Statement regarding the Church Fenton Parish Council Election on 6 May 2021

The Returning Officer said;

“On Thursday 6 May, approximately twenty local residents were mistakenly given the opportunity to vote in the Church Fenton Parish Council election.

“They were given ballot papers in addition to those they correctly received for the Police and Crime Commissioner Election. They were entitled to vote in this election which was taking place at the same time.

“This was a genuine mistake and I have advised the Candidates of this issue, offering an unreserved apology.

“Unfortunately the legal position is such that in the absence of a court order, I do not have the power to take action to identify the exact number of additional ballot papers cast. In addition once a poll is opened and closed, I am required to count the votes and declare the result. This was announced on Friday 7 May and is found here. This result stands.

“Subsequently, I have advised the Candidates that they may wish to submit an election petition and that it would not be contested. 

“A petition can be presented by any of the candidates standing in this election or by four or more persons who voted as electors at the election or had a right to vote at the election. 

“This must be presented within 21 calendar days after Thursday May 6.

“If a petition is presented, a judge will determine the outcome of that petition. 

“I currently wait to hear whether a petition is to be presented and if it is, will respond accordingly.

“Meanwhile, I will be undertaking a full review of this incident to ensure that improvements are made.

“I apologise for any difficulties this has caused and offer my continued support to both the Candidates and to the residents of the Parish in resolving this matter.”