Political

10,400 postal ballot papers being replaced after missing party logos

Unusual news from Gosport Council:

Postal voters in Gosport are being sent replacement ballot papers for the forthcoming borough council election, following a printing error.

This year, Gosport voters will be choosing candidates in borough council, county council and police commissioner elections.

Rather than attend polling stations on 6 May, almost 10,400 residents have decided to vote by post. They have been sent packs with three ballot papers – one for each of the three elections.

But a printing mistake meant that one of the three ballot papers – the one for Gosport Borough Council – did not have party logos on it, and was therefore not legally valid.

So replacement borough council ballot papers are being sent out. The county and police commissioner ballot papers are valid and not affected.

Local elections are run by an official called the returning officer. The returning officer for the Gosport elections, Graeme Jesty, said: “Unfortunately, the printing error on the borough council ballot paper was not spotted during a final check.

“I’m very sorry for this, and I apologise to postal voters for the error and the inconvenience.”

Missing the party logos on a ballot paper is a surprisingly large error to have slip through given how long-established their presence on ballot papers is and how visible they are.

Liberal Democrat Gosport councillor Peter Chegwyn told a local newspaper:

It’s an absolute shambles – the worst I’ve seen in over 45 years of organizing election campaigns.

How on earth the council failed to notice this is beyond comprehension. Didn’t anyone proofread the ballot papers before printing? Didn’t anyone notice the missing emblems before posting them out?

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