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Sinn Fein hits out at ‘proxy’ vote refusals

Sinn Fein launched a new attack on Northern Ireland’s elections boss as it emerged the level of postal and proxy votes has almost halved.

Chief electoral officer Douglas Bain said over 90 applications were rejected because signatures were unacceptable. Many will be sent to police.

But SF director of elections Gary Fleming said: “In one such case both a husband and wife applied for a proxy vote as they would be on holidays on the day of the election, the wife was granted her vote but the husband denied. On contacting the electoral office the gentleman was told that the signature he provided when aged 18 did not match the signature on the submitted form.

“There are numerous other examples of applicants being refused their postal or proxy vote because they omitted their second name or entered their second name which they did not do when they first registered. I believe this to be very petty.

An electoral office spokesman replied: “All postal and proxy vote applications are processed according to the law.”

Meanwhile, The SDLP has challenged Sinn Fein claims that attendance in the Commons is ineffective.

In a new document, the party said it stood up to the British Government on its plans to extend detention without charge while Sinn Féin MPs were absent.

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