Sinn Féin - On Your Side

McLaughlin meets Chief Electoral Officer

15 December, 2003

Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA met Chief Electoral Officer Dennis Stanley this morning in relation to difficulties surrounding the 26th November Assembly election and the disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people who were entitled to vote. Speaking after the meeting Mr. McLaughlin said:

"Nobody can have been pleased by the fact that tens of thousands of people who were entitled to vote had that right taken from them at the Assembly election. Every effort must now be made to ensure that this situation is not repeated in the European Parliament elections next June. Every influence must be used to ensure that the difficulties that led to the disenfranchisement of so many people are addressed well in advance of the next election.

"I used the opportunity of this morning's meeting to discuss Sinn Fein's concerns with regard to the registration process, the difficulties in terms of securing a postal or proxy vote and photographic identification problems.

"I also made a number of complaints with regard to the Electoral Office operation throughout the north on the day of the election and problems relating to the count operation.

"It is our intention to raise all of these matters with the NIO. Had a similar sham been exposed in any other part of the world it would have been quietly condemned by all those interested in protecting the integrity of the democratic process."ENDS

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