Haringey council apologises for postal vote blunder

A London council today apologised for telling hundreds of postal voters to nominate just one candidate instead of three in May’s local elections.

Up to 900 Haringey voters received official council instruction packs telling them to: “Vote for only one candidate, by putting a cross in the box next to the choice on the ballot paper.”

However, voters on May 3 should have been told to select three candidates in the borough where each ward is represented by three councillors.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Momentum group is poised to take over the council, whose moderate leader Claire Kober will step down after almost a decade in charge.

The council said a “printing error” had resulted in postal vote packs being issued with the wrong instructions.

The Electoral Commission has been alerted to the blunder and is in contact with Haringey.

Liberal Democrat leader Gail Engert has called for an investigation saying the council had “disenfranchised voters”. She said: “It’s just worrying for residents — people might have just voted for one councillor rather than three and not realised they have done it. It’s a form of disenfranchisement. 

“I just think Haringey have let voters down. We have called for an inquiry.”

The council is reprinting the letters which will be delivered in the coming days. It is thought 900 voter packs out of 22,000 postal voters were delivered with the error. 

A council spokeswoman said the problem only relates to postal voters who received their packs on Saturday and the council was in the process of contacting them. She said: “The printers accidentally used instructions written for local authorities with only one seat in each ward, as opposed to the three per ward in Haringey.”

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