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High rates of spoilt ballot papers recorded in Devon and Cornwall Police commissioner elections

By Rich_Booth  |  Posted: November 17, 2012

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Over 3% of votes in the Devon and Cornwall elections were classed as spoilt ballots in an election that saw a record low turnout.

The number of papers spoilt was 6,339 out of the overall 196,987 votes cast in the Crime Commissioner elections.

The total number of ballot papers verified in Exeter was 13,798 just 15.44% of the 89,354 electorate.

Voters’ lack of knowledge and the decision to hold the poll in November were all blamed for the poor turnout in Devon.

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw has launched a scathing attack on the process of the police and crime commissioner elections describing them as “A complete shambles.”

It was also reported that many of the spoilt votes had messages scrawled across them and a tumblr has been set up to showcase the scribbled on papers and record public unhappiness at the overall process.

Remarks on the papers included "I object to politicising the police" and “I vote for Batman”.

The 6,339 spoilt ballot figure is in fact higher than the number of votes received for independent candidate Tam Macpherson, a Plymouth businessman who received 4,306 votes in the elections.

The ten candidates – the most of any of the 41 elections nationally – were fighting for the £85,000-a-year post in Devon and Cornwall.

Tony Hogg, the Conservative candidate, took 69,419 votes, easily beating his rival Brian Greenslade, a Liberal Democrat who stood as an independent.

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