the following manner:

I, name, the Acting Returning Officer for the name of seat, hereby give notice that the total number of votes given for each candidate at the election of date was as follows, list of candidates and the number of votes received. And that name of winning candidate(s) has been duly elected to name of democratic body for name of seat (or name of office).

Local elections

In England and Wales, every district council or unitary authority is required to appoint an officer of the council to be the returning officer for the election of councillors to their local authority, and any parish councils in their area. County councils must also appoint a returning officer for the election of councillors within the county.[18]

References

  1. ^ "The Returning Officer". Elections Canada. 21 December 2006. Retrieved 2009-02-10.
  2. ^ "Revision of the Lists of Electors". Elections Canada. Retrieved 2011-03-28.
  3. ^ "Results, Addition and Recounts—What Happens After Canadians Vote on Federal Election Day" (Press release). Elections Canada. 5 June 1997. If the two candidates still have the same number of votes after the recount, the returning officer casts the deciding vote.
  4. ^ "Canada Elections Act (S.C. 2000, c. 9)". § 318, Act of 31 May 2000. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  5. ^ "Administrative Officer Grade". Civil Service Bureau, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  6. ^ "Appointment of returning officers and assistant returning ofiicers". Electoral Affairs Commission, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. Retrieved 7 May 2011.
  7. ^ "FAQs - election machinery". Election Commission of India. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  8. ^ Wong, Tessa (10 May 2011). "Yam Ah Mee: GE's new Internet star". The Straits Times. Singapore. Archived from the original on 15 March 2012.
  9. ^ "Tanjong Pagar nomination".
  10. ^ a b "Parliamentary Elections Act". § 29A, Ordinance No. 26 of 12 November 1954. Retrieved 4 November 2015.
  11. ^ Oon, Jeffrey (17 May 2011). "Trio of NCMPs formally announced". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  12. ^ National Archives of Singapore
  13. ^ Ministry of Finance deputy secretary appointed as new returning officer
  14. ^ LOCAL AUTHORITIES ELECTIONS ORDINANCE
  15. ^ Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 28(2)
  16. ^ Representation of the People Act 1983, Section 28(3)
  17. ^ Northern Ireland Assembly and local government elections
  18. ^ Representation of the People Act 1983, Sections 35(1) and 35(1A)

See also

1860 County of Hawke by-election

The County of Hawke by-election of 1860 was a by-election held in the County of Hawke electorate during the 2nd New Zealand Parliament, on 26 April 1860.

The by-election was caused by the resignation of incumbent MP James Ferguson and was won unopposed by Thomas FitzGerald.

A nomination meeting was held on 26 April 1860. FitzGerald was proposed and seconded. Another person (Richard John Duncan) was proposed, but no seconder was found. A third person (William Colenso) was proposed and seconded, but declared that he didn't want to stand. The returning officer advised that Colenso could not withdraw once he had been seconded. After addressing the electors, a show of hands was called for, and the returning officer declared the result to be in favour of FitzGerald. One of the attendees then proposed a formal vote, but this was not seconded. The returning officer thus declared FitzGerald duly elected.

1869 Town of New Plymouth by-election

The 1869 Town of New Plymouth by-election was a by-election held on 28 April in the Town of New Plymouth electorate during the 4th New Zealand Parliament.

The by-election was caused by the resignation of the incumbent, Harry Atkinson. He was replaced by Thomas Kelly.

This by-election required a poll, unlike previous by-elections in the Town of New Plymouth (1862 by-election, 1863 by-election, 1864 by-election, 1865 by-election and 1867 by-election) when the sole candidate was unopposed and was declared the winner without a show of hands or poll.

Carrington, who came second was described as the Father of New Plymouth.

After the returning officer had declared the result of the poll, the candidate Mr Upjohn asked if he could have the names of the 15 people who voted for him; the returning officer said he would have to ask for permission from the Government.

April 1865 Bruce by-election

The April 1865 Bruce by-election was a New Zealand by-election held in the multi-member electorate of Bruce during the 3rd New Zealand Parliament on 8 April 1865. It was triggered on 9 January that year by the resignation of separationist Thomas Gillies and won by prominent settler Arthur John Burns. The more liberal businessman William John Dyer was the sole other contester of the by-election, finishing with 43.33% of the vote.

Five candidates were nominated but two of them had their nominations rejected by the Returning Officer. Both rejected nominees had nominated other electors earlier in the meeting; the Returning Officer believed this behaviour was childish and contrary to the "serious duty" of candidacy. A third nominee—Henry Clapcott—was proposed but withdrew prior to the election. The by-election was one of three by-elections in the electorate that were also in the 3rd Parliament, the others being the July 1865 by-election and the 1862 by-election. 11 months after the by-election came the 1866 election.

Election agent

In elections in the United Kingdom, as well as in certain other similar political systems such as India's, an election agent is the person legally responsible for the conduct of a candidate's political campaign and to whom election material is sent to by those running the election. In elections in the United Kingdom a candidate may be his or her own election agent. The Electoral Commission provides periodic guidance for candidates and agents of which the latest is for the 2017 British general election.In Canada and most of Canada's provinces, an election agent is legally referred to as an official agent.

Election agents are responsible for sanctioning all expenditure on the candidate's campaign, for maintaining the accuracy of and submitting to the returning officer the candidate's expenses and other documents, as well as deciding whether to contest the result of a count. Agents are also permitted to oversee the polling and counting of votes to ensure the accuracy and impartiality of the election, and may appoint polling and counting agents to assist them in these tasks. The number of polling and counting agents that can be appointed is determined by the returning officer of the election and they must be appointed by a set date laid out in the timetable of the election.

Agents must usually have reached the age of majority and not be acting as a clerk or officer to the returning officer in the given election. Where a candidate does not nominate an agent, they are their own agent.

The larger parties typically pay their election agents, and the role is gradually becoming a professional one as the similar (but not equivalent) role of campaign managers is in the United States.

Elections in Pakistan

Since its establishment in 1947, Pakistan has had an asymmetric federal government and is a federal parliamentary democratic republic. At the national level, the people of Pakistan elect a bicameral legislature, the Parliament of Pakistan. The parliament consists of a lower house called the National Assembly, which is elected directly, and an upper house called the Senate, whose members are chosen by elected provincial legislators. The head of government, the Prime Minister, is elected by the majority members of the National Assembly and the head of state (and figurehead), the President, is elected by the Electoral College, which consists of both houses of Parliament together with the four provincial assemblies. In addition to the national parliament and the provincial assemblies, Pakistan also has more than five thousand elected local governments.

The Election Commission of Pakistan, a constitutionally established institution chaired by an appointed and designated Chief Election Commissioner, supervises the general elections. The Pakistan Constitution defines (to a basic extent) how general elections are held in Part VIII, Chapter 2 and various amendments. A multi-party system is in effect, with the National Assembly consisting of 342 seats and the Senate consisting of 104 seats elected from the four provinces. The Constitution dictates that the general elections be held every five years when the National Assembly has completed its term or has been dissolved and that the Senatorial elections be held to elect members for terms of six years. By law, general elections must be held within two months of the National Assembly completing its term.

Elections in the United Kingdom

There are six types of elections in the United Kingdom: elections to the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, elections to devolved parliaments and assemblies, elections to the European Parliament, local elections, mayoral elections and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. Within each of those categories, there may be by-elections as well as general elections. Elections are held on Election Day, which is conventionally a Thursday. Since the passing of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 for general elections, all six types of elections are held after fixed periods, though early elections to parliament and the devolved assemblies and parliaments can occur in certain situations. Currently, six electoral systems are used: the single member plurality system (first past the post), the multi member plurality system, party-list proportional representation, the single transferable vote, the additional member system and the supplementary vote.

Elections are administered locally: in each lower-tier local authority, the polling procedure is operated by the acting returning officer or returning officer, and the compiling and maintenance of the electoral roll by the electoral registration officer (except in Northern Ireland, where the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland assumes both responsibilities). The Electoral Commission sets standards for and issues guidelines to returning officers and electoral registration officers, and is responsible for nationwide electoral administration (such as the registration of political parties and directing the administration of national referendums).

Electoral district of Colac

The Electoral district of Colac was an electoral district of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, one of the inaugural districts of the first Assembly in 1856.Its area was defined by the 1855 Act as:

Colac was abolished in 1859, its area became part of the new Electoral district of Polwarth and South Grenville.The inaugural election took place on 3 October 1856; after votes for Rutherford and Theodore Hancock,

a Melbourne solicitor were tied at 46 each, Rutherford was elected by the casting vote of the returning officer.

Federal Returning Officer

In Germany, the Federal Returning Officer ("Bundeswahlleiter") is the Returning Officer responsible for overseeing elections on the federal level. The Federal Returning Officer and his deputy are appointed indefinitely by the Federal Minister of the Interior; traditionally this position has been held by the President of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany.

Federal Statistical Office of Germany

The Federal Statistical Office (German: Statistisches Bundesamt, shortened Destatis) is a federal authority of Germany. It reports to the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

The Office is responsible for collecting, processing, presenting and analysing statistical information concerning the topics economy, society and environment. The purpose is providing objective, independent and highly qualitative statistical information for the whole public.

About 2780 staff members are employed in the departments in Wiesbaden, Bonn and Berlin.

The department in Wiesbaden is the main office and runs the largest library specialised in statistical literature in Germany. It is also the Office of the President who is also by tradition, but not by virtue of the office, the Federal Returning Officer. In this position he or she is the supervisor of the elections of the German Parliament ("Bundestag") and of the European Parliament.

The Berlin Information Point is the service centre of the Federal Office in the German capital and provides information and advisory services for the German Government, other federal authorities, embassies, industry and public, associations and all those who are interested in official statistics in Berlin and Brandenburg.

General elections in Singapore

General elections in Singapore must be held within three months after five years have elapsed from the date of the first sitting of a particular Parliament of Singapore. However, in most cases Parliament is dissolved and a general election called at the behest of the Prime Minister before the five-year period elapses. The number of constituencies or electoral divisions is not permanently fixed by law, but is declared by the Prime Minister prior to each general election pursuant to the Parliamentary Elections Act (Cap. 218, 2011 Rev. Ed.), which governs the conduct of elections to Parliament, taking into account recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Review Committee. For the 2015 general election, there were 89 seats in Parliament organised into 13 Single Member Constituencies (SMCs) and 16 Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). Each SMC returns one Member of Parliament while each GRC returns between three and six MPs, at least one of whom must be from the Malay, Indian or other minority communities. A group of persons wishing to stand for election in a GRC must all be members of the same political party, or a group of independent candidates. The voting age in Singapore is 21 years.

The election process begins when the President, acting on Cabinet's advice, issues a writ of election addressed to the returning officer. On nomination day, the returning officer and his or her representatives will be present at designated nomination centres between 11:00 am and 12:00 noon to receive prospective candidates' nomination papers, and political donation certificates certifying that they have complied with the requirements of the Political Donations Act (Cap. 236, 2001 Rev. Ed.). A person intending to contest in a GRC as a minority candidate must also submit a certificate confirming that he or she is a person belonging to the Malay, Indian or some other minority community. In addition, between the date of the writ of election and 12:00 noon on nomination day, candidates must lodge with the returning officer a deposit equal to 8% of the total allowances payable to an MP in the preceding calendar year, rounded to the nearest $500. For the 2015 general election, the amount of the deposit was $14,500. At the close of the nomination period, where there is only one candidate in an SMC or one group of candidates in a GRC standing nominated, the election is uncontested and the returning officer will declare that the candidate has or the group of candidates have been elected. Where there is more than one candidate in an SMC or more than one group of candidates in a GRC, the election is adjourned for a poll to be taken. The returning officer issues a notice of contested election which states when polling day will be; and information such as the names of the candidates, their proposers and seconders, the symbols allocated to candidates which will be printed on ballot papers, and the locations of polling stations.

Candidates can only mount election campaigns from after the close of nomination up to the day before the eve of polling day. No campaigning is permitted on the eve of polling day itself, which is known as "cooling-off day". Candidates can advertise on the Internet, conduct house-to-house visits, distribute pamphlets, put up banners and posters, and hold election rallies. Political parties fielding at least six candidates are allocated airtime for two pre-recorded party political broadcasts on radio and television, one on the day following nomination day and the other on cooling-off day. The amount of airtime granted depends on the number of candidates each party is fielding. The maximum amount which a candidate or his or her election agent can pay or incur for an election campaign is $3.50 for each elector in an SMC, or $3.50 for each elector divided by the number of candidates in the group standing for election in a GRC.

Polling day at a general election is a public holiday, and voting is compulsory. Unless the returning officer decides otherwise, polling stations are open from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Voters must go to the polling stations assigned to them. After the poll closes, the presiding officer of each polling station seals the ballot boxes without opening them. Candidates or their polling agents may also affix their own seals to the ballot boxes. The ballot boxes are then taken to counting centres to be opened and the ballots counted. A candidate or his counting agent may ask the returning officer for a recount of votes if the difference between the number of votes for the candidate or group of candidates with the most votes and the number of votes of any other candidate or group of candidate is 2% or less, excluding rejected and tendered votes. After all counts, and recounts if any, have been completed, the returning officer ascertains whether the total number of electors registered to vote overseas is less than the difference between the number of votes for the two candidates with the highest number of votes. If so, the returning officer declares the candidate with the highest number of votes to be elected as President. If not, the returning officer states the number of votes cast for each candidate and the date and location where the overseas votes will be counted.

The most recent general election was held in 2015. The People's Action Party was returned to power to form the Government with 83 seats, while the Workers' Party of Singapore secured six seats by winning in Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is an independent regulatory agency that was founded in 2011 by the Constitution of Kenya. The Commission is responsible for conducting or supervising referendum and elections to any elective body or office established by the Constitution, and any other elections as prescribed by an Act of Parliament. It was created in a provision of the 2010 constitution and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Act. Its mandate includes; "the continuous registration of voters and revision of the voter’s roll, the delimitation of constituencies and wards, the regulation of political parties process, the settlement of electoral disputes, the registration of candidates for elections, voter education, the facilitation of the observation, monitoring and evaluation of elections,the regulation of money spent by a candidate or party in respect of any election, the development of a code of conduct for candidates and parties, the monitoring of compliance with legislation on nomination of candidates by parties."

List of Parliamentary constituencies in Clwyd

Seven constituencies cover Clwyd. They are county constituencies (CCs) (for type of returning officer and election expenses) of the House of Commons of the UK Parliament (Westminster), and are used also for elections to the National Assembly for Wales. The current boundaries have been effective since the Welsh Assembly election, 2007 and the 2010 United Kingdom general election.Clwyd is one of the eight preserved counties of Wales. As currently defined, the preserved county consists of the principal areas of Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham.

For Welsh Assembly elections, constituencies are grouped into additional member electoral regions, and changes to constituency boundaries mean, also, changes to regional boundaries.

List of Parliamentary constituencies in Merseyside

The county of Merseyside created in 1974 has 15 Parliamentary constituencies

— (sub-classified into 12 of borough type and three of county status affecting the level of expenses permitted and status of returning officer). The area, centred on its largest city of Liverpool, has since that year elected a majority of Labour Party MPs moreover since 1997 at least 13 of 15 seats have been held or won by the party at each general election. The two other largest parties nationally in England have to date won intermittently in the two larger seats within the four in the Wirral, the peninsular facing Liverpool, and best having alternately represented the seat centred on the coastal strip in and around the leisure resort of Southport. The latter town includes Birkdale and Ainsdale beach and has not since the seat was created in 1885 sided with the Labour Party. The bulk of seats especially towards the east and the centre of Liverpool have not sided with the Conservative Party since that party actively supported the National Labour Organisation (1931-1947).

Nunawading Province

Nunawading Province was an electorate of the Victorian Legislative Council.

It was created in 1976, based in the outer eastern Melbourne suburbs including Nunawading. It was finally abolished 29 March 1996. Much of its area was replaced by Koonung Province.

In the 1985 election, the result for this province was subject to much controversy when the vote ended with a complete dead heat after preferences. Both the Labor candidate Bob Ives and the Liberal candidate Rosemary Varty received 54,821 votes each. The returning officer, Kathleen Leonard, was required by law to make a casting vote, which she did so by drawing a name from a ballot box. The name drawn was Bob Ives and he was declared elected.This result did not stand, and a by-election was called, in which the Liberal candidate Varty won with a swing to her.

Postal voting

Postal voting is voting in an election whereby ballot papers are distributed to electors or returned by post, in contrast to electors voting in person at a polling station or electronically via an electronic voting system. Historically, postal votes must be distributed and placed in return mail before the scheduled election day, it is sometimes referred to as a form of early voting. It can also be used as an absentee ballot. However, in recent times the model in the US has morphed, in municipalities that use postal voting exclusively, to be one of ballots being mailed out to voters, but the return method taking on alternatives of return by mail or dropping off the ballot in person via secure drop boxes and/or voting centers.

Postal voting refers only to the means by which the ballots are submitted, not to the method by which the votes are counted. Election officials may count the votes by processing the mailed-in ballots through electronic voting machines, or may count the votes manually.

To enable as many voters as possible to participate, postal voting can assist people who may not be able to attend a polling station in person, for example because of a physical disability, absence from the locality or some other reason. Postal voting is generally available to voters upon application, sometimes with restrictions. If no reason for a request is required, it may be called postal vote on demand. Postal voting may be an option for voters in some jurisdictions, while in some elections there may be all-postal voting.

A form of postal voting was introduced in Western Australia in 1877, followed by an improved method in South Australia in 1890. On the other hand, concerns about postal voting have been raised as to whether it complies with the requirements of a secret ballot, in that people cast their vote outside the security of a polling station, and whether voters can cast their vote privately free from another person's coercion. There have been cases of electoral fraud with postal votes in the United Kingdom (including in Birmingham at the 2004 European and local government elections in the UK).

Presidential elections in Singapore

Presidential elections in Singapore, in which the President of Singapore is directly elected by popular vote, were introduced through amendments to the Constitution of Singapore in 1991. Potential candidates for office must meet stringent qualifications set out in the Constitution. Certificates of eligibility are issued by the Presidential Elections Committee (PEC). In particular, the PEC must assess that they are persons of integrity, good character and reputation; and if they have not previously held certain key government appointments or were the chief executives of profitable companies with shareholders' equity of an average of S$500 million for the most recent three years in that office, they must demonstrate to the PEC that they held a position of comparable seniority and responsibility in the public or private sector that has given them experience and ability in administering and managing financial affairs.

The general strictness of the qualifications has resulted in three out of the five presidential elections being walkovers, as presidents S. R. Nathan and Halimah Yacob were the sole candidates to receive a certificate of eligibility from the PEC in their respective years in the 1999, 2005 and 2017 elections. The stringent criteria, the transparency of the PEC's decision-making process and the practice of political parties endorsing candidates have drawn criticism.

Since the constitutional amendments made in 2016, a presidential election will be reserved for a community in Singapore if no one from that community has been President for any of the five most recent terms of office of the President. The communities are the Chinese community, the Malay community, and the Indian or other minority communities. Candidates are required to satisfy the usual qualification criteria. The 2017 election was the first reserved election, and was reserved for the Malay community.

The office of President falls vacant upon the expiry of the incumbent's six-year term or if the President is for some reason unable to complete his or her term; for example, due to death, resignation or removal from office for misconduct or mental or physical infirmity. If the office of President becomes vacant before the incumbent's term expires, a poll for an election must be held within six months. In other cases, an election can take place any time from three months before the expiry of the incumbent's term of office.

The procedure for elections is laid out in the Presidential Elections Act (Cap. 240A, 2011 Rev. Ed.). The process begins when the Prime Minister issues a writ of election to the returning officer specifying the date and place of nomination day. Potential candidates must obtain certificates of eligibility from the PEC, in most cases community certificates from the Community Committee, and political donation certificates from the Registrar of Political Donations stating that they have complied with the Political Donations Act (Cap. 236, 2001 Rev. Ed.). These documents must be submitted together with a nomination paper to the returning officer on nomination day. In addition, by that day, potential candidates must pay a deposit to the returning officer. If there is only one candidate nominated, he or she is declared to have been elected President. Otherwise, the returning officer issues a notice of contested election specifying when polling day will be.

During the election period, a candidate may not spend more than $600,000 or 30 cents for each person on the electoral register, whichever is greater. Candidates may publish election advertising on the Internet, and participate in scheduled television and radio broadcasts. Permits must be obtained to hold election meetings and display posters and banners. A number of acts are unlawful, including bribery, dissuading electors from voting, making false statements about candidates, treating and undue influence. It is also a criminal offence to publish election surveys, and exit polls on polling day before the polls have closed. Legal changes introduced in 2010 made the eve of polling day a "cooling-off day" – campaigning must not take place on that day or on polling day itself.

Romsey and Southampton North (UK Parliament constituency)

Romsey and Southampton North is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since its 2010 creation by Caroline Nokes, a Conservative. For the purposes of election expenses and type of returning officer it is a county constituency.

Steven MacKinnon

Steven MacKinnon (born September 28, 1966) is a Canadian Liberal politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Gatineau in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election.MacKinnon was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and studied business at the Université de Moncton and Queen's University. He served as an advisor to New Brunswick Premier Frank McKenna and Prime Minister Paul Martin, and later served as the Liberal Party of Canada's national director, and as the returning officer for the 2013 federal leadership election.MacKinnon worked several years for Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a global public relations firm, serving as Senior Vice President and National Practice Leader in the Financial Communications sector.He first ran for office in the 2011 federal election in Gatineau, finishing third and far behind Françoise Boivin, a former Liberal MP running for the New Democratic Party, and the then-incumbent Bloc Quebecois MP Richard Nadeau. MacKinnon ran again four years later, this time defeating Boivin, in what was one of the most shocking defeats in the 2015 federal election, winning by a 2-to-1 margin. Boivin had amassed over sixty-percent of the popular vote in 2011.

Vice President of India

The Vice-President of India is the second-highest constitutional office in India after the President. Article 63 of Indian Constitution states that "There shall be a Vice-President of India." The Vice-President acts as President in the absence of the President due to death, resignation, impeachment, or other situations.

The Vice-President of India is also ex officio Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha. When a bill is introduced in Rajya Sabha, vice-president decides whether it is a financial bill or not. If he is of the opinion, a bill introduced in the Rajya Sabha is a money bill, he would refer the case to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha for deciding it.

Article 66 of the Indian Constitution states the manner of election of the Vice-President. The Vice-President is elected indirectly by members of an electoral college consisting of the members of both Houses of Parliament in accordance with the system of Proportional Representation by means of the Single transferable vote and the voting is by secret ballot conducted by election commission.Venkaiah Naidu is the Vice President of India. He defeated UPA's candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi on 5 August 2017 election.

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