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Haringey Council to issue new guidance after elections blunder

PUBLISHED: 13:50 16 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:22 19 April 2018

The incorrect election guidance issued by Haringey Council, which was sent out with postal votes

The incorrect election guidance issued by Haringey Council, which was sent out with postal votes

Archant

In voter packs delivered on Saturday, Haringey Council told residents they should only vote for one candidate, instead of three.

According to the council around 900 voters on Saturday received voter packs accompanied by information which said: “Vote for only one candidate, by putting a cross in the box next to the choice on the ballot paper.”

Unlike a general election, voters on May 3 will be asked to vote for three candidates, in the multi-member wards in Haringey.

The council are now printing new advice, which will be delivered in the coming days.

A Haringey spokeswoman confirmed they hadn’t received any votes since the blunder on Saturday.

Gail Engert, the Lib Dem leader and councillor for Muswell Hill said there needed to be an inquiry into the issue.

“Our democracy is too important for the Council to allow mistakes like this.

“We need to find out why this happened, so we can prevent a repeat. That is especially true as something similar happen in local the election before last.

“For that reason, I’m calling for a scrutiny inquiry in the new council year.”

The council believes only 900 voter packs were delivered with the error, from 22,000 postal voters in the borough.

Council staff hand-deliver the votes, and received an urgent message on Saturday to stop their deliveries due to the mistake.

If voters have already posted their completed ballot, they have been asked to contact the borough’s electoral services team.

A council spokeswoman said they didn’t know the cost of issuing new guidance for voters, but the council were set to issue new instructions.

“For the wrongly-issued instruction packs, we are writing directly to those affected to alert them to the error and advise them that they should select up to three candidates, in accordance with the instructions on the ballot paper.

“For the remaining 22,000 postal vote packs, these will be distributed containing the correct instructions.

“We have yet to receive any incorrect ballots. We are writing to all affected voters to ensure that they have the correct information.”

This isn’t the first time Haringey Council has issued the wrong election information.

During the 2010 local election, they had the same problem after telling voters they could only vote for one candidate.

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