High Court orders recount in Denbighshire election mix-up

Previously we reported how a block of votes for Labour candidate Paul Penlington were wrongly counted as being for similarly named Conservative rival Allan Pennington in the Prestatyn North ward count this May.

The High Court has now ordered a recount:

Election countDenbighshire blamed human error after votes cast for Labour’s Paul Penlington were counted for Allan Pennington.

The council has admitted the Labour candidate would have won if his votes had been correctly allocated…

The recount will take place amidst conditions of strict secrecy in front of a senior High Court official and in the presence of Mr Pennington, Mr Penlington and council representatives.

* Mark Pack has written 101 Ways To Win An Election and produces a monthly newsletter about the Liberal Democrats.

Read more by or more about .
This entry was posted in Election law, News and Wales.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/29628 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

4 Comments

  • Nonconformistradical 29th Jul '12 - 12:30pm

    No problem over the order for a recount – it’s obvious really.

    However the 2 names are so similar that it looks negligent on the part of the returning officer at the election. Did they ensure that the counters paid especially careful attention to counting the ballot papers for this particular ward? If the RO was negligent then they ought to be paying the costs. As it is – no doubt the council tax payers will be picking up the tab for this High Court hearing.

  • Tony Dawson 30th Jul '12 - 8:15am

    So they’ve never heard of ‘bundle flick’ checking in Denbighshire? Given that the names were so similar, you would think that extra care would obviously be taken – and not to do so went beyond ‘human error’ and into the realms of the negligent?

    And what are the chances of a Returning Officer paying for any costs from his/her own pocket? Somewhat less than zero, I fear.

  • Roger Stephens 30th Jul '12 - 9:25am

    Re “nonconformistradical’s” point about the RO picking up the tab, I believe (and Mark will no doubt correct me if I’m wrong) that when the top council official acts as RO he/she is doing this as an independent person and not as a council employee. So they should be liable – but no doubt have some sort of indemnity insurance.

  • David Boothroyd 31st Jul '12 - 11:40am

    It’s the normal rule that in a case where the wrong result was declared as a result of Returning Officer mistake, the costs (for both Petitioner and Respondent) are awarded against the Returning Officer. It’s up to the local authority whether to penalise the RO personally.

    These counting mistakes happen from time to time. In 2011 there was the unusual situation in Nottinghamshire where a mistake in a split ward resulted in the wrong member of a Liberal Democrat husband and wife team being elected, so the husband had to petition against the wife.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 1st Sep - 10:26am
    PS definitions from Open Democracy: " Put simply, the term ‘migrant’ refers to someone who moves, temporarily or permanently, from one place or country to...
  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 1st Sep - 10:23am
    david thorpe"A refugee is someone who has been granted refugee status" A remarkably bureaucratic way of looking at it. So you can only be a...
  • User AvatarFrank Little 1st Sep - 9:57am
    I would like to know more about Walter James's work for the Manchester Guardian. Would he have been a regular contributor in the late 1950s,...
  • User Avatarnigel hunter 1st Sep - 9:53am
    I have come late to this article but have a few thoughts on it . Refugees do flee war . Would you like to stay...
  • User AvatarRichard Stallard 1st Sep - 9:34am
    @jedibeeftrix To take what you say a little further - We, in tune with most first world countries, have a similar problem and to sustain...
  • User AvatarHugh p 1st Sep - 9:31am
    Walter James was the last surviving Liberal candidate who stood at the 1945 general election (as correctly stated in an earlier thread) ; it is...