Boston
April 27, 2021 5.51 pm

“Massive cock-up” at Boston council as postal ballots sent with wrong candidates

Concerns results could be affected

Boston Borough Council has been accused of a “massive cock-up” after postal ballots went out to residents with the wrong candidates’ names on.

Around 120 postal votes sent to Boston North and South division residents are understood to have included the names of Boston West candidates rather than those running for those wards.

The authority is understood to be re-issuing the ballots and said it is investigating how the error occurred. A spokesperson said they were confident it was correct when provided to the printers.

Independent candidate for the ward Neill Hastie said a resident had initially raised the issue to him.

“There has been a massive cock-up at Boston Borough Council even with safeguards in place to prevent this,” he said.

“This is highly damaging to all candidates running in Boston North as it is bound to affect the result of the election hence I’m making everyone aware of this.

“Please let as many people know as possible and can re-vote if they need to so no candidate is penalised by this mistake.”

The ballot paper which was sent to Boston North residents.

The candidates’ names should have said:

  • Cook, Benjamin (Labour)
  • Dani, Anton (Conservative)
  • Hastie, Neill (Independent)
  • Nicholson, Matthew (Unlisted)
  • Stevenson, Jason (Liberal Democrat)
  • Thornalley, Jason (For the People not the Party)

Electoral rules and regulations say that frequent checks should be made during the production of postal ballot packs.

Labour candidate Ben Cook said: “It just makes you wonder just what is exactly going on at Boston Borough Council. At the minute it seems extremely disorganised.”

Boston North resident Marion Pheonix said: “This is a huge incompetence on behalf of the council not checking they are printed properly before sending the ballot papers out, plus a huge waste of time and money on behalf of the council.

“The main worry is the question of how many have already sent their votes back on the wrong ballot papers without realising. It will alter the results if not fully corrected.”

A resident in the Boston South ward also reported a similar issue. However, this could not be confirmed at the time of publishing.

Ward Independent candidate Peter Watson said he was “saddened” if it had been messed up, and worried that residents who may have already voted might not be counted.

Boston Borough Council’s Returning Officer for the elections, Michelle Sacks, said: “We have been made aware of an error which has affected a small number of postal ballot packs issued to voters in the Boston North and Boston South divisions, whereby an incorrect list of candidates has been printed on the ballot papers.

“Whilst we are still trying to understand how the error occurred we are confident the information provided to the printers was correct.

“This issue has affected 120 of the 18,000 postal ballot papers issued and we are already working with the printers to have correct ballot packs re-issued as a matter of urgency.

“We believe that these corrected ballot packs should arrive with those affected later this week, ensuring there is still plenty of time for votes to be cast in advance of the election.

“We can confirm that no other postal ballot packs or ballot papers that will be used in polling stations have been affected.”

Below is a list of candidates for each ward in full. Councillors defending their position are highlighted in bold. The full list for the county elections is here.

Follow all our Local & PCC Elections 2021 coverage

Boston Borough Wards

Boston Coastal

  • Broughton, Dale (Independent)
  • Monkman, Carole (Labour)
  • Skinner, Paul (Conservative)

Boston North

  • Cook, Benjamin (Labour)
  • Dani, Anton (Conservative)
  • Hastie, Neill (Independent)
  • Nicholson, Matthew (Unlisted)
  • Stevenson, Jason (Liberal Democrat)
  • Thornalley, Jason (For the People not the Party)

Boston Rural

  • Brookes, Michael (Conservative)
  • Gilbert, Tristan (For the People, not the Party)
  • Howard, Tony (Labour)

Boston South

  • Abbott, Tracey (Conservative)
  • Austin, Alison (Independent)
  • Bell, Alan (Labour and Co-operative)
  • Gilbert, Mike (For the People, not the Party)
  • Ransome, Sue (Independent)
  • Watson, Peter (Independent)

Boston West

  • Ashleigh-Morris, Paula (Conservative)
  • Goodale, Paul (Labour)
  • Keywood-Wainwright, Tiggs (Unlisted)
  • Lee, Gavin (For the People, not the Party)
  • Pryke, Ralph (Liberal Democrats)
  • Woodliffe, Stephen (Independent)

Skirbeck

  • Barton, Jackie (Labour and Co-operative)
  • Cardwell, Christopher (Unlisted)
  • Cook, Harley (Unlisted)
  • Dorrian, Anne (Independent)
  • Griggs, Martin (Conservative)
  • Moore, Chris (For the People, not the Party)
  • Pinto, Licia (Unlisted)

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