The personal data of hundreds of Fife Council employees may have been sent to complete strangers in a major foul-up by the local authority.
The council inadvertently sent the contact details and national insurance numbers of current and former polling station clerks and presiding officers to the wrong people in the mailing blunder.
Several hundred people are understood to have been affected by the accidental leak, with the possibility of many more being involved.
The council has admitted to the error and said an investigation into the incident was already under way.
The initial mistake was made in letters which went out earlier this month, two days before the council sent a supplementary letter confirming an error had been made.
Fife Council’s team manager for democratic services, David Henderson, acknowledged some letters had been sent in error.
He added: “We have apologised unreservedly to all those affected by the mistake, which was caused by an error in our printing operation.
“An investigation is under way and we have taken immediate action to retrieve the information issued.
“We have also reported the incident to the Information Commissioner.”
Mr Henderson added: “Immediate action was taken to ask for these forms to be returned to us, or confirmation they had been securely destroyed.”
However, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Roger Mullin said: “This is a major failure by Fife Council and I am very concerned about the impact on those whose data has been abused.
“Any constituent with concerns should contact Fife Council for clarification and, if dissatisfied, should consider approaching their local representatives.
“I will be writing to the chief executive to seek clarification on this most concerning development.”