A “YES” ON THE DOUBLE FOR CAVAN/ MONAGHAN VOTERS

11 October 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

THE complete absence of members of the public from the Referendum count centre in Cavan on Saturday—with the exception of a mere handful of veteran party members, most of whom had dispersed long before the Returning Officer Mr. Joseph Smith, the popular Cavan County Registrar, and his highly efficient staff of 102, had totted-up the last ballot paper of the 34.4 per cent of the populace who voted in the two-county Border constituency—reflected the degree of public interest in what was happening!

The national verdict in respect of both issues—the Seanad Referendum and the Court of Appeal Referendum—is now history and while Cavan/Monaghan joined Kerry South and Mayo in a decisive “Yes”’ vote against the “No” trend elsewhere that has undoubtedly caused some embarrassment for Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the government in relation to the Seanad Eireann situation, the number of spoiled votes in the constituency, which actually amounted to a staggering total of 1,296 ballot papers in respect of both polls was, in itself, an unwelcome record!.

A total of 753 votes were invalid in the Court of Appeal Referendum, and 543 were spoiled in relation to the Seanad poll.

In a constituency where there was a total poll of just 34,630 (in an electorate of 100,304), political party representatives described the number of invalid votes as without precedent.

Several of the papers were folded up and placed in the ballot boxes without any markings whatsoever, while others had both preferences similarly marked with an “X” although, in many cases, voters had tried to obliterate one of the “X”s having realised …

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