Denbighshire elections chaos after error in postal vote pack sent to voters
Richard Evans, local democracy reporter
Furious election candidates have slammed Denbighshire County Council after an error was included in a postal vote pack sent out to voters.
The instructions on the information sheet instruct residents to choose just one box to tick when voting for their preferred candidate in the local councillor elections.
But in some wards voters can vote for two or even three candidates, meaning candidates will lose votes if residents follow the instructions.
One angry candidate standing in the election said he was furious about the blunder and said the mistake throws the whole legality of the election into doubt.
“This is disgraceful,” he said.
“Why wasn’t the paperwork checked? Who is responsible for this? What’s being done to put it right and where do we stand legally? This is misleading information. I can’t see what the solution is. Some people have already posted their votes. If somebody loses their election by ten votes, they can justifiably argue that they only lost due to this postal vote error.”
He added: “I’ve heard a rumour that the error might be a follow-on from the police crime commissioner elections and that somebody has copied and pasted the paperwork without checking it.”
Denbighshire County Council were approached for a comment.
A note on the council’s website reads:
“Important information about postal votes from the Council.
“We recently sent out all the relevant information to all those residents in Denbighshire who requested a postal vote in the forthcoming local government elections.
“Unfortunately, the information sheet in the pack contained an error, as it incorrectly stated that voters could vote for no more than one candidate. However, in some county wards and for town and community elections voters may be eligible to vote for more than one candidate.
“In all cases the instructions on the individual ballot papers are correct and indicate clearly how many votes may be marked.
“If you are voting by post, please follow the instructions on the ballot paper.
“Further information is available on our website or from the Elections Unit on 01824 706000 (Monday to Friday 8.30am – 5pm), e-mail: email@example.com”
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No postal or electronic voting. We should turn out on the day, which should be a Sunday.
A lesser but grossly wasteful gaff. Gwynedd sending out voting cards to an uncontested ward, followed by a deflective letter telling all there to trash them…. Remember, rate payers money squandered, not theirs.
OK some daft mistakes but let us not lose sight of the fact that we still have a relatively good electoral system. The Tories are doing their level best to undermine it and to deny voters the right to vote. That is a much bigger problem than somebody failing to check the instructions properly. (See Electoral Reform Society and also Make Votes Matter for more information.)