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New ballot papers being issued to postal voters after printing error

ballotboxPOSTAL BALLOT PAPERS delivered to voters in three counties are being reprinted after the original papers provided misleading information to voters.

The error arose in respect of the ballots for the regional Assembly election, where voters vote for a party as opposed to a candidate and affects Ceredigion, Preseli Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

Local returning officers have been ordered by Mark James CBE, the Regional Returning Officer, to reprint all postal ballots delivered thus far.

No other constituencies in the Region are affected.

In a letter to electoral agents for candidates, Mr James states that he discussed the situation with the Electoral Commission ‘at length’ and engaged the services of ‘the leading QC in the country’ to confirm that reissuing the ballot papers was necessary.

Mr James has blamed the mess up on ‘a most unfortunate error by the printers’

There is a clear expectation that voters who have already cast their postal ballots will return a second ballot paper or their votes will not be counted.

Bearing in mind the number of postal votes involved, the capacity for electoral chaos is significant, especially as those casting postal votes tend to be the more vulnerable members of society.

We spoke with William Powell, who is standing as both a constituency and list candidate, spoke with The Herald to express his concern at the effect of effectively scrapping thousands of ballot papers already delivered.

The incorrect grey paper currently reads:

Etholiad Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Papur pleidleisio i ethol Aelod Cynulliad ar

gyfer rhanbarth Canolfan a Gorllewin Cymru

National Assembly for Wales Election

Ballot paper to elect the Assembly Member

for the Mid & West Wales Region

Pleidleisiwch ar gyfer un ymgeisydd yn unig

trwy roi [X] yn y blwch ochr eich dewis

Vote for only one candidate by putting a

cross [X] in the box next to your choice

The correct wording for the statement, printed on the new ‘tan’ ballot papers, reads:

Etholiad Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Papur pleidleisio i ethol Aelod Cynulliad ar

gyfer rhanbarth Canolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru

National Assembly for Wales Election

Ballot paper to elect the Assembly Member

for the Mid & West Wales Region

Pleidleisiwch unwaith yn unig trwy roi croes [X]yn y blwch wrth ochr  eich dewis Vote only once by putting a cross [X] in the box next to your choice

The Herald contacted the Press Office at Carmarthenshire County Council but nobody was available to comment.

A statement from the Electoral Commission is expected shortly.

2 Comments

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  • I’m certainly NOT complaining about James, guy in charge of ballots and carmarthenshire county council – last person who did that in her blog carmarthenplanning.blogspot is in danger of losing her home 🙁

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