Following the news that 1,423 votes were not counted, Greens raise significant questions about democratic processes and accountability
Yesterday, Brighton & Hove City Council announced that 1,423 postal votes cast in the May 2023 local elections were not counted. This was due to the delivery of these votes coming after the 10pm deadline, despite it being unknown when they were cast.
The council has issued an investigation into Royal Mail, and whilst Greens welcome this as a way to stop the problem happening again, they express huge concern that this does nothing to resolve the issue in the 2023 local elections themselves.
It is unknown what wards these uncounted votes were cast in, but Greens point out that 1,423 votes across the different wards might well have impacted the outcomes of multiple wards. Green candidates lost by just 32 votes in Preston Park, 6 votes in Brunswick and Adelaide, and 1 vote in Regency.
A Freedom of Information Request has been submitted asking for key details. In addition, Greens have written to the Labour administration and Chief Executive with pressing questions and to call for an independent investigation, and are ready to take further action if necessary.
Green Group Convenor Steve Davis [he/him] said
“This deeply concerning news is leading people across the city to ask whether there was potential foul play in the election held last month.
“There are serious questions to be asked. Why were voters not told sooner that 1,423 of them were not counted? Who decided to keep this quiet? If those votes were counted, what would the result of the election have been? Is it a fair election if huge numbers of ballots go ignored?
“Democracy depends on every vote being counted, and we’ve just been told that they weren’t. The city needs thorough answers, and they need them quickly. Greens will be ensuring they get them.”