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REGISTRATION OF VOTERS...

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REGISTRATION OF VOTERS. There is probably no branch of political work so important and at the same time so persistently neglected as registration. Persons, being themselves so sublimely indifferent to what vitally concerns them are, as a conse- quence, extremely ill versed in the time and mode of registration. Registration time passes by unknown and unheeded, unless the registra- tion agents turn up on the scene and rouse them to a spasmodic sense of their duty to them- selves and to their party. To expect the work to be carried out with that minuteness and thoroughness so absolutely necessary for the success of the cause, through the unaided efforts of agents only, is nothing better than the imprudent half-conceived notions of a humdrum. Citizens of & great and advancing Empire like ours 11 ould feci, realise, and perform the duties th it devolve upon them as of right and justice. The arduous work of registration agents could be materially lessened, and rendered farjmore satisfactory by the establishment of active committees for each polling district in a constituency. With- out the aid of these committees it is im- possible. for agents to find out who should and who should not lie on the register throughout a large and scattered Parliamentary con- stituency. Conservative leaders in every polling district should rally round their agents during the preparation of the lists, and should support them at the registration courts. Then, and not until then, can we hope to see the work done satisfactorily and well. For the purpose of assisting those that are anxious to help themselves we give a short resume of registration procedure for both local Govern- ment and Parliamentary purposes which go together, though the incidents are not together, though the incidents are not precisely identical. The qualifications of electors may be divided into Personal, Occupation, Residence, and Rating. Personal. A person entitled to be registered as a county elector for local Government purposes may be a man or a woman, but must be of full age, not subject to any legal incapacity, and must zn not, within twelve months prior to July 15th in each year, have received any parochial re- lief—medical relief alone excepted. Occupation (1) Such person must, during twelve months prior to July 15th, have been in occupation, joint or several, of a house, warehouse, count- ing-house, shop, or other building or (2) Must during the same period have been an occupier, as owner or tenant, of some land or tenement in the parish, of the yearly value of not less than £10. Joint occupation under (1) will qualify, irrespective of the value of the house, warehouse, itc., and also under (2) if the value is sufficient, when divided, to give Y,10 for each occupier. The occupation of part of a house qualities where that part is separately occupied for the purpose of any trade, business or profession. Where a person succeeds to qualifying propel ty by descent or by marriage the occupancy and rating of the predecessor in title is equivalent to occupation by the successor. If a person lias occupied different property in the county in immediate succession during twelve months, he or she is entitled to be registered as a county elector in the parish in which the last occupied qualification is situated. Non- resident owners and lodgers are not entitled to vote in the election of County Councils, nor are persons who enjoy the service franchise for Parliamentary purposes. Residence. A county elector must have resided in the county, or within seven miles of its boundary, for twelve months prior to July 15th (or in the case of the £10 qualification, six months). The house may be let for not more than four months during the year with- out losing the vote. A person who occupies property in, but resides more than seven miles from the county, is not entitled to vote but a male occupier residing within 15 miles is qualified to be elected a county councillor. Rating. The elector, or some one else, must, during the twelve months immediately pre- ceding July loth in each year, have been rated in respect of the qualifying property to all poor rates made during those twelve months and all such rates (including county rates) as have become payable up to the preceding 5th January, must be paid on or before July 20th.

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