October 26th, 2016

Election error causes anger for Kenilworth residents

Election error causes anger for Kenilworth residents Election error causes anger for Kenilworth residents
Updated: 3:07 pm, May 07, 2015

A COSTLY error on Warwick District Council election ballot forms has caused anger in Kenilworth.

Postal voters noticed the ballot form for the Abbey Ward had been wrongly printed with the Labour Party logo against the name of Liberal Democrat candidate Andy Tulloch.

Following discussions between the Lib Dems election agent, John Whitehouse, and the district council, it was agreed new ballot forms would be printed and sent to the 1,090 affected voters.

The actual cost of the mistake will not be fully known until after the election a council spokeswoman told The Observer.

Mr Whitehouse said: “With people being asked to vote for up to three candidates out of a list of 12 candidates, many electors rely on the party logos to help guide their choices.

“In such a tightly-contested ward as Kenilworth Abbey, the mistake could have seriously affected the outcome of this election.

“I’m grateful to the Acting Returning Officer for a rapid decision to correct the situation, even though it will prove costly in terms of re-printing and postage costs.

“These elections only happen every four years, so it’s vital that we get an outcome that truly reflects the informed wishes of the electorate.”

The council spokeswoman stressed it was only papers for the district elections which were wrong, and not those issued for the parliamentary and town/parish council elections.

She said: “Advice has been taken from the Electoral Commission on this matter which is, in short, they consider that a re-issue of the district council ballot papers in the ward affected is necessary to ensure it complies with legislative requirements.

“New district postal ballot papers will be issued to the residents of Abbey Ward. These ballot papers will be produced in a different colour to the original ballot papers.

“This will ensure that the new postal vote statement and ballot paper are easily identifiable from the previously issued documents. These will be sent to residents as a matter of urgency.

“Warwick District Council apologises for any confusion this has caused.”