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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 23:59 GMT
MPs begin election fiasco inquiry
Ballot papers, May 2007
Thousands of ballot papers were spoilt in the May elections
MPs are set to begin an inquiry into the fiasco over spoilt ballot papers which marred the Scottish Parliament and local government elections in May.

The investigation by Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee will involve questioning election officials and the Scotland Office Minister David Cairns.

Last month an independent review led by the Canadian elections expert Ron Gould was scathing about the elections.

It found mistakes at all levels, with the voter treated as an "afterthought".

More than 140,000 ballots were spoilt on 3 May when votes were held for the Scottish Parliament.

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Tens of thousands more ballots were rejected for the local authority elections, which were held on the same day, under a separate electoral system.

Mr Gould said the interests of the voters were not considered by those who authorised the electoral system.

The Scottish Parliament elections were under the control of the Scotland Office, a Westminster department.

The local council elections were organised by Holyrood.

A recommendation from Mr Gould was that responsibility for both council and Scottish Parliament elections should be assigned to one entity - logically the Scottish Government.

The committee will look at the role of the Scotland Office in administering the elections.



SEE ALSO
'I didn't nobble election expert'
28 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Alexander makes election apology
24 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Probe says May poll failed voters
23 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Reliving the election night chaos
23 Oct 07 |  Scotland
May elections review at-a-glance
23 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Ballots 'rejected automatically'
03 Sep 07 |  Scotland

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