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Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: I believe that I am grateful to the Minister for that reply, at least as far as it went. My suggestion is that we do not need to have a mark at all. Therefore, I do not need an alternative mark. I noticed his phrase,


It is a good thing that my noble friend Lord Peyton of Yeovil is no longer here otherwise he might have lighted on that as a variation of "keeping it in mind". I appreciate that the Minister sees the point. He was a

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little unkind to say that my quotation was selective, because I read out the whole of the paragraph, which included some laudatory comments on what was happening in this Bill.

The Minister made the point about the Ballot Act. I say to him that, given all the changes that the Government have made to the British constitution, claiming that we have to rest on the Ballot Act 1872 rings a tinge false to those of us who went through the referendum Bill, the Scottish Parliament Bill, the Welsh Assembly Bill--

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Will the noble Lord accept on this one occasion that the process of modernisation does not always have to be entirely current and that sometimes we can borrow from history?

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: That may be so, but it certainly cannot be claimed as a new idea if in fact we keep a ballot mark from 1872. I have listened to the noble Lord's assurance. I believe that the Home Office should have a serious look at this matter so that perhaps by the time the Bill leaves this House we shall have dropped what I believe is a pretty useless exercise as regards the ballot paper. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment, by leave, withdrawn.

[Amendment No. 136 not moved.]

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 137 to 140:


    Page 41, line 32, leave out ("and 13") and insert ("to 13C").


    Page 41, line 33, leave out ("In section 5 (manner of voting), after") and insert ("--(1) Section 5 is amended as follows.


(2) In subsection (1), omit "or local government".
(3) In subsection (5), omit "or, as the case may be, electoral area".
(4) After").


    Page 41, line 42, at end insert--


("(5) In subsection (6), omit "or local government" (wherever occurring).
(6) For subsection (7) substitute--
"(7) In this section and sections 6 to 9 of this Act "appropriate rules" means the parliamentary elections rules." ").


    Page 41, line 43, leave out paragraph 13 and insert--


("13.--(1) Section 6 (absent vote at elections for an indefinite period) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1)--
(a) omit ", at local government elections or at both"; and
(b) in paragraph (a), for "elections to which the application relates" substitute "parliamentary elections".
(3) In subsection (2), omit--
(a) "or local government", and
(b) paragraph (aa),
and, in paragraph (c), after "his spouse," insert "or by reason of his attendance on a course provided by an educational institution or that of his spouse,".
(4) Omit subsection (2A).
(5) In subsection (3), omit paragraph (a).
(6) In subsection (4), after "in pursuance of" insert "a declaration of local connection or".
13A.--(1) Section 7 (absent vote at a particular election and absent voters list) is amended as follows.

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(2) In subsection (1), omit--
(a) "or local government"; and
(b) in paragraph (b), "or, as the case may be, local government".
(3) For subsection (2) substitute--
"(2) Subsection (1) above does not apply to a person who is included in the record kept under section 6 of this Act, but such a person may, in respect of a particular parliamentary election, apply to the registration officer--
(a) for his ballot paper to be sent to a different address in the United Kingdom, or
(b) to vote by proxy,
if he is shown in the record so kept as voting by post at parliamentary elections."
(4) In subsection (4)--
(a) omit "or local government"; and
(b) in each of paragraphs (a) and (b), for "elections of the kind in question" substitute "parliamentary elections".
13B.--(1) Section 8 (proxies at elections) is amended as follows.
(2) In subsection (1), omit "or local government".
(3) Omit subsection (3A).
(4) In subsection (4), omit "or local government".
(5) In subsection (5), omit ", or at the same local government election in any electoral area,".
(6) In subsection (6)--
(a) omit ", at local government elections or at both"; and
(b) in paragraph (a), for "electors for elections in respect of which the application is made" substitute "parliamentary electors".
(7) In subsection (7), omit--
(a) "or local government"; and
(b) in paragraph (a) "or, as the case may be, local government".
(8) For subsection (9) substitute--
"(9) The appointment may be cancelled by the elector by giving notice to the registration officer, and shall also cease to be in force on the issue of a proxy paper appointing a different person to vote for him at any parliamentary election or elections (whether in the same constituency or elsewhere)."
13C.--(1) Section 9 (voting as proxy) is amended as follows.
(2) In each of subsections (1) and (3), omit "or local government".
(3) In subsection (4), omit--
(a) ", at local government elections or at both"; and
(b) in paragraph (a), ", or electoral area,";
and in paragraph (b) for "the same area" substitute "the same ward".
(4) Omit subsection (5).
(5) In subsection (6), omit paragraph (a) (including the final "and").
(6) In subsection (7), omit "or, as the case may be, electoral area".
(7) In subsection (8), omit "in respect of elections of the kind in question".
(8) In subsection (9), omit--
(a) "or local government"; and
(b) in paragraph (a), "in respect of elections of the kind in question".
(9) In subsection (10)--
(a) in paragraph (a), omit ", local government electors or both (as the case may be)"; and

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(b) in paragraph (b), for "elections of the kind in question" substitute "parliamentary elections".
(10) In subsection (11), in paragraph (b), omit ", or electoral area,".").

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 5, as amended, agreed to.

Schedule 6 [Repeals]:

Lord Bach moved Amendments Nos. 141 and 142:


    Page 42, line 20, column 3, at end insert--


    ("Section 49(1) and (2).")

    Page 43, column 3, leave out line 26 and insert--
    ("In section 5-- (a) in each of subsections (1) and (6), the words "or local government" (wherever occurring), and (b) in subsection (5), the words "or, as the case may be, electoral area". In section 6-- (a) in subsection (1), the words ", at local government elections or at both", (b) in subsection (2), the words "or local government" and paragraph (aa), and (c) subsections (2A) and (3)(a). In section 7-- (a) in each of subsections (1) and (4), the words "or local government", and (b) in subsection (1)(b), the words "or, as the case may be, local government". In section 8-- (a) in each of subsections (1), (4) and (7), the words "or local government", (b) subsection (3A), (c) in subsection (5), the words ", or at the same local government election in any electoral area,", (d) in subsection (6), the words ", at local government elections or at both", and (e) in subsection (7)(a), the words "or, as the case may be, local government". In section 9-- (a) in each of subsections (1), (3) and (9), the words "or local government", (b) in subsection (4), the words ", at local government elections or at both" and, in paragraph (a), ", or electoral area,", (c) subsection (5), (d) in subsection (6), paragraph (a) (including the final "and"), (e) in subsection (7), the words "or, as the case may be, electoral area", (f) in each of subsections (8) and (9)(a), the words "in respect of elections of the kind in question", (g) in subsection (10)(a), the words "local government electors or both (as the case may be)", and (h) in subsection (11), the words ", or electoral area,".")

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Schedule 6, as amended, agreed to.

House resumed: Bill reported with amendments.

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