MP's concern over 'sticky' police ballot forms

Gedling Council ballot form The MP is concerned about sticky labels on ballot forms

The US presidential elections gave us the infamous "hanging chads" - the ballot form indent that created doubts over a voter's preferences.

Could the Police and Crime Commissioner elections back home give us the "adhesive doubt" ballot?

Start Quote

If voters manage to get the sticky labels off and damage the ballot form, will it make the vote invalid?”

End Quote Mark Spencer MP Conservative, Sherwood

An East Midlands MP has voiced concern that many postal votes for the police commissioner elections could be wasted.

Mark Spencer fears the use of adhesive labels on some forms could easily rip the ballot and disqualify some postal votes.

Many who've applied for postal ballots will already have received their forms.

But not all ballot forms are the same. Mine arrived in the post from Rushcliffe Council; the form just required my first and second choice of candidate and my signature as verification.

But in the Gedling district of Nottinghamshire, the form includes two sticky address labels: one has the voter's verification details, the other is the forwarding address to the local council's returning officer.

Even for the most active and experienced of voters - and Mark Spencer should know, he's an MP - the ballot form labels have been something of a problem.

"The worry is quite straightforward," said the Sherwood MP.

Mark Spencer MP MP Mark Spencer's family were sent replacement ballot forms

"If voters manage to get the sticky labels off and damage the ballot form, will it make the vote invalid? And if you write on it, will it be accepted? It's not very clear."

The Conservative MP's further concern is that struggling with removing the sticky labels will be a barrier for some.

"They won't bother to use their postal ballot in an election where low turnout is likely to be an issue," he added.

His mother Dorothy also had difficulties peeling off the sticky labels without ripping the ballot form.

"I just couldn't get the labels off. I thought something's wrong here," she said.

In a statement, Gedling Borough Council said they're only aware of four voters who've experienced difficulties.

"Every batch of postal ballot packs was checked by the elections staff at the factory which produced them," it said.

The Spencer family have been sent replacement ballot forms.

But with elections very soon, some postal voters - if they struggle with those labels - may face a sticky end.

They are now being urged by Mark Spencer not to leave it too late to request replacements.

John Hess Article written by John Hess John Hess Political editor, East Midlands

Government face legal challenge on rural homes change

Ministers face a legal challenge from rural councils wanting to ensure more affordable homes.

Read full article


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    [3/3] Think-tank acolytes expect fortunes from contracts garnered after intentionally undermining vital public bodies, like the NHS & police (, by reducing them to a 'not fit for purpose' and docile state, ripe for privatisation. Any such MPs should be concerned that this label may stick with an adhesive doubt which electors may feel is a future pre-election 'faecal cliff' barrier.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    [2/3]Yet the police cuts and morale collapse are due to the trickle-down effects of corruption and consequent policies. Corruption thrives while it can continue to hide behind lack of transparency at the top. Politicians, top policemen and soon commissioners risk being labelled as easily tempted by ideas from think-tanks funded by those intent only on making fortunes with their corrupt acolytes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    If a Conservative MP can only point out sticky labels as a voter concern regarding the police commissioner elections then surely that MP should be much more concerned as to why his colleagues are determined to cut police resources until police forces are increasingly judged not fit for purpose ( This reduced fitness for purpose is because cuts have caused morale to collapse. [1/3]



Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.