Law:The 50th Cosa Midterm Referendum Prime Dictate
Status: This law has an
IT HAS BEEN AMENDED BY:
Issued by: HM Government
|Seneschal: Lüc da Schir|
|Date: April 26, 2017|
50PD04, The 50th Cosa Midterm Referendum Prime Dictate
WHEREAS the Ziu approved 50RZ15 and 50RZ16 during the Second Clark of the 50th Cosa,
WHEREAS 50RZ15, being an Organic amendment, requires a referendum to be held before taking full effect,
WHEREAS OrgLaw XX.1 states
- Referenda questions appear on the ballot during the next general election, or sooner, if the Seneschal so chooses to authorise.
WHEREAS holding the referendum on 50RZ15 before the next General Election will allow said General Election to be held under the new rules for verification and validation,
WHEREAS since "normal" election (and therefore referendum) rules do not apply to referenda held outside a General Election, rules for midterm referenda need to be determined case by case,
THEREFORE this Prime Dictate is hereby issued, containing guidelines for a June 2017 referendum. The guidelines may be amended by a further Prime Dictate. The Prime Minister may furthermore decide to implement additional changes if directed or otherwise suggested to by the Ziu.
A. MIDTERM REFERENDUM (50PD06)
- 1. A midterm referendum is hereby declared pursuant to OrgLaw XX.1.
- 2. The referendum will take place from June 18th, 2017 at 12 PM TST (Balloting Day) to July 2nd, 2017 at 7 PM TST (Referendum Deadline).
- 3. When the Referendum Deadline has passed, a final tally of votes is publicly announced. Any votes arriving after the Deadline, even if they were posted before the Deadline, are null and void.
- 4. The referendum will be composed of two parts.
- 4a. Part one is composed of one question: the approval of 50RZ15, "The Electoral Commission Reform Amendment", as required by OrgLaw XV.4.
- 4b. Part two is a non-binding referendum as per 50RZ14, composed of two questions: "Do you think that Talossa should continue to be a monarchy? (Yes/No)"; and "(2) Notwithstanding the prior question, do you think that the Crown should have no political power in any form, and function only as a figurehead? (Yes/No)"
- 5. According to OrgLaw XX.1, each question shall be deemed approved by the people if the Yes votes outnumber the No votes.
B. BALLOT AND VOTING
- 1. The referendum is conducted by the Chancery; a ballot containing the questions will thus be sent out via email by the Chancery as it would be in a General Election.
- 2. The Chancery shall make available, through a website dedicated to this purpose, the text of the ballot.
- 3. The ballot shall be in a .pdf or other graphical format. The ballot shall have space on it for the voter to indicate his name and relevant contact information.
- 4. Clear voting instructions in both Talossan and English will be included with each ballot.
- 5. In order to be counted in the election, the ballots must be received by the Chancery on or before the Referedum Deadline.
- 6. Voting can take place on a dedicated thread on Wittenberg or by email to the Chancery.
- 7. Ballots may be cast via a secure online ballot with a voter receipt, on the national Chancery-run database system.
- 8. Any political party, or organized group of citizens, can submit to the Chancery a 50 words statement in support or in opposition to each of the questions included in the referendum, which will be included on the ballot.
- 9. If a voter returns more than one vote, the first one cast is counted and the others are ignored.
- 10. The Chancery shall provide to each voter a personal security code (PSC). The PSC shall be a number or password which can serve to authenticate the voter's ballot.
- 11. The Chancery shall take care that the PSCs are assigned in an unpredictably random fashion, and that the list of assigned PSCs is kept secure.
- 12. The Chancery may email a PSC to any voter who has a known email address, and shall mail a PSC to each voter who has no known email address (but whose physical address is known) together with that voter's ballot papers.
- 13. Every ballot or vote cast on Wittenberg, and every ballot or vote cast otherwise that contains the voter's correct PSC, shall be counted. But if a ballot or vote not cast on Wittenberg does not contain the voter's correct PSC, the Chancery shall attempt by whatever means the Secretary of State deems necessary and sufficient to determine whether the vote is valid, and shall not count the vote unless its validity can be so established. The Chancery shall report to the Uppermost Cort, before the final results of the election shall be certified, regarding each such vote, the means used to determine its validity, and the conclusion reached.
C. COUNTING, RECOUNTING AND RESULTS
- 1. The counting of the votes is done by the Chancery, and a provisional public tally of the result will be made available after the Referendum Deadline.
- 2. The result may be appealed to the Uppermost Cort within a week from the posting of the provisional tally; after a week has passed, the provisional result stand, unless a stay is issued by the Uppermost Cort, in which case the provisional tally is made official as soon as the stay expires or is withdrawn.
- 3. In the event that the result is appealed and said appeal is decided upon positively by the Uppermost Cort, the Chancery must make all of the submitted ballots available to a panel of three recounters: the Secretary of State himself or one of his Deputies, a sitting Justice appointed by the Chief Justice of the Uppermost Cort, and a sitting Senator appointed by the Mençei.
- 4. The members of the panel shall independently recount the final tally and together shall verify the referendum.
- 5. The panel, upon being directed to recount the ballots by the Uppermost Court, shall review any ballots or results in which a potential irregularity has been spotted. The Ministry of Justice shall, in consultation with the Chancery, make available to the public forms which such notification can be made to the panel.
- 6. Notwithstanding the above, the Chancery shall be empowered to correct any irregularity in the tabulation of results found to the panel taking jurisdiction over the matter.
- 7. If the panel, upon a majority vote, confirms the existence of an irregularity which affects the outcome of any of the questions, it shall correct the problem prior to certification as provided in the following subsections.
- 8. If the panel finds that a vote has not been properly counted, it shall direct the Chancery to correct the results as necessary.
- 9. If the panel finds that a vote was cast by an ineligible voter, it shall direct the Chancery to invalidate such a vote and correct the results as necessary, and notify the Ministry of Justice of any potential civil or criminal violation.
- 10. If the panel should find any other irregularity not otherwise specified, it may take any action appropriate within its power proportionate to the circumstances.
- 11. The Uppermost Cort shall immediately review any petition laid before it by the panel and shall grant such petition upon finding there is sufficient evidence to warrant the request. If the petition is not granted within 21 days following the Referendum Deadline, the results shall be considered certified and the petition denied as moot.
- 12. Should the panel fail to fully review the unofficial results before 28 days have passed from the granting of the initial appeal to review the ballots, the results are considered to be official, unless the panel should lodge a petition with the Uppermost Cort seeking additional time to review a potential irregularity. Such petitions shall be submitted to the Uppermost Cort on forms prescribed by the Ministry of Justice following a majority vote of the panel.
- 13. It shall be a criminal act, punishable as determined by law, for the contents of any ballot to be revealed by any member of the panel to any other person.
- 14. Following the recount of all the ballots the panel shall be dissolved and the revised tally be made official, unless otherwise provided for in this section.
FURTHERMORE, the Ziu will be in recess for the entirety of June 2017 to allow for the referendum to be held.