Latest Public Sector News

12.06.17

Council apologises after over 6,000 votes not included in final count

A council in the south west has apologised after it failed to include the votes of 6,587 people from its count in its final declaration.

Plymouth council said that though votes were counted correctly in the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency, the final figure was incorrect as votes from one ‘mini count’ area were not included in the result.

A spokesperson for the council did clarify that the missing ballot papers did not affect the final result of the election. When the extra votes were added to the count, the winning candidate, the Labour Party’s Luke Pollard, saw his position strengthened by 805 votes.

“We have full confidence that all votes at the general election count were counted correctly but unfortunately we have now found that the figure for the final number of votes declared for the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency was not correct,” said the authority’s acting returning officer Tracey Lee. “This does not affect the result of the election.”

“We have now reviewed all data and paperwork from the election and understand why this happened,” Lee explained. “We count the votes for each constituency in ‘mini count’ areas which are council wards.

“The votes in these areas are shared with candidates and agents at each stage of the process to ensure complete transparency. These figures were correct, but an error in a spreadsheet meant that the 6,587 votes from one of these areas, Efford and Lipson, were not included in the final declaration sheet for the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency.”

With the additional votes added to the final count, voter turnout in the area went up to 66.97%, slightly below the overall turnout of 68%.

Lee added that the council was very sorry that the error occurred. “We are making all paperwork and data available to the Electoral Commission and to candidates and agents to inspect.”

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