X does not mark the spot admit red-faced council chiefs

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THOUSANDS of new guidance notes will have to be issued to voters in North Lanarkshire after a pre-election cock-up.

The embarrassing mistake shows an illustration of a ballot paper for the council elections being marked with an ‘X’, instead of numbering candidates in order of preference.

However, North Lanarkshire Council said the error only relates to the guidance leaflet and that the ballot papers included in packs, and already received by postal voters, are entirely valid and can be used, and the instructions for completing the ballot papers are clear and correct.

The correct guidelines were due to be delivered to 26,500 voters yesterday (Tuesday).

The error is estimated to have cost around £20,000. The council said the mistake was down to human error and that the cost will be offset against election payments and other remuneration to chief officers.

John Fleming, depute returning officer for North Lanarkshire Council, said: “Anyone who thinks they may have filled in their postal vote incorrectly should contact the council’s election office on 01698 302 119 or 01698 302 340.”

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