Wolverhampton election investigation raises more doubts over how election was run

Wolverhampton signFollowing the revelations that the Wolverhampton South West result showed more ballot papers being counted than had been issued and that the official marked register for part of the constituency had gone missing both Wolverhampton Council and the Electoral Commission have been investigating.

The investigations have not only failed to locate the missing electoral register but also found that part of the marked register also went missing in a second Parliamentary constituency, Wolverhampton North East.

Meanwhile, the investigation into the ballot paper number discrepancy has revealed a bizarre decision taken during the verification stage of the general election. One batch of ballot papers was counted twice for verification purposes, with a difference of 20 votes between the two counts, a greater difference than would usually be accepted. It was therefore then counted a third time, coming up with a total 287 greater than the second count. At this point, it was decided not to count again and the third number – far different from the previous two numbers – was then recorded as the ‘correct’ figure.

Moreover, even had either the first or second number been used, the mismatch between the figures for ballot papers issued and votes counted would not have been fully accounted for. There was a 66 vote discrepancy between the declared totals. If the 163 rejected ballot papers are also taken into account, this made for a total discrepancy of 229. If the second of the verification tallies was correct, this becomes a discrepancy of 58 more votes having been issued than were counted. In other words, a problem of too many votes having been counted becomes a problem of too few.

No explanation has been provided as to what happened to these 58 in the statement from Wolverhampton Council’s Chief Executive outlining the result of his inquiries.

Altogether, the loss of parts of the marked register from two Parliamentary constituencies, the strange decision to take as correct a figure during the verification that was clearly different from the other two without any further checking, the declaration of a result whose numbers did not tally and the inconclusive investigation which has simply shifted the question over the mismatch leaves significant doubts over the quality of electoral administration in Wolverhampton.

It is not yet whether or not the Returning Officer is claiming his full fee for administering the election.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Election law.
Advert

4 Comments

  • Given the apparent maladministration here – and similar missing registers in Glenrothes after the by-election – at what point does the actual integrity of the election in the constituency get called into account?

  • I suggest that this makes a good case for abandoning counts on Thursday evening. The excuse about it being 5am as a reason for not recounting doesn’t stand up to scrutiny – the process could have been stopped if everyone was too tired to continue and resumed later on Friday. There are precedents for this in local elections to my certain knowledge.

    Isn’t it time we grew out of ‘ the excitement of election night’ in favour of getting it right? Under AV counts will take longer which justs adds to the case

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 AvatarPsi 24th Aug - 9:42am
    This is becoming a silly season staple. Not sure why. I’m sure there are other dumb ideas Sarah Noble “these sorts of accommodations can’t exist...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 24th Aug - 9:40am
    Shirley Williams MP wrote about an experience in a crowded voting lobby in the Commons. Other female MPs had suffered the same thing, but high...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 24th Aug - 9:32am
    David Raw: On-train catering is generally run at a loss; while the market for sales is captive it is also rather small with a limited...
  • User Avatarrobin bennett 24th Aug - 9:26am
    The EU in the past has found a way of accommodating anti EU electorates in Ireland and Denmark. Bill Fowler suggests one initiative. Another would...
  • User Avatarfrankie 24th Aug - 8:37am
    Homeless people are always likely to look for some way to escape their situation they are in. The temptation to escape the world they live...
  • User AvatarJane Reed 24th Aug - 8:28am
    I absolutely agree with Caron. Thank you for this article. In particular I think the following is a real possible problem; Apart from anything else,...