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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007, 23:18 GMT 00:18 UK
Disparity in spoilt ballot papers
Edinburgh count

The number of spoilt ballot papers in Scotland's council elections was far fewer than in the parliamentary vote, BBC Scotland can reveal.

Figures show that 38,341 local government votes were rejected compared to about 140,000 in the Holyrood poll.

The figures boost critics' claims that the parliament ballot paper confused voters.

They say having both the constituency and list MSP votes on the same sheet led to the rise in spoilt ballots.

The BBC's Newsnight Scotland programme found that the number of rejected council votes was also higher than in previous years but the figure was still mush less than the parliamentary election.

Proportional representation

The new council voting system used numbers instead of crosses so people could use their new single transferable vote.

The Holyrood vote used a different system of proportional representation - the additional member system - using two crosses.

The two systems involved the same people voting at the same time and the votes were counted or rejected by the same machines.

The figures suggest that voters seemed to understand the new system for the councils much better than the existing system, for Holyrood.

New figures show the number of rejected council votes

Scotland's rejected council votes
16 May 07 |  Scotland
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15 May 07 |  Scotland
Expert to head elections review
14 May 07 |  Scotland
Independent expert to probe vote
10 May 07 |  Scotland
Rejected votes more than thought
09 May 07 |  Scotland
Parties backed single ballot plan
08 May 07 |  Scotland
Holyrood vote may face challenges
06 May 07 |  Scotland


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