Well things are turning stranger by the minute.
With regards to the Hythe West by-election, which we wrote about on the 3 March 2023, raising the issues of missing votes, and the incorrect percentage turnout in the following blog post:
the Deputy Returning Officer, Dr Susan Priest, Chief Exec & Head of Paid Service for Folkestone & Hythe District Council (pictured) who oversaw the KCC by-election, states in a response to our public face the following:
“A recount took place at the Hythe West By-election because of a discrepancy of 2.” (votes)
However, no candidate or their agent recalls any recount. In fact many of them goes as far as to say categorically there was no recount, and nor was one requested by them, including the winning candidate Cllr Jenni Hawkins (Green). They also state they were not informed of any recount either.
Now who you choose to believe is up to you, but for transparency sake, we publish the letter sent to our public face, by Dr Priest.
Now we spoke about how two votes had gone missing and how the percentages for the turnout was wrong. Now on this second point the Deputy Returning Officer, Dr Susan Priest states in the letter to our public face the following regarding the percentage figure (%)
With regards to the percentage turnout, this is within the additional information we publish, but holds no part of the official declaration and is not announced by me as the Deputy Returning Officer. The Electoral Management System we use produces the turnout figure, the team has looked in to the discrepancy and are liaising with the new Electoral Management System supplier to ensure there are no discrepancies in the calculations going forward, however minimal.
The Supplier of the Council’s Electoral Management System is Democracy Counts. Contract details below:
So we called Democracy Counts and asked them if they’d had any notification from Folkestone & Hythe District Council about “errors or glitches in their software regarding % turnout”. At the time we spoke to them, they confirmed they’d had no feed back from the Council about discrepancies in the calculations due to their software.
So again who you choose to believe is up to you. Let’s not forget the words of Mrs Angry, a Barnet blogger, who states:
perhaps the most important quality to have is an instinct for misinformation, and a deep seated suspicion of the way in which local authorities operate. Always assume the worst: you will almost always be right.
We are concerned, deeply concerned given there will be local elections in May 2023. Losing votes and producing incorrect % turnout figures must not occur. These “irregularities” must not happen at any count. Dr Priest who will be the returning officer not the deputy, at the May elections, must give all candidates her full assurance, such events will NOT occur again. A single vote can make all the difference, if a Cllr is, or is not, elected.
The Shepway Vox Team
The Velvet Voices of Voxatiousness