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"Mugabe would be proud" - spoiled votes all over the southeast because of papers not being stamped

The problems have been found in Wexford and Waterford, and one Wexford candidate is less than impressed.

Updated 20.10

THERE HAVE BEEN issues with spoiled papers in both Wexford and Waterford during the counting this evening, with one Wexford candidate particularly unimpressed.

Independent candidate for Wexford John Dwyer earlier pulled out of the contest there after a run-in with the returning officer over spoiled ballots.

“Robert Mugabe would be proud of how this election was conducted,” the former Sinn Féin councillor told

We spotted a large bundle of papers under a table, but the returning officer said they were being discounted because they weren’t properly stamped.

Dwyer claims that he was initially told that 380 papers had been declared invalid, but that the returning officer later revised this figure down to 50.


“My team are experienced and they don’t tell lies,” Dwyer said.

To have the democratic process interfered with like that, it’s incompetence at its worst.

Dwyer likewise claims that the results of the returning officer’s investigation into the problem will not be made public, a fact he describes as “just quite bizarre”.


Meanwhile, as many as 80 ballot papers at the counting centre for the Waterford constituency have been spoiled as the papers weren’t stamped.

Stamping a paper is the job of the presiding returning officer at each polling station when each voter presents him or herself.

Generally speaking a paper should be perforated appropriately before being handed to the individual voter.

A source at the count centre told that the spoiled papers came from around the county and were not limited to one polling box.


All told there were 400 spoiled votes discovered during the count at the Waterford centre.

At present just one of four seats has been filled in the constituency with Fianna Fáil’s first-time candidate Mary Butler fulfilling the quota of 10,341 at the first count.

The total turn-out in the county was 52,103.

The battle for the remaining three seats appears to be a shoot-out between Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane (who is very close to the quota after the first count), independent John Halligan, and Fine Gael’s John Deasy and Paudie Coffey.

Read: Mary Lou tops the poll and tries to shut down talk that a FG/FF deal is inevitable

Read: LIVEBLOG: Fianna Fáil surging as results begin to fly in

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