I couldn’t believe the election night chaos

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Staff reporter

A FORMER electoral officer from Wrexham with huge experience of serving both at home and abroad says he was surprised at the scene of chaos at some polling stations across the UK last week.

Dwyfor Jones, of Chester Road, said the Electoral Commission will need to hold an inquiry looking into how the trouble which broke out was caused.

Numerous reports have been made of frustrated voters making a range of complaints – including lack of ballot papers and officials closing up at 10pm even though people had arrived well before and were queuing up waiting to cast their vote.

“Without knowing all the details involved it is impossible to give a full comment on what has taken place. But democracy must be seen to be working,” he said.

“There are potentially serious implications if some people have not been allowed to vote and this will have to be investigated fully.”
Mr Jones was heavily involved in the holding of elections for decades, beginning in the mid-1960s before retiring in 2000.

He was Wrexham’s electoral officer during the 70s, 80s and 90s and took part in supervising and monitoring duties for elections in a wide number of destinations across the globe including the USA, Ivory Coast , Eastern Europe and Cambodia.

Mr Jones said that forward planning was key to holding a successful ballot. Training is given to officials taking part in UK elections to ensure procedures run smoothly.

He stressed that until a thorough inquiry had taken place people could only speculate as to the reasons why there had been problems at polling stations during Thursday night.

“It is possible that someone may have tried to cut corners over the number of ballot papers available and ended up being caught out,” he said.

“Long queues for voters may be the result of just having one polling station covering an area instead of two or three. But at the moment we just don’t know, all sides need to be listened to.”

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