Saturday, 6 June 2009

Broken European ballot box seals in Broxtowe

At 10pm Thursday 4th June both Cllr Dave Brown and Cllr Nina Brown went into the polling station at Brinsley Parish Hall, Cordy Lane, Brinsley firstly for Dave, the BNP Beauvale candidate to place his vote being the last voter in there and secondly to secure official BNP seals onto two of the ballot boxes. After Dave placed his vote in the box, the boxes were sealed with the council seals. As the County Council ballot papers were being placed into nylon "linen style" boxes with zips, we were unable to find anywhere to secure the seals, so we sealed the European Ballot Boxes which were both plastic along with Council seals. Both boxes with intact seals were photographed.(as below).

Photographs of European ballot boxes with official BNP seals intact at Brinsley Parish Hall Polling Station, Thursday 4th June at 10pm.

On arriving for the count at The Pearson Centre in Beeston at 10am Friday 5th June we both noticed that the seals we had secured the night before had both been broken. We immediately alerted the Returning Officer, Ruth Hyde, who after looking at the seals she tried to assure us that the boxes had been stored securely below Beeston Town Hall in a room with security keypad, she then questioned whether we knew how to tie the seals properly. After a few minutes with no solutions, the Returning Officer went on to say that as she made the decisions the count would continue regardless. At this point Cllr Dave Brown stated he did not want the boxes touching as he would be calling in the police.

It was at this point that Beauvale BNP candidate Dave Brown left the room to phone the police. The boxes remained untouched. Cllr Nina Brown remained to watch the Beauvale count.

Two police officers arrived around approximately 45 minutes later, after looking at the two broken seals, they stated they could not verify whether the seals had broken or had been deliberately cut. Cllr Dave Brown asked that the seals be taken by the police.

After receiving a written statement from the Returning Officer Ruth Hyde, the boxes were opened and the European ballot papers verified.

That is where the situation stands at present, we will keep you updated.

Below are the photographs taken of the European ballot boxes with broken BNP seals as they arrived prior to the verification of European Ballots at The Pearson Centre, Beeston at 10am Friday 5th June 2009.

Below is a copy of the statement of events from the Broxtowe Electoral Returning Officer Ruth Hyde.

County ballot boxes used in Broxtowe would double as linen baskets, although it is not clear in the picture they were made of nylon with zips

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