Independence Referendum Act 1995

Link to law: http://www.bermudalaws.bm/Laws/Annual%20Laws/1995/Acts/Independence%20Referendum%20Act%201995.pdf

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Independence Referendum Act 1995
The Laws of Bermuda
Annual Volume of Public Acts 1995 : 24

1

133

BERMUDA
1995 : 24

INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM ACT 1995

[Date of Assent 10 April 1995]

[Operative Date 10 April 1995]

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1 Short title
2 Holding of referendum
3 Application of Act No 23

of 1978

4 Regulations
5 Expenses

First Schedule
Second Schedule

WHEREAS it is expedient to provide for the holding of a
referendum on the issue of Independence for Bermuda:

Be it enacted by The Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, by and
with the advice and consent of the Senate and the House of Assembly of
Bermuda, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the Independence Referendum Act 1995.

Holding of referendum
2 (1) A referendum shall be held on the question whether or not
Independence is favoured for Bermuda.

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(2) The ballot paper to be used for the purpose of the
referendum shall be in the form set out in the First Schedule.

(3) The persons entitled to vote in the referendum are those
who, on the day of the holding of the referendum, would be entitled to
vote as electors at a parliamentary election in a constituency.

(4) The Premier shall by notice published in the Gazette
appoint a day for the holding of the referendum, being a day—

(a) not earlier than the thirtieth day next following the date
on which that notice is first so published; and

(b) not later than—

(i) the sixtieth day next following that date; or

(ii) 31 December 1995,

whichever is earlier.

(5) The question specified in subsection (1) will not have been
answered by the referendum in favour of Independence for Bermuda
unless—

(a) forty per centum or more of those entitled under
subsection (3) to vote in the referendum vote in the
referendum in favour of Independence for Bermuda; and

(b) the number of persons voting in the referendum in
favour of Independence for Bermuda constitutes a
majority of persons voting in the referendum.

Application of Act No 23 of 1978
3 For the purposes of the referendum the votes of the persons
voting shall be cast, and the proceedings shall be conducted, so far as
may be as if the referendum were a general election of members of the
House of Assembly; and the Parliamentary Election Act 1978 and any
regulations in force under that Act shall for those purposes be construed
accordingly.

Regulations
4 (1) Without prejudice to section 3, the Minister responsible for
Home Affairs ("the Minister") may by regulations—

(a) apply, in relation to the referendum, with such
modifications, exceptions, omissions and additions as
may be specified in the regulations, any provision of the

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Parliamentary Election Act 1978 and any regulations
made under that Act;

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(b) make such other provision as to the conduct of the
referendum as may appear to him to be expedient.

(2) Regulations made under subsection (1) are subject to the
negative resolution procedure.

(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), the Independence
Referendum Regulations 1995 set forth in the Second Schedule have full
legal effect forthwith by virtue of this subsection as regulations made
under and in accordance with subsections (1) and (2), without resort to
the negative resolution procedure.

(4) Subsection (3) does not affect the power of the Minister in
future to make regulations under subsection (1) amending, modifying or
otherwise affecting the said Independence Referendum Regulations
1995.

Expenses
5 Any expenses incurred in carrying this Act into effect shall be
defrayed out of moneys provided by the Legislature.

FIRST SCHEDULE (Section 2(2))

FORM OF BALLOT PAPER

ARE YOU IN FAVOUR OF INDEPENDENCE FOR BERMUDA?

YES: NO:

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SECOND SCHEDULE (Section 4(3))

THE INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM REGULATIONS 1995

ARRANGEMENT OF REGULATIONS

1 Citation
2 Interpretation
3 Conduct of referendum

4 Application of certain statutory
provisions to the referendum

5 Observers
SCHEDULE

Citation
1 These Regulations may be cited as the Independence
Referendum Regulations 1995.

Interpretation
2 Unless the contrary intention appears, in these Regulations, and
in any provision applied by these Regulations—

"the Act" means the Independence Referendum Act 1995;

"designated central counting station" means the place designated
by the Minister by notice published in the Gazette as the
place where the votes in the referendum shall be counted;

"the Minister" means the Minister responsible for Home Affairs;

"parliamentary elector" or "elector" means a person who is enti-
tled to vote in the referendum;

"observer" means a person appointed in accordance with regula-
tion 5;

"polling room" means the place appointed by notice for the
holding of the referendum in a constituency;

"the referendum" means the referendum to be held under the
Act;

"the Registrar" has the meaning ascribed to it in section 1(1) of
the Parliamentary Election Act 1978;

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"Returning Officer" has the meaning ascribed to it in section 1(1)
of the Parliamentary Election Act 1978.

Conduct of referendum
3 (1) The functions which, in relation to a general election, are
conferred on the Registrar by any provision of the Parliamentary Election
Act 1978 as applied by these Regulations shall, in relation to the referen-
dum, be discharged by that officer.

(2) The Registrar shall, in addition to the functions conferred
upon him by paragraph (1) of this regulation, be responsible for con-
ducting the count of votes cast in the referendum and for certifying the
total of the ballot papers and the respective answers relating to the refer-
endum.

(3) The Minister shall in writing appoint such persons as may
be necessary—

(a) as Returning Officers for the purpose of conducting the
referendum in a constituency;

(b) to assist the Registrar in conducting the count of votes
cast in the referendum.

(4) The functions which in relation to a general election are
conferred respectively on Returning Officers and presiding officers by any
provision of the Parliamentary Election Act 1978 as applied by these
Regulations shall, in relation to the referendum, be discharged by those
officers respectively.

Application of certain statutory provisions to referendum
4 (1) The provisions of the Parliamentary Election Act 1978 and
the Parliamentary Election Rules 1979 specified in column 1 of the
Schedule shall, subject to the modifications or exceptions (if any) speci-
fied in relation to those provisions in column 2 of the Schedule, apply in
connexion with the referendum, but any reference to a candidate, nomi-
nation, election agent or polling agent shall, unless the context requires
otherwise, be disregarded.

(2) Unless the contrary intention appears, in these Regulations
and in the provisions applied by this regulation—

(a) any reference to an election, parliamentary election or
poll shall be construed as a reference to the referendum;

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(b) any reference to a constituency shall be construed as a
reference to the area for which the relevant Returning
Officer acts;

(c) any reference to the election room shall be construed as
a reference to a polling room.

Observers
5 (1) The Minister may make arrangements for the appointment
of persons to observe the conduct of the referendum, the verification of
the ballot paper accounts and the counting of the votes.

(2) Any such appointment shall be in writing and shall be
signed by the Minister.

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SCHEDULE (Regulation 4)

Application and Modification of Provisions of the Parliamentary Election
Act 1978 and Regulations made under that Act.

Provision applied and
subject matter

Modification

The Parliamentary Election Act 1978

Section 2 (Meaning of resident
and ordinarily
resident)

Section 4 (Entitlement to vote)

Section 25 (Voter's identification
card)

Section 27 (Issue of writs of ................................Omit and substitute "27(1) On the
issue of the notice of the referendum
under section 2(4) of the Act, the
Minister shall by notice published in
the Gazette appoint the polling room
for the holding of the referendum in
a constituency.

(2) The place appointed for the
holding of a referendum in a con-
stituency shall be some convenient
building or part of a building within,
or in the opinion of the Minister
conveniently near, the boundary of
the constituency concerned, not
being a building licensed for the sale
of intoxicating liquor.".

Section 29 (Duties of Return-................................In subsections (1) and (2), omit
"executing a writ of election" and
substitute "conducting the referen-
dum in a constituency".

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Section 30 (Notice of election) Omit and substitute— "30 The
Registrar shall also give notice of the
holding of the referendum by publi-
cation of a notice in two successive
issues of the Gazette and in at least
one other newspaper circulating in
Bermuda specifying the day for the
holding of the referendum and the
location of the polling place in a
constituency.".

Section 31 (Delivery of parlia- ................................In subsection (1), omit "eleven
o'clock in the forenoon of nomina-
tion day in any parliamentary elec-
tion" and substitute "nine o'clock in
the forenoon of the polling day in
the referendum".

Section 36 (Taking a poll in ................................Omit subsection (1).

Section 39 (Duration of poll)

Section 40 (Advanced polls for
sick, infirm and ................................

Omit subsection (5) and
substitute—
"(5) The Registrar shall invite the
attendance of observers at any ad-
vanced poll.".

Section 41 (Advanced polls for
incapacitated vo-................................

Section 42 (Conduct of ad- ................................Omit subsections (1), (2) and (3) and
substitute the following—

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"(1) At any advanced poll held in
accordance with section 40 or 41 a
ballot box shall be provided and at
the close of such advanced poll the
ballot papers shall without any ex-
amination be placed in a packet and
sealed by the officer conducting the
poll, such packet clearly designating
the number of ballot papers it con-
tains.

(2) Each sealed packet of ballot pa-
pers taken at an advanced poll shall
be immediately given by the officer
conducting the poll to the Registrar
to be kept intact in his office until
delivery by him on the polling day in
the referendum to the designated
central counting station.

(3) The Registrar shall open every
packet of ballot papers delivered to
him pursuant to subsection (2) im-
mediately before the count of the
ballots for all areas in the referen-
dum and without examining them,
in the presence of observers and
such other persons as are lawfully
in the designated central counting
station at that time, place the ballot
papers in the ballot box which con-
tains all the other ballot papers.".

Section 43 (General duties of ................................
poll)

In subsection (1), omit the words
"and the counting of the votes".

Section 44 (Adjournment of ................................

Section 45 (Rules for taking a ................................

Section 46 (Ballot papers) In subsection (1), omit the words "in
the prescribed form showing the full
names of all the nominated candi-
dates in alphabetical order" and
substitute "in the form set out in the
First Schedule to the Act".

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Omit subsection (2).

Section 47 (Premises not to be
used as committee

In subsection (3), omit the words
"promoting the election of any can-
didate nominated in a parliamentary
election" and substitute "the referen-
dum".

Section 48 (Issue of ballot ................................

Section 49 (Identification of ................................

Section 50 (Challenge of ................................In subsection (1), delete the words
"at the request of the election agent
of any candidate or".

Omit subsection (2).

Section 51 (Marking the ballot
paper)

Omit subsection (2).

Section 52 (Incapacitated ................................

Section 53 (Spoilt ballot ................................

Section 54 (Void ballot ................................For paragraph (1)(b), substitute—

"(b) on which more than one vote is
given; or".

In paragraph (1)(d), omit from
"sufficient" down to "for whom" and
substitute "clarity how".

In paragraph (2)—

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(i) omit "in respect of each
candidate voted for".

(ii) omit "for one or more of the
candidates, as the case may
be," and substitute "for or
against the question".

Section 55 (Arrest of voter for ................................In subsection (1) omit —

(i) "a candidate or his election
agent declares to the Returning
Officer that he" and substitute
"the Returning Officer"

(ii) "and undertakes to substan-
tiate the charge in a court of
law,".

Section 56 (Count of ballots) For section 56 substitute—

"56(1) Immediately after the close of
the poll, the Returning Officer
shall—

(a) seal the ballot box so as to
prevent the introduction of
additional ballot papers and
shall take charge of such box,
and shall immediately convey
such box to the designated
central counting station and
there he shall turn over the
box in its sealed condition to
the Registrar;

(b) seal up in separate packets
all—

(i) spoilt ballot papers in
his possession,

(ii) unused ballot papers in
his possession,

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and shall endorse on each packet a
description of its contents and the
name of the constituency and de-
liver all the aforesaid packets so en-
dorsed to the Registrar.

(2) Upon receipt of a sealed ballot
box from a Returning Officer under
subsection (1), the Registrar shall
break the seal thereon in the pres-
ence of observers and of any other
persons who are lawfully in the
central counting station at that time
and place all the ballot papers
therein contained in the appropriate
ballot box which shall be provided,
and in such box all the ballot papers
removed from the ballot boxes for
the areas in the referendum shall be
placed and mixed together for the
purpose of being counted.

(3) When all the ballot boxes from
all the polling stations have been re-
ceived by the Registrar and dealt
with in accordance with subsection
(2), and not before, the Registrar
shall then ascertain the result of the
poll by counting the votes and the
respective answers given by valid
votes.

(4) When the result of the poll has
been ascertained the Registrar shall
forthwith publicly declare that result
and shall subsequently by notice
published in the Gazette, publish
the result.".

Section 60 (Secrecy during ................................In subsection (1)—

(i) omit "candidate" and "agent"
wherever they occur;

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(ii) paragraph (a), omit "the
candidate for whom" and
substitute "how";

(iii) paragraph (c), omit "name of
the candidate for or against
whom" and substitute
"manner in which";

(iv) paragraph (d), omit "candi-
date for whom" substitute
"manner in which";

(v) paragraph (e), omit "person
by whom" and substitute
"manner in which".

In subsection (2) omit "a political
party" and substitute "or opposition
to the referendum".

In subsection (3)(b), omit "name of
the candidate for whom" and sub-
stitute "manner in which".

In subsection (3)(c), omit "declare for
whom" and substitute "declare the
manner in which"

Section 61 (Misconduct at ................................In subsection (1)(a)(iv), omit "candi-
dates for whom" and substitute
"manner in which".

In subsection (1)(a)(v), omit "name of
any candidate for whom" and sub-
stitute "manner in which".

Section 62 (Returning Officer ................................

Section 63 (No person to carry
offensive weapons ................................

In subsection (2)(a), insert after
"propaganda" "relating to the refer-
endum".

Section 64 (Bribery) In paragraph (c), omit "the election
of any person" and substitute "a
specific result".

Section 65 (Undue influence)

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Section 66 (Punishment for ................................

Section 68 (Personation and ................................Omit paragraphs (a) and (b).

Section 69 (Offences relating ................................

Section 70 (Supplying ................................

Section 71 (Disqualifications)

Section 73 Breaches of official

Section 74 (Registrar to
retain documents)

Section 77 (Duty of Commis- ................................Omit "issue of a writ of election un-
der this Act" and substitute "the day
for the holding of the referendum
has been published in the Gazette
under section 2(4) of the Act".

SCHEDULE

Paragraph 2 Omit sub-paragraph (1)(a) and sub-
stitute —

"(a) an adequate number of tables
is provided in the polling station for
use by officers in, and by observers
in observing, the checking of the
credentials of, and the handing out
of ballot papers to, electors;".

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Paragraph 3

Paragraph 5 Omit "after placing therein any bal-
lot papers which may be delivered to
him in respect of an advanced poll,".

Paragraph 6

Paragraph 7

Paragraph 8 Omit ", and subject to any challenge
under section 50,".

Paragraph 9

Paragraph 10 Omit and substitute —

"10 At the count of votes the Regis-
trar shall endorse any ballot paper
appearing to him to be void under
section 54 with the word "rejected".

Paragraph 11 Omit and substitute—

"11(1) On the completion of the
counting of the votes the Registrar
shall seal up in separate packets
all—

(a) counted ballot papers;

(b) rejected ballot papers;

(c) spoilt ballot papers;

(d) unused ballot papers in his
possession,

and shall endorse on each packet a
description of its contents and the
date of the referendum.

(2) The Registrar shall then deliver
all the aforesaid packets so en-
dorsed to the Secretary to the Cabi-
net together with a statement
showing the total number of ballot
papers prepared by him for the ref-
erendum.".

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The Parliamentary Election Rules 1979

First Schedule, Form 6