The mysterious 66 votes in Wolverhampton South West

According to the official election results, Wolverhampton South West saw more votes cast than there had been ballot papers issued.

At the count there were 40,160 votes totalled up in the general election in May. However, the official records show that only 40,094 ballot papers should have been in the count, 66 less than the number of votes counted. This is not a simple matter of a typo in the official records, because Wolverhampton Council has confirmed that these two figures are the ones official staff calculated at the count.

As to why the Returning Officer declared a result that was clearly wrong, that’s all rather a mystery. Both the council and the Electoral Commission tell me they are investigating further. It’s fair enough that the Commission is only looking at the case now as it isn’t its job to audit election results immediately after declaration.

But quite when the Returning Officer or their staff first noticed a problem and what they then did is a very pertinent question.

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