Langside ward recount after ballots mislaid

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THERE will be a recount for the Langside ward after a ballot box was found at a polling station.

It appears that the box was overlooked last week when the votes were taken to the count.

The returning officer, George Black, told councillor David Meikle that the recount would take place early next week.

It is thought that the new ballots could see newly-elected Green councillor Liam Hainey lose his position though Archie Graham (Lab) and Susan Aitken (SNP) will not be under threat.

It is believed that the box contains 385 votes.

Councillor Meikle tweeted: “George Black confirms with me all Langside ballot papers will be recounted early next week. Apologises for the mistake which was human error.

“Black also confirmed the result won’t change for Archie Graham and Susan Aitken, but may affect third (Green) seat.

“No errors in other wards”.

A spokesman for Glasgow city council said: “The returning officer for Glasgow has contacted the three councillors elected in one of the city’s wards at the local government election on May 3 to inform them of a mistake during the count process.

“The mistake took place at the scanning and verification stage of the count for the Langside ward.

“The ballots from box 139, Battlefield Primary School, were registered and scanned but were not properly entered into the count.

“The exact number of ballot papers in the box is not known at this time, however, 385 papers were recorded as having been issued by the Presiding Officer at the Polling Station.

“Mathematically, the failure to count these ballots cannot have affected the election of the first two councillors to be elected or have affected the stage at which they were elected.

“There is no reason to believe the third result would have been different.

“However, if the voting pattern in the box which was not counted differed substantially from that in the rest of the ward then a different candidate could possibly have been elected”.

George Black, the returning officer, met the elected members from Langside this morning and briefed them on the mistake.

He has also written to all the candidates who stood in the ward and his staff have contacted them by telephone.

He told them: “It is therefore my intention to enter those ballot papers into the system and rerun the calculation to ensure that the result is accurate.

“I am currently investigating how this mistake happened.

“Obviously I will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

“However, as the returning officer I am responsible for the running of the election and the count and I want to take this opportunity to apologise to you for any concern this will cause”.

Green Party leader Patrick Harvey said he was disappointed by the news but felt that “given the results from the rest Langside was I think we’ll retain councillor Hainey”.