Manchester

Macclesfield ballot paper error could lead to recount

Ivy Bank Primary School Image copyright Google
Image caption The votes were cast at Ivy Bank Primary School in Macclesfield

Votes may have to be recounted in parts of Macclesfield because some voters in last week's local elections were given the wrong ballot papers.

An administrative error at a polling station means "an unknown number" of people were able to vote for candidates from outside their own ward.

The error affected candidates standing in the South ward on Macclesfield's new town council.

The council said the number of voters affected was small.

Cheshire East Council will make an application to a county court for the ineligible ballot papers to be discounted from the results.

'Regret'

The votes were part of the first election for Macclesfield's new town council, which will be responsible for facilities including allotments, public toilets and CCTV.

One Conservative and one Labour member were elected to represent South ward.

The Conservatives have eight seats on the new authority while Labour has four.

Subject to court approval, the sealed envelopes containing the ballot papers will now be reopened and the result recalculated.

Cheshire East Council insists the "secrecy of the ballot will be maintained at all times".

Labour have called for an apology and a "clear explanation" for the error.

Cheshire East Council said its returning officer "regrets this has become necessary" but added that only voters who used the polling station at Ivy Bank Primary School have been affected.

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