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We understand that it is the intention of several Registrars in the colony to carry on the process cf roll-purging up to the day of the general election. It is <afib stated whether the Registrars referre . to, in adopting this course, are acting upon their own responsibility or upon the authority of the Registrar-General; but we question whether the provisions of the Registration of Electors Act, 1879, will permit of this being done. Under section 18 of the Act referred to, the Registrar or any person whose name appears on the roll for any electoral district may object to the name of any other person being retained thereon, by giving notice in writing to the person principally effected, setting forth the grounds upon, which such objection is taken. If the person objeoted^o shall hot, within fifteen days after the service of tuch notice, cause his name to be removed from the roll, the objector may issue a summons against him, and the person objected to will ba required to substantiate his claim to have his name remain upon the roll. If the objector fails to appear- when such summons is called on, the case will be dismissed; and if the person objected to fails to appear the Resident Magistrate shall order that his name be struck off the roll. From the foregoing it will appear that the intention of the Act is. that at least fifteen days before an election any person whose name is alleged to be wrongly on the roll shall have written notice sent to him, and that his claim shall be heard and determined prior to the date of such election. If this were not so, it would be an easy matter for any candidate to formulate objections t* the ! retention of names of known opponents on the roll, and have these objections carried over the election period, during which the person wrongly objected to would not be able to exercise the franchise. We are not aware of any amendments to the provisions of the Act from which we have quoted which would alter the position ; and therefore think that some Registrars in their anxiety to purge the roll may render themselves liable to a penalty not exceeding fifty pounds. In the interests of the Registrars themselves it is therefore not wise to be over-zealous in the process of roll-purging beyond the date of she issue of writs for the forthcoming elections. It is distinctly provided in the 25th section 'of the Act we are referring to that no name shall be removed from the roll of any district after the issue of a writ for the election of a member for such district until the completion of the said election. In the face of this we can scarcely believe the rumor that a number of enthusiastic Registrars throughout che colony intend to issue summonsed againit persons whose names are supposed to be wrongly on the roll up to the eve of the day before the forthcoming election.

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Bibliographic details

ROLL-PURGING., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2562, 5 November 1890

Word Count

ROLL-PURGING. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2562, 5 November 1890