Marked register goes missing in Wolverhampton constituency

More problems with the general election administration have come to light in Wolverhampton South West, with the news that one of the marked registers has gone missing. An investigation is already taking place into a mismatch between the number of ballot papers counted and the number issued, with more having been recorded as counted than were officially issued.

The latest news has been reported by the Wolverhampton Express & Star:

A register containing the names and addresses of hundreds of Wolverhampton voters has gone missing…

It contains names and addresses of up to 500 voters along with a mark to say whether or not they received a ballot paper.
Park ward falls in the same Wolverhampton South West constituency, where it appears more than 200 extra people voted than ballot papers were issued.

That discrepancy is still unexplained more than three months since the elections. It emerged today the register was revealed to be missing after Liberal Democrat campaigners asked to inspect it.

Colin Ross, the Lib Dem candidate in Wolverhampton North East, said: “We asked to see it so we could get a picture of which areas had voted.

“I am not suggesting that it is connected with the discrepancy in the number of votes compared to ballot papers, but I am concerned that it is missing and would like it to be found as soon as possible.”

Although marked registers should provide an important safeguard against electoral fraud and the law lays down specific rules for their safekeeping, the 2005 general election saw many marked register problems and during the last Parliament the complete Glentrothes by-election marked register went missing. For more on both of those see my post from 2009.

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