Haringey Council's postal ballot blunder

A MIX-UP at the printers is believed to be responsible for almost one in 12 postal votes in Hornsey and Wood Green containing the wrong information. The problem could mean the council is open to appeals if a candidate wins by a slim

Rhiannon Evans

A MIX-UP at the printers is believed to be responsible for almost one in 12 postal votes in Hornsey and Wood Green containing the wrong information.

The problem could mean the council is open to appeals if a candidate wins by a slim majority, or just misses out on retaining their election deposit.

Of the 9,000 postal votes sent out by Haringey Council, 749 incorrectly told residents voting in the General Election that they could choose three candidates - confusing it with the council vote.


You may also want to watch:


Haringey Council has swiftly moved to correct the blunder by hand-delivering new correct ballots.

One of those affected was student Ruth Whincup, 20, a first-time voter living in Bristol while she attends university.

Most Read

"I wanted to vote in the Haringey local elections and I thought that's where I'm going back to after university," said the biology student.

When she realised the mistake, she says she was concerned her vote would not count.

Miss Whincup has now received her second, correctly printed ballot and has already sent it back.

"I was just worried other people had not noticed," she said.

Haringey Council say they acted quickly by hand-delivering correct ballot papers.

But some of those people may have already gone away and parliamentary candidates did not seem entirely convinced.

Labour candidate Karen Jennings said: "We are confident electoral services have done all they can to resolve the situation.

"However, we have been campaigning very hard in this constituency, so the result could be very close - therefore, if there are a large number of spoils, it could be the election result could be open to change."

Green candidate Pete McAskie said: "This could lead to a recount - it sounds like it could be a real mess."

He added that if people are just shy of maintaining their election deposit - which candidates only get back if they register more than 500 votes - there could be recourse for an appeal.

Conservative candidate for Hornsey and Wood Green Richard Merrin simply said it was "typical Haringey".

Liberal Democrat election agent Neil Williams commented: "It's extremely disappointing - we will be watching closely the processes the council have put in place to deal with it are followed correctly."

A council spokeswoman said it was not possible for someone to vote twice - accidentally or maliciously - as the ballot papers were numbered.

Incorrect parliamentary ballot papers that have not been used should be destroyed in favour of the replacement.

If you have already incorrectly voted for more than one person and posted your ballot back, that vote will be cancelled.

These people can vote again for just one candidate using their new ballot paper. Ballot papers for the local borough elections are unaffected.

The spokeswoman added: "We would like to apologise to the voters, candidates and parties affected by this error."

Anyone concerned should contact the Electoral Services team on

020-8489 2953/4.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter