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Irregularities reported in Sweden's EU vote

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Irregularities reported in Sweden's EU vote
08:02 CEST+02:00
There were a number of problems associated with the European Parliament vote held in Sweden two weeks ago, according to a post-election report.

In some cases plastic bags were used instead of ballot boxes, election officials found themselves locked out of polling stations, and at some voting locations, unauthorized people were allowed to place ballots into ballot boxes.

The irregularities are among several found in a Stockholm County polling station protocol reviewed by Sveriges Radio (SR).

Another common problem was the absence of ballots for newer or smaller parties.

Parties which received less than one percent of the vote in the previous election were forced to distribute ballots to polling stations themselves.

However, these party-distributed ballots had a tendency to disappear or be placed in out-of-the-way places.

Birgitta Westerdahl, chair of the Salem election district south of Stockholm, told SR of a first-time voter who was unable to find a ballot for the Pirate Party.

He then received inaccurate information that it wasn't possible to write-in the party name on a blank ballot sheet.

In the end, he ended up voting for another party.

The parties who feel their ballots were mismanaged can appeal to the validation board at the Swedish Election Authority (Valprövningsnämnden), but action is only taken if the mistakes are believed to have affected to outcome of the election.

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