The Malta Independent 17 September 2019, Tuesday

PD leader Godfrey Farrugia hints at voting irregularities

Saturday, 25 May 2019, 15:52 Last update: about 5 months ago

Partit Demoktratiku leader Godfrey Farrugia has hinted at voting irregularities, saying that voters who asked to be assisted in the voting procedure and who named him as their preferred candidate were told that no Dr Farrugia was on the list.

The PD has also filed a written complaint about the cancellation of votes after mistakes have been committed, saying that they should not be cancelled by pencil but by a permanent marker.

Pencil lines can easily be removed using a rubber, Farrugia said on a Facebook message.

The electoral commission responded to the PD leader's two complaints, explaining its rules and procedures, though that reply did not satisfy Farrugia, who is contesting the EP election on the PD ticket.

In a written complaint sent to electoral commissioner Joseph Church, the PD leader said that he had seen officials at the polling station writing ‘cancelled’ in pencil rather than pen on ballot papers which voters had returned for a replacement.

“I immediately objected and asked why they weren’t using the biro or permanent marker they had,” Dr Farrugia wrote. “They told me ‘the Commission gave us a pencil’. I asked them to write ‘cancelled’ in a way that could not be erased, and they did so for each cancelled vote they had until 9.30am”.

Officials at polling stations were issued with the same types of pencils used by voters in voting booths.

When a voter asks for a replacement ballot sheet, officials take the discarded sheet, place it face down and write ‘cancelled’ on it using these pencils. 

Farrugia also highlighted a second incident, which he said happened minutes earlier, and which left him with doubts about correct procedures.

The PD leader said that as he was walking in to the voting room, a woman accompanying a visually impaired senior citizen had stopped him and alleged that her elderly relative had been told that there was no Farrugia on the ballot sheet.

 

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