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This MEP candidate almost wasn't allowed vote for himself (or anyone else)

Direct Democracy Ireland’s Jan Van De Ven was told he could only vote in the locals, despite the fact that he voted in the last European election.

Image: Jan Van De Ven via Twitter

DIRECT DEMOCRACY IRELAND candidate in the European elections Jan Van De Ven was told yesterday morning he would only be allowed to vote in the local elections, despite the fact that his was one of the faces on the ballot paper.

Van De Ven told TheJournal.ie that he went to his local polling station in Avoca, Co Wicklow, ready to put a number 1 beside his name when he was told he was not entitled to vote in the European elections.

“I voted in the European elections last time they happened,” the party leader explained. “I have an actual voting card here but it’s just when I went into the polling station they said there’s an ‘L’ beside your name so you only get to vote in the locals.”

“I told them “I’m a candidate and I should be able to vote for myself” but the people sitting at the desk can’t do anything about it.”

He said he told the polling station staff that they were “really blowing it”.

Van De Ven previously told us that winning the election isn’t crucial as he just wants to spread direct democracy, but the actual voting process is important to him.

This is only the second time I’ve ever voted in my life. I always lived in foreign countries and couldn’t vote. I was happy to vote in the last election and was looking forward to voting again. Everywhere in the world I lived I had to be politically active because I couldn’t vote so the only way to have my say was to help candidates I believed in.

“It highlights the inability of the State to execute properly,” he added.

A spokesperson for Wicklow County Council originally said the candidate is listed as a “potential European”.

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“He was written to in February of this year asking him to confirm his nationality and he did not reply,” they said.

However the Direct Democracy candidate said he had given a copy of his passport to the council and had documents to prove they received it.

After showing these to the polling staff he said they were “very apologetic” and admitted the error had been theirs. He was eventually allowed to vote yesterday evening, telling TheJournal.ie that he gave himself a number 1 because “I believe in me”.

Source: Jan Van De Ven

Read: Winning this election isn’t crucial to this candidate – he just wants to spread direct democracy>

Read: Here’s a crash course on how the European Elections are shaping up in Northern Ireland>

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