Call for electoral office ‘re-think’

Robin Swann. (Editorial Image)

Robin Swann. (Editorial Image)

The plan to close Ballymena’s Electoral Office ‘needs to be re-thought’, says a local MLA.

Robin Swann, the North Antrim UUP Assemblyman said the proposed closure would increase the burden on councils and consequently on the ratepayer. He contended it would also reduce access to the electoral process and restrict democracy.

“The Chief Electoral Officer must also take note of the Rural Needs Bill, recently approved through the Assembly which warned about the impact of withdrawing all services to a Belfast base on restricting access for the rural community,” he said.

Mr. Swann added: “Alternative proposals made by the trade union would instead see the expertise of the EONI retained locally within a partnership arrangement with council. This would provide the electorate with confidence that transparent electoral management would continue through all elections.

“I urge the Chief Electoral Officer and the Northern Ireland Office to consider seriously the alternative proposals that have been made and ensure that access to the democratic process is not restricted,” said