Ukip candidate missed off Darlington ballot papers at one polling station – but voters urged to keep voting

A parliamentary candidate has been missed off some ballot papers in Darlington – but voters have been urged to keep voting.

The Ukip candidate David Hodgson has been missed off ballot papers delivered to the Whessoe polling district.

The council says 89 people who have voted so far are affected. The correct ballot papers have now been issued.

Ada Burns, Darlington Council chief executive, said:

“We have taken advice from the Electoral Commission and are confident that the election can go ahead as normal.

“The turnout so far has been excellent and the message is to keep voting.” 

Ukip candidate David Hodgson, a lecturer, said:

“I learnt it myself ten minutes ago that my name has been missed off the papers – I don’t know if it’s across all of the wards because the info I got is very short at the moment.

“It’s shocking – absolutely terrible and inexcusable. I understand the Ukip office has been informed and will be lodging a protest.

“I don’t know what happenened but surely some law has been breached. I’ve not got a clue what happens now but I’m guessing the only way to resolve it is for it to be re-run.

“I’m working at the moment and it’s knocked me sick but I cant walk out on my class.”  

Labour candidate Jenny Chapman said he had been briefed about the problem.

“I’m furious and I understand completely how Mr Hodgson feels,” she added.

Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon said he was unaware of any problems.

He said the postal votes went out several weeks ago without any issues, and these ballot papers were printed at the same time as those for people voting in person.

A spokeswoman for Darlington Borough Council said voting in the general and local elections was continuing as normal but that the name of one candidate, David Hodgson (UKIP)  had been missed off  ballot papers issued to one polling station in the borough.

“Approximately  89 ballot papers (0.1% of the total number of ballot papers printed)  had been issued, but as soon as the issue was identified, corrected ballot papers were issued to the polling station concerned,” she said.

 Darlington Council has two options – to try to contact the 89 voters and call them back or proceed with the election as it stands with the 89 votes counting.

Due to doubts that all 89 would be contactable the council has chosen the second option. If the 89 votes are critical to the result at the end of the polling a petition challenging the outcome could be mounted and considered by a court of law.

Source –  Northern Echo, 07 May 2015

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