The Electoral Commissioner is correct when he says there can only be one space in which to write ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. (Referendum Machinery Act, s.24). He is also correct when he says the law saves a ballot paper where the voter’s intention is clear. The law specifically saves those where the voter merely writes ‘Y’ or ‘N’ (s.93)
On all this, the Commissioner must of course observe the law.
The Electoral Commission has long acted, as they did in the 1999 republic referendum, on legal opinion that a tick is a clear ‘Yes’ but a cross is not a clear ‘No’.
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