Hackney Council’s latest voting blunder: 30,000 Mayoral ballot papers binned after typo spelling “Conservative”

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Town Hall - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council has been forced to dump 30,000 ballot papers, after it was spotted the word “Conservative” had been misspelt.

The council has not yet confirmed the cost of reprinting the papers.

A spokeswoman said the mistake happened because of “a human error when the details were entered into our system”.

She did not divulge how the word was spelt.

Postal voting ballots for next week’s Mayoral elections were sent out today, instead of last Friday as planned.

Five candidates – Samir Jeraj for the Green party, Dave Raval for the Lib Dems, Amy Gray for the Conservatives, Philip Glanville for Labour and Dawa Ma for the One Love Party – are vying to replace Jules Pipe, who stood down in June to become Sadiq Khan’s planning boss.

This is the latest in a string of blunders affecting voters in Hackney elections.

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Last May a blunder nearly cost 1,300 people their votes in last year’s General Election because of problems with the new electoral management system and a slow processing of data .

Ahead of May’s London Mayoral elections some voters were told their application to vote was rejected because they had got their own birthdays wrong.

And others were denied the chance to cast their vote in the EU Referendum in June over minor administrative errors on their application.

Green Party candidate Jeraj told the Gazette: “The issue for me is this is the latest in this run of issues the council has had with running elections.

“People who got a postal vote because they were planning to go away may now well be away.

“I’ve lived in other council areas and I’ve never encountered this frequency of issues.“

A spokeswoman for the council said the delay in receiving the ballot papers would effectively be four days, taking into account the weekend.

“We will do everything we can to ensure people can take part in the election,” she added.

“This could mean reissuing a ballot paper, which we can do in person so they could come to the town hall to collect it, or arranging an emergency proxy vote if they qualify for one.”

Anyone concerned they are going away and will not be around to receive their postal ballot should call 020 8356 3232 or email electoralservices@hackney.gov.uk.