Glasgow & West Scotland

North Lanarkshire Council sent out wrong postal vote instructions

North Lanarkshire Council has re-issued election instruction notes to thousands of postal voters after it emerged they contained incorrect information.

The authority sent out 26,000 postal vote packs with ballot papers ahead of next month's local elections.

An illustration showed an X in a box, but under the STV system voters should rank candidates 1,2,3 in order of preference.

It could cost up to £20,000 to reprint and send out new guidance notes.

The error was discovered on Saturday.

The council said notes with the correct illustration were being re-issued and it was working with Royal Mail to ensure voters had them in plenty of time.

The single transferable voting (STV) system, which was introduced in 2007, will be used for the poll on 3 May.

John Fleming, depute returning officer for North Lanarkshire Council, said: "The ballot paper and instructions sent to postal voters are both absolutely correct. However, a production error meant an incorrect illustration of a ballot paper was printed on a guidance note.

"As soon as we became aware of the situation, we immediately took steps to issue new guidance notes with the correct illustration to all postal voters. We are working closely with the Royal Mail, aiming for delivery on Tuesday.

"The returning officer has provided an assurance that the costs of this communication exercise will not fall on the council taxpayers but will be offset against election payments and other remuneration to chief officers."

Anyone who thinks they may have filled in their postal vote incorrectly has been urged to contact the council's election office.

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