Edgell v Glover, Garnett (Returning Officer): QBD 4 Nov 2003

The constituency had adopted an all postal ballot, resulting in a counted majority of one. One ballot paper’s confirmation of identity had not been signed.
Held: The function of the court, exercising its jurisdiction under section 48(1), is not assisted by consideration of a standard of proof. That said, having regard to the consequences of declaring an election void, for the court to conclude the result is affected there will need to be a preponderance of evidence supporting that conclusion. The first respondent had not been duly elected. Given that errors were likely in any such process it was wrong to act on the basis that other errors did not exist. ‘I regard the use of a cross as presenting some difficulty for the requirement of authentication because it conveys no personal attribute or connection with the name of the voter. A signature has the attribute of purporting to be the signature of the name it represents. A cross can be placed by anyone and does not purport to be connected with any named person. ‘ The election was declared invalid.
The Honourable Mr Justice Newman The Honourable Mr Justice David Clarke
[2003] EWHC 2566 (QB)
Representation of the People Act 1982 146
England and Wales
CitedRe Kensington North Parliamentary Election 1960
‘The question of the burden of proof does not, on the strict wording of section 16, really arise . . I think that with the change of wording under section 16(3) of the Act of 1949 it is for the court to make up its mind on the evidence as a whole . .
CitedLevers v Morris QBD 1972
The court drew a lot to decide the outcome of a drawn election. . .
CitedMorgan v Simpson CA 1974
Voting papers that were invalid as a result of minor administrative errors by officials (and not the voters). Counting the invalid votes would have affected the election outcome.
Held: The election was declared void. Section 37(1) was not . .
CitedNadeem Akhtar Saifi v Governor of Brixton Prison and Union of India Admn 21-Dec-2000
The applicant for habeas corpus resisted extradition to India on the ground, among others, that the prosecution relied on a statement obtained by torture and since retracted.
Held: the court accepted the magistrate’s judgment that fairness did . .
CitedSelby v Selby 1817
Signing: ‘That is signing is, putting his name to [the document] or [doing] some other act intended by him to be equivalent to the actual signature of the name – such as a person unable to write making his mark’. . .
CitedRegina v Moore 1884
(Australia) ‘Where a statute merely requires that a document shall be signed, the statute is satisfied by proof of the making of a mark upon the document by or by the authority of that signatory’. . .
CitedGoodman v Eban (J) Ltd CA 1954
The Court considered whether a rubber stamp facsimile of a solicitor’s firm on a bill of costs met the requirement for the bill to be ‘signed’.
Held: In connection with authentication: ‘It follows, I think, that the essential requirement of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 28 July 2021; Ref: scu.187466