Election 2015 England

Lincoln voters sent duplicate polling cards

Polling Card
Image caption City of Lincoln Council said 23 duplicate names have been identified on its electoral register

Voters in a marginal seat have been sent duplicate polling cards, raising the potential for electoral fraud at the general election.

Twenty-three people in Lincoln have been duplicated on the electoral register, the city council confirmed.

It blamed the errors on people already on the electoral roll registering again online but with different details.

City of Lincoln Council said its electoral register has been amended. It has notified the Electoral Commission.

'Names shortened'

The council said, after a full search of its records, 23 duplicate names out of 66,000 voters on the register, were identified.

"Processes are in place to prevent dual voting and polling station staff would never issue any person with more than one vote per election," a spokesman said.

People could have used a shortened version of their name or added a middle name while registering via the internet despite already being on the electoral roll, the council suggested.

It has resulted in some people being sent more than one card containing different electoral numbers.

Earlier North Kesteven District Council, which is responsible for registering voters who will elect an MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham, said it was dealing with scores of duplications but it later emerged the errors had been picked up before they were published on the electoral register.

Lincoln candidates

Image copyright Gary Lee
  • Conservative Karl McCartney is defending a majority of 1,058 on 7 May.

Other candidates are:

  • Ross Pepper for the Liberal Democrats
  • Helen Powell for Lincolnshire Independents
  • Lucy Rigby for Labour
  • Nick Smith for UKIP
  • Elaine Smith for Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition.

Lincoln constituency page.

Voting more than once is illegal and could result in a fine of more than £5,000, according to the Electoral Commission.

Professor of public policy at the University of Lincoln, Hugh Bochel, said the potential for people being able to vote twice in a marginal seat like Lincoln could affect the outcome at the general election.

"If we know it's only 23, they can put safeguards in. If it were to get up to 50 or 60 it may become more of an issue," he said.

"This might suggest people might find some ways of using this for slightly nefarious ends."

He said the new system of individual registration, where each person is now required to register individually rather than by household, could be to blame.

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