Spoiled ballot papers issued

One of the spoiled ballot papers issued by Fife Council for north-east Fife general election 2015
One of the spoiled ballot papers issued by Fife Council for north-east Fife general election 2015

A batch of spoiled ballot papers has been issued to north-east Fife postal voters.

Fife Council say that voters who have received general election ballot papers with a large ink blot on them will still have their votes counted.

Only a handful of ballot papers marked with a large ink blot appear to have been sent out to postal voters.

But the three centimetre ‘splodge’ in at least once case makes it impossible to mark a cross against one candidate.

Mrs Maureen Ferrier received the ballot paper this week and immediately phoned Fife Council to check that the paper would be valid.

“I wanted to be sure that my vote would count,” she commented, “and not be dismissed as a spoiled paper.

“The council told me they had had two or three other similar inquiries and were going to get back to me, but I’m still waiting to hear from them.”

Fife Council said this week that they were aware of ink blots due to a printing error on some postal voting ballot papers for the North East Fife constituency and they had spoken to the printers about it.

Mike Melville, Depute Returning Officer, said: “So far we’ve only had a handful of enquiries from postal voters about this so, at the moment, it doesn’t appear to be widespread.

“I’d like to reassure postal voters in this constituency that their vote will not be invalidated if their ballot paper has this error. They should read the instruction carefully before completing and returning their vote by 10pm on 7 May.”

The council also advise that if the voting box next to their chosen candidate is obliterated, voters should put their cross beside the box or the candidate’s names.