A by-election for two council seats in the Kinson South ward will be held on Thursday 10 December.
This follows a ruling made on 30 October by the High Court after the result of 7 May poll was challenged. The challenge came about because an error at the printers meant that the ballot paper books for Kinson South were labelled ‘Kinson North’ and vice versa, meaning the incorrect ballot papers were sent to polling stations and, for a short time, issued to voters. This resulted in 115 electors being unable to vote in the Kinson South election.
The High Court ruled that the first placed candidate at the election, Councillor Laurence Fear, had been validly elected on 7 May because the number of electors affected by the error was not sufficient to affect his election. However, the election of the second and third placed candidates (Councillors Roger Marley and Norman Decent) was declared invalid because the number of electors affected by the ballot paper error was sufficient to affect their election.
The council is now making the necessary arrangements for the by-election to take place on 10 December. Candidates have until 4 pm on Friday 13 November to register as standing in the by-election. A list of all candidates will be published on the council’s website by 4pm on Monday 16 November 2015.
An independent investigation into the causes of the ballot paper error, which the court described as “a simple, unfortunate, printing error” has been undertaken and will be considered in public at the Audit & Governance Committee on 20 January 2016.