Tuesday 20 August 2019

Hundreds spoil local election ballots amid anger over Brexit

A former Tory councillor and a local authority worker were among those who scrawled messages on their papers.

By Press Association reporter

A former Conservative councillor and local authority worker were among hundreds to spoil their ballots in last night’s elections.

Voters posted on social media images of the papers with messages including “get May out”, “Brexit betrayal” and “traitors” across their papers.

Another wrote: “I’d rather poo in my hands and clap than vote for this lot.”

Former district councillor Andy Denison, 34, wrote “no suitable candidates” across his vote in the Somerset West and Taunton Council elections.

The senior support worker, who served between 2011 and 2015, said it wasn’t just Brexit that prompted his decision, but local issues including the council’s move to contract out a learning disability service.

Mr Denison is now a paying member of the Brexit Party, who he said were the “political earthquake” the country needed.

He told the Press Association: “Of course, there is the complete shambles of the Conservative national government in Westminster, led by Theresa May, and many of the party’s members of parliament are completely out of touch with the vast majority of the citizens of this country.”

A local authority worker, who asked to remain anonymous, scrawled “bollocks” across his postal vote.

He said: “I am unhappy (at) how the Brexit process is going and, although I appreciate the situation is difficult, I worry that the politicians tasked with dealing with it don’t all have the national interest at heart.”

However, some Remain supporters also spoiled their papers, with one writing: “I can’t vote for any party. Stop Brexit.”

Ballot spoiling is not illegal, but filling it out incorrectly or covering it with graffiti will render it invalid.

Under Electoral Commission rules, a ballot must be clearly spoiled for it to be discounted.

Just crossing out a candidate’s name could mean the vote is counted in their favour.

PA Media

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