The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

PN claims it already received reports of defaced voting documents

Gabriel Schembri Tuesday, 9 May 2017, 16:07 Last update: about 5 years ago

The Nationalist Party has already received several reports of voting documents which were already defaced and had ink removed accidentally. PN Deputy Leader Beppe Fenech Adami said that there were police officers who complained that the fell off and was stuck on the palm of their hand.

Dr Fenech Adami this afternoon addressed another press conference on the 'flimsy documents' printed by the electoral commission.

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The PN Deputy Leader yesterday claimed that the new voting documents, which were set to be distributed to households as from today, do not have the necessary safety features, and the ink can be easily wiped off.

"Political parties had agreed that the documents would be protected with a layer of lamination as protection screen," he insisted.

This screening could not be done because the electoral commission was not expecting a snap election. He said that you don't need surgical spirit to remove the ink. "Even if you simply put your finger for some seconds on the documents, the ink starts falling off."

Dr Fenech Adami said that although it is true that there were party agents from the PN, the majority is still led by the Labour Party.

He appealed to the Maltese public, to accept the document, double check it and preserve it properly. "If you go to the election boot with a damaged document, you will not be able to vote," he said.

"Look what we ended up warning because of these people," Dr Fenech Adami concluded while referring to the snap election. 

The Electoral Commission did not deny the PN claims but said more attention would be given on polling day. After holding an urgent meeting it said that the newly-introduced medium of the voting document "has three security features that satisfied both the Commission and the party delegates." It sought to reassure the public that "stricter verification of the voters' identity shall be undertaken during the poll."

Every voter must take care to store this document in a safe place, such that on polling day, one can take it with him to vote at the polling centre indicated on the document. No one would be able to vote without the voting document, the commission said.

The Labour Party addressed a press conference in which Justice Minister Owen Bonnici said the Nationalist Party was intentionally trying to undermine the democratic process. "This is the second time he's done this. The first was when he claimed there was an ID card crisis," Dr Bonnici said. PL MP Michael Falzon was equally critical. "PN delegates were there every step of the way. Their own party's delegates agreed with the decision taken by the Electoral Commission!" Dr Falzon exclaimed.

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