Vote Fiasco – more ballot paper mistakes, this time in England

Forest of Dean - Vote Fiasco - front page of The ForesterThe Forester newspaper which covers the Forest of Dean region of Gloucestershire splashes the story of a ballot paper mistake over its front page this morning.

Postal voters in Northern Ireland’s Lagan Valley constituency were last week sent ballot papers which featured the wrong party logo beside one of the candidate’s names.

Across the pond, 2,200 postal voters in four wards – Lydbrook and Ruardean, Mitcheldean and Drybrook, Coleford East and Newent Central – were sent district council ballot papers which feature a misprint directing them to choose “a minimum of three” candidates instead of “no more than three”.

New ballot papers have now been issued.

With a core, dedicated staff in the Electoral Office Northern Ireland (who have run an election on average once a year over the last twenty years) major mistakes are few and far between. However, with the decentralisation of the administration of elections across most of Great Britain to council staff – none of whom have it as their full-time job – mistakes are much more likely. This Forest of Dean incident isn’t the only example I’ve heard about since arriving in England last week.