Postal Votes: Statement on Sparkbrook By-Election

By on 21/09/2009 in News

Following the rejection of 387 postal votes during the count for the Sparkbrook by-election last week (24th September) Birmingham City Council has outlined why these votes were rejected and how its new computerised system for checking postal votes works:

“A new system for checking postal votes was implemented in 2007 whereby everyone on the postal vote register was required to submit a copy of their signature and date of birth to the Council. These ‘personal identifiers’ are then scanned into a computer system which uses high-tech recognition software to compare the copies held on file against forms filled in by the electorate when voting by post in any subsequent election.

Any votes flagged up by the computer as being questionable are then double checked by an election official at the count, before a final decision is made as to whether to allow them or not.

Rejected votes do not count toward the result of the election.

A spokesperson for Birmingham City Council, said:

“The volume of postal votes rejected on Thursday evening provides clear evidence that our new security measures, introduced in 2007, are having a real impact on ensuring the integrity of election counts in Birmingham is preserved.

“As soon as the number of rejected votes started to become apparent we immediately contacted the police, and will work alongside them in any resulting investigation.”

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