Electoral office denies fresh crackdown on proxy voting

The UUP's Tom Elliott has complained to the Electoral Office
The UUP's Tom Elliott has complained to the Electoral Office

The UUP’s Tom Elliott has claimed that “huge” numbers of applications for proxy votes have been rejected by the Electoral Office.

Earlier this month, it was revealed there had been a 49% explosion in proxy votes across mainly nationalist constituencies in the recent Assembly election.

Both SDLP leader Colm Eastwood and DUP leader Arlene Foster have expressed concern.

Proxy voting allows someone to vote for another person if they are unable to do so, for example, if they are travelling or ill.

Fermanagh South Tyrone election candidate Tom Elliott yesterday told the News Letter: “Huge numbers of people have had their proxy vote applications rejected.”

Two couples told him they were going on holiday and, despite apparently providing all the right details, have had their applications rejected.

“They must be clamping down,” said Mr Elliott. “But the problem is turning people down when they are genuine.”

West Tyrone SDLP election candidate Daniel McCrossan said he had received anonymous phone calls about people registered to vote from properties they don’t live at.

Chief Electoral Officer Virginia McVea said: “I have had a complaint from Tom Elliott but there has been no clampdown.”

The SDLP’s Mark Durkan has raised a range of issues with her.

“Any concerns raised with me, I will look at,” she said.