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Wrong signature used on voting documents

Police distributing voting documents for the 2008 election. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Police distributing voting documents for the 2008 election. Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

Some 500,000 voting documents for the general and local elections had to be reprinted because they bore the signature of the wrong Chief Electoral Commissioner.

Sources close to the printing process said that instead of the signature of Chief Electoral Commissioner Saviour Gauci an old template was used featuring his predecessor’s signature.

Contacted yesterday, Mr Gauci admitted the mistake, adding: “Mistakes do happen in all electoral processes and this is just one of them.

“In a recent election, some voting documents were even lost. However, the most important thing is that all is still on track and voting documents will soon start being distributed,” he said.

Asked how much money the mistake will cost taxpayers, Mr Gauci said that only the cost of paper was involved as the error was noticed early.

“Since we discovered the mistake early and the printed documents were not yet laminated, the costs of this mistake will be low,” he said, refusing to be drawn into giving an amount.

According to the electoral law, voting documents must be distributed within 19 days from when the President issues the electoral writ. This means all documents have to reach voters by January 26.

According to Mr Gauci, despite the printing mistake, the legal deadline will still be met.

After the distribution date, eligible voters can still pick up voting documents from police stations in each locality and from the Electoral Office in Valletta.

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