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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Vote inquiry wants public views
Election count
The inquiry will look at why so many ballots were spoiled
The international expert who is to carry out the inquiry into the Scottish election voting fiasco will ask members of the public to submit their views.

Canadian Ron Gould, who has been invited by the Electoral Commission to lead the review, will also interview politicians and electoral officials.

He hopes to complete his inquiries into both the Holyrood and local government elections by the end of August.

More than 140,000 votes were discounted in the 3 May elections.

Mr Gould - who has helped to oversee more than 100 elections worldwide, including the first post-apartheid vote in South Africa - will arrive in Scotland in June.

Mr Gould plans to meet with all those who were involved in the elections
Electoral Commission spokesman

He has been tasked with examining issues including the high number of rejected ballots, the electronic counting process and the controversial decision to hold local elections on the same day as the Holyrood vote.

Mr Gould will be assisted by Michael Boda, an experienced elections practitioner and researcher, who wrote a study of the UK's system for administering elections.

The Electoral Commission has offered to provide any administrative support required by the review team.

A spokesman for the commission said: "Research and data collection are already under way.

Cause of delays

"Mr Gould plans to meet with all those who were involved in the elections, including government ministers and officials, returning officers and electoral administrators and political parties.

"Members of the public will also be able to submit their views to the review team."

The review will consider a wide range of evidence and information, including statistics on rejected ballot papers and the way in which the electronic counting process was planned and carried out.

It will also look at the cause of delays in the printing and dispatching of postal ballot packs to electors, and carry out research into the public's views.

The spokesman added: "The review is expected to be completed by the end of August. A more detailed timeline for the review will be announced later this month."

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