Released on 28 April 2006 Archived News
A number of postal votes for next week's local elections in the Stratford District have been affected by a printing error. Elections are taking place for District Council wards and town/parish councils, with ballot papers printed on white and yellow paper respectively.
However, postal ballot papers for four towns and parishes have been printed on white paper. The towns and parishes affected are Brailes Parish Council, Long Itchington Parish Council, Stratford Town Council and Whichford & Ascott Parish Council.
"The use of white paper instead of yellow for the postal ballots, while potentially making the administration of the count more difficult in these circumstances, it will have no affect on the integrity of the election. This is because the pilot we are running will ensure the votes are electronically separated," said Paul Lankester, the Returning Officer for Stratford.
"Our contractor has taken full responsibility for this matter and apologised for any inconvenience. As Returning Officer I would add my own apology for any confusion that has been caused.
"All the candidates in the Town and Parish Council elections affected have been notified about this matter and letters are being sent to all postal voters affected. Our contractor is funding this correspondence.
"The pilot has been operated to give the Council and the Government an opportunity to evaluate any risks from the new changes to be introduced for elections from April 2007. This incident will provide valuable information nationally."
Stratford-on-Avon District Council is one of only two councils in the West Midlands to pilot the new scheme for the local elections next Thursday, 4 May. Bar codes will be used to authorise postal votes instead of the traditional method of manually checking against the electoral register. The bar codes are not affected by the colour of the paper.
Please note if you have applied for a postal vote and live in a parish where there is an election, you will receive the ballot papers in separate envelopes - one for district and one for parish.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Tel: 01789 267575