16/05/2012

RCVS election result stands despite mailing duplication

Veterinary surgeons who voted in this year's RCVS council election have been assured the voting process was fair, in spite of a number of voters being sent duplicate ballot papers.

Voters in the RCVS' election have been assured the voting process was fair, in spite of a number of voters being sent duplicate ballot papers.

Some vets may have received two sets of ballot papersElectoral Reform Services (ERS), the independent body that conducts the election process for the RCVS elections, designs and prints ballot papers, and receives back votes via the post, internet and text message. However, a separate mailing house was contracted by the college to send out the papers .

Although the exact number of voters who received duplicate papers is unknown, it could have been up to 289, as that was the shortfall of voting papers noted at the mailing house.

ERS carried out a review of voting patterns, including issues such as multiple votes coming from a single IP address, and concluded it was not possible to say there had been instances of dual voting.

Even in the small number of cases where there was a suggestion of dual voting, if those particular votes had been discounted it would not have affected the outcome of the election.
 
“Our view is that, although a number of members were sent two ballot papers, there is no firm evidence of fraud, and that the result is an accurate reflection of the views of the members of the Royal College.

"Our recommendation is consequently that the result should be declared as per our election report of April 30,” Adrian Wilkins, ERS senior consultant stated in a letter.
 
The election results were declared the same day by returning officer Gordon Hockey, acting registrar.
 
The full letter from ERS can be read here.

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