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.
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.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

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

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 26th Sep - 7:39pm
    The OECD's recent ‘Education at Glance’ report is particularly useful on this.
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 26th Sep - 7:30pm
    The evidence and the research does not show that reintroducing grammar schools will improve the situation you have observed David.
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 26th Sep - 7:21pm
    The current situation is that a disproportionately high number of senior positions in politics, business, sport, acting and films are being filled by people who...
  • User AvatarGordon 26th Sep - 7:03pm
    "And capture the zeitgeist." Many want it but it's missing in action - and has been since ever the Lib Dems were founded. It seems...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 26th Sep - 6:39pm
    Clinton versus Trump is on Channel 4 at 01.45 - 03.45 27/9/2016. Live TV debate.
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 26th Sep - 6:38pm
    I would be very careful. I listened to Corbyn yesterday and McDonnell today. They are learning and sounding far more reasonable, far less radical. I...