The Leader of the Ulster Unionist Party Steve Aiken MLA has confirmed the Party is taking legal advice following serious allegations concerning the operation of the Electoral Office of Northern Ireland.
Steve Aiken said:
“Confidence in the electoral system is absolutely essential. Fair and open elections are a basic right in any modern democracy.
“If the serious allegations from the whistle-blower are confirmed, then last weeks’ election was neither fair nor open for potentially thousands of voters across Northern Ireland.
“Allegations of members of the public being deliberately mislead over deadlines would be especially unforgivable if proven to be true.
“Even before these latest allegations came to light my Party had serious concerns regarding the recent operation of the EONI and we had planned to pursue this directly with the organisation.
“We were aware of examples of hand delivered applications for votes – for both new registrations and for absent votes – simply never being processed and when we sought explanations we were told the forms were never received. Crucially, we have examples of such forms being delivered in person to Belfast for voters in the Fermanagh & South Tyrone constituency.
“The centralisation of the EONI to Belfast has been a total disaster. Phone lines were jammed, paperwork was going missing and clerical errors were common-place.
“We are currently taking legal advice in relation to what steps we may now take.”