Update 2 | Voting halted as elderly residence runs out of ballot sheets

Dementia patients’ relatives complain that their loved ones are in no position to vote

Voting at an elderly residence in Hamrun came to a halt on Saturday morning after the Electoral Commission ran out of ballot sheets at the Little Sisters of the Poor elderly residence.

MaltaToday is informed that the voting for the referendum and council elections at the Hamrun residence was put on hold while the Commission sought to the home with more ballot sheets.

It transpires that the Electoral Commission did not provide enough ballot sheets and the mistake only came to light when they ran out of ballot sheets.

Earlier, the Electoral Commission was forced to suspend a total of 10 AECs.

A person who had no right to vote early was allowed to vote at the Sa Maison old people’s home in Pieta’ this morning.  The five assistant commissioners were suspended by the Electoral commission soon after the incident, MaltaToday is informed.

The number has reportedly gone up to 10, following a separate incident.

The person walked into the polling station at an old people’s home in Msida, indicating that he wished to vote and was allowed to vote even though he was not entitled to be an early voter.

The Malta Independent meanwhile refers to a second incident which took place at the Naxxar counting hall. According to the paper, a voter was given the Paola ballot sheet even though he was a Santa Lucija resident. The mistake was noticed only after the man had cast his ballot and the Electoral Commission took steps to replace the errant commissioners.

Meanwhile, a number of relatives of patients suffering from dementia at Saint Vincent de Paul Residence contacted this newsroom, to complain that their elderly relatives were being forced to vote even though they were in "no physical and mental state to do so".

When contacted, representatives of the SHout campaign said they could not monitor the early elections because the referendum precluded them from doing so.

“Only political parties are allowed to monitor and we can only hope for the best.  People who have issues should let us know on our hot line 77615541," a SHout spokesperson said.