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Witness thought canvassers were govt officials

A witness has told an election fraud trial he thought canvassers working on behalf of a celebrity chef were Manx government officials.

Elma Marquez was giving evidence at the trial of four people accused of manipulating the Island's proxy voting system to get Kevin Woodford elected.

Mr Marquez said he was asked to sign a blank white form when canvassers came to his flat in Douglas.

He claimed they were counting how many voters were in the area.

The form was actually a proxy application which allowed someone to vote on his behalf.

It was accepted in court the canvassers were Charles 'Buster' Lewin, 57, of Crosby, who has already admitted three counts of election fraud and one of the defendants, Gail Corrin, 40, from Douglas.

Mr Marquez claimed he would not have signed the form had he been aware it was a proxy application and added the canvassers did not explain what a proxy vote was.

Iain Goldrein QC, defending Ms Corrin, put it to Mr Marquez if it was possible he may not have heard what the canvassers were saying because he was in a hurry for them to go.

Mr Marquez said: 'I thought they were from the government and when they asked me to do something I just scribbled it.'

The trial continues.

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