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New ballot papers being issued to postal voters after printing error

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ballotboxPOSTAL BALLOT PAPERS delivered to voters in three counties are being reprinted after the original papers provided misleading information to voters.

The error arose in respect of the ballots for the regional Assembly election, where voters vote for a party as opposed to a candidate and affects Ceredigion, Preseli Pembrokeshire and Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire.

Local returning officers have been ordered by Mark James CBE, the Regional Returning Officer, to reprint all postal ballots delivered thus far.

No other constituencies in the Region are affected.

In a letter to electoral agents for candidates, Mr James states that he discussed the situation with the Electoral Commission ‘at length’ and engaged the services of ‘the leading QC in the country’ to confirm that reissuing the ballot papers was necessary.

Mr James has blamed the mess up on ‘a most unfortunate error by the printers’

There is a clear expectation that voters who have already cast their postal ballots will return a second ballot paper or their votes will not be counted.

Bearing in mind the number of postal votes involved, the capacity for electoral chaos is significant, especially as those casting postal votes tend to be the more vulnerable members of society.

We spoke with William Powell, who is standing as both a constituency and list candidate, spoke with The Herald to express his concern at the effect of effectively scrapping thousands of ballot papers already delivered.

The incorrect grey paper currently reads:

Etholiad Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Papur pleidleisio i ethol Aelod Cynulliad ar

gyfer rhanbarth Canolfan a Gorllewin Cymru

National Assembly for Wales Election

Ballot paper to elect the Assembly Member

for the Mid & West Wales Region

Pleidleisiwch ar gyfer un ymgeisydd yn unig

trwy roi [X] yn y blwch ochr eich dewis

Vote for only one candidate by putting a

cross [X] in the box next to your choice

The correct wording for the statement, printed on the new ‘tan’ ballot papers, reads:

Etholiad Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru

Papur pleidleisio i ethol Aelod Cynulliad ar

gyfer rhanbarth Canolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru

National Assembly for Wales Election

Ballot paper to elect the Assembly Member

for the Mid & West Wales Region

Pleidleisiwch unwaith yn unig trwy roi croes [X]yn y blwch wrth ochr  eich dewis Vote only once by putting a cross [X] in the box next to your choice

The Herald contacted the Press Office at Carmarthenshire County Council but nobody was available to comment.

A statement from the Electoral Commission is expected shortly.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Mark Evans

    April 20, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    dont blame the printers – they are working from the proof of work they were given

  2. tomos

    April 20, 2016 at 8:53 pm

    I’m certainly NOT complaining about James, guy in charge of ballots and carmarthenshire county council – last person who did that in her blog carmarthenplanning.blogspot is in danger of losing her home 🙁

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Letterston: 81-year-old lady remanded into custody for too many 999 calls

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AN 81-year-old lady will be kept in custody until her trial on July 15.

Beryl Billington, of Letterston, appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates Court on Tuesday, June 18, after police had picked her up from her home.

The pensioner had appeared in Llanelli Magistrates Court on Saturday (Jun 15) and pleaded not guilty to breaching a criminal behaviour order.

One of the conditions of her order states that she should not phone the emergency services unless it was an emergency.

In giving grounds for keeping Mrs. Billington in custody, prosecutor Mr Abul Hussain said the decision was ‘not one he would really make given the circumstances’ but added their were substantial grounds to believe she would offend again.

Mrs. Billington had been convicted in her absence on May 23 and has also committed other offences whilst on bail.

Defending, Peter Jones said that his client had said she had booked a taxi to come to court but that it hadn’t turned up.

He also said that if she was given bail she would be going to her home address and that she could be given written and verbal reminders as to the trial date.

Magistrates remanded her in custody until the trial on July 15 on the grounds that they feared she would not attend and that she may commit other offences.

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Johnston: Man arrested at petrol station as police surround car

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POLICE have arrested a man at Johnston filling station at 2pm today (June 18).

A member of the staff at the garage said: “A car pulled into the filling station with two people in the vehicle, a man and a woman. They bought fuel and then went to check tyre pressure. After driving to the tyre pressure station, the police arrived, surrounding the car with several patrol cars. The male occupant was taken away in handcuffs, the woman was allowed to go on her way.

He added: “The police had arrived at 2.10pm, and left 15 minutes later. A police officer came into the petrol station to tell staff members they had been looking for one of the people in the car and had happened to find them at the station.

“The arrests are not connected to the petrol station business.”

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Haverfordwest: Sex assault accused have case sent to Crown Court

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THREE Haverfordwest teenagers WHO have been charged in connection with allegations of rape and sexual assault, have had their cases sent to Swansea Crown Court.

The three defendants appeared at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Jun 18) to confirm their details.

The charges relate to an alleged attack on a woman in Haverfordwest town centre on December, 3, 2017.

Jay Dalkin, aged 19, of Cromie Avenue, Haverfordwest, has been charged with rape.

Toby Lee Thomas, aged 19, of Rose Avenue, Haverfordwest, has been charged with rape and sexual assault.

Adam Roberts, aged 18, of Rose Avenue, Haverfordwest, has been charged with sexual assault.

The trio were released on bail pending their next court date on July 19.

No pleas have been entered.

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