Police in Southend have arrested a man who entered a polling station with a laminator.
At around 10am this morning, police were called to a polling station on Fairfax Drive after the presiding officer called 999 when a member of the public demanded a 10m extension reel to take a laminator behind the curtain.
He has been named locally as the 38-year-old UKIP activist Herman Gobov.
PC Ernest Peacie told our Chief Reporter that the situation was dealt with quickly.
He added: ‘The member of the public became aggressive when he was told that it wouldn’t be practical to run an electrical extension lead into the polling booth to warm up his laminator.’
‘He then asked if he could take it home, laminate it and then bring it back in – this wouldn’t be legal under electoral law.’
A witness told our Chief Reporter that the situation could have turned violent.
He said: ‘The man voting said that he didn’t trust lefties to count his ballot properly, and while they were arguing he was getting even more frustrated as he couldn’t open his laminating pouch because his hands were sweaty.’
‘He then grabbed a voting paper and took it into a booth, before the police turned up and took him away.’
‘His ballot paper had fallen to the floor and I had a quick look. He’d missed the box anyway and just drawn a penis.’
In another election development, a whole team of ballot counters in Basildon has been dismissed after the local returning officer discovered that none of them could count past ten.