A DROMORE electoral registration event condemned in some quarters as having been organised along party political lines, has been hailed hugely successful.
The Dromore event was one of two Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale requested upon invitation by the Northern Ireland Electoral Office, who were in attendance to offer advice on the night.
Lagan Valley Conservative Association vice-chairperson Mr. John Lund was critical of the meetings which be believed potentially compromised the independence of the Electoral Office.
However, the DUP’s Mrs. Hale has announced that so successful was the Dromore event the party is now rolling out the programme to other locations across the Lagan Valley area.
“The electoral registration event in Dromore was hugely successful,” she said, “with a packed venue for the evening. “As a result there are many more people who are on the electoral register and who will have the correct photographic identity required to vote.
“There is already another event organised and I would encourage anyone in the Moira area who is not sure if they are registered to come along to Moira Orange Hall on Friday March 8 from 1.30-3.30pm.
“However, because of the great success of our event in Dromore the DUP will also be rolling out the programme to other locations right across the Lagan Valley constituency.
“Absolutely anyone is welcome to come along to these events and I would encourage anyone to contact my office if they have any queries, or if they would like to suggest a venue within their own local area I can work with the Electoral Office to possibly facilitate an event there.”
Mrs Hale took issue with Mr. Lund, describing his comments as “not only ridiculous but wholly inaccurate,” though she credited them with having helped to further publicise the event , so ensuring it was even more successful than anticipated.”
She added, “The staff present at all these events, taking registration details, are from the Electoral Office and what I did was to book a venue and invite the Electoral Office along. “This is the same facility open to any politician or community group.”