Busiest day in years at region’s polling stations

Reporter:

Helen Davies and Liam Randall

THE region went to the polls yesterday in one of the busiest days at the ballot box for years.

Ninety-nine polling stations in Flintshire and 100 across Wrexham and Clwyd South were open as residents cast their votes.

Along with the rest of Wales, people in Flintshire and Wrexham voted in two separate polls – one to determine the make up of the National Assembly and the other on how MPs are elected to Parliament.

For the Assembly elections, voters were given separate ballot papers for constituency and regional AMs.

A third paper asked voters to choose between keeping the existing ‘first past the post’ Parliamentary system or to change to the alternative vote (AV).

Some voters thought having three ballot papers on one day was too confusing.
Patrick Lowrie, 70, and Carol Lowrie, 65, both voted Labour and yes to AV at the polling station at Flint Town Hall.

“I think it’s quite complicated,” said Patrick. “It wasn’t straightforward at all.”
Susan Kinnair, 60, also voted yes to AV and chose Labour candidate Sandy Mewies for her Assembly vote.

She said: “I’ve had plenty of leaflets and there’s been lots of information on television.

“I think having three on the same day is a bit confusing for older people, though.”

At Rhosddu Community Centre in Wrexham, Arthur Smallman also voted for Labour and yes to AV.

He said: “I voted for Lesley Griffiths as I always support Labour.

“I don’t agree with either of the coalition parties and I think they’ve broken a lot of promises.”

His wife Elaine said: “I’ve also voted for Lesley Griffiths as I think Labour are the best choice for Wrexham.”

She added: “Every vote counts so it’s important to use it."

Patricia Fazackerly, 85, backed the Liberal Democrats at the Memorial Hall in Sychdyn.

“I voted yes to AV,” she said. “I can’t bear the thought of Clegg being beaten.

“If the new system has any problems I’m sure they could sort it out with a bit of time.”

But Steve Wilson from Rhosddu did not favour the alternative voting system.

He said: “I don’t think it’s an improvement on the current system.

“If it goes through it will be more complicated, costly and time consuming. I always vote at every election – if you’ve got the vote you should use it otherwise there’s no use complaining afterwards.”

George Bostock from Rhosddu also said he thought it was important to vote.

He said: “I’ve come to vote on both matters but I think that the Assembly elections are much more important than the AV referendum.

“If people can vote they should do it.”

Votes will be counted today in Flint Pavilion for Flintshire and Glyndwr University for Wrexham.

The regional vote results will then be phoned through to be announced at Denbigh Leisure Centre.

See full story in the Leader

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