Pencil rumour causes panic in polling stations across

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Voters across the country are reportedly taking their own pens to the polling stations, amid fears the cross on the ballot paper could be scrubbed out.

Rumours have caused panic that votes cast using the pencils provided could be rubbed out.

But council bosses have moved to reassure voters, saying the entire process is “completely and utterly secure”.

In Preston, a spokesman for the local council said: “The voting and electoral process is absolutely sacrosanct.

“It is fundamental to democracy and the principles of freedom of speech and the right to vote.

“The whole process is completely and utterly secure and independently validated.”

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