West Lothian had 1,173 spoiled votes on election day

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Almost 54,000 people voted for the new council in West Lothian on polling day, May 5.

Figures released from the count show that 53,694 votes were cast across the nine wards, where there are a total of 144,909 eligible voters.

Voters were reminded in the days before, and at the polling stations, to choose preferences using numbers, but some still used the X.

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On papers where a single X showed a preference fo a candidate this was often accepted at adjudication which took place, with consultation of all candidates in wards during the count.

Obvious spoiled papers were peppered with foul language and drawings or multiple markings.

Of all the votes cast 1,173 were judged to be spoiled during adjudication.

The highest numbers of spoiled papers was in Whitburn and Blackburn where 204 papers out of total votes cast 6,340.

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The lowest was Armadale and Blackridge where the figure was 58 from 5,314 votes cast.

Stock photo by Scott Louden.Stock photo by Scott Louden.
Stock photo by Scott Louden.

Reports from across the county reported slow and steady voting throughout Thursday which suggests that many more voters have opted for postal votes which have been made easier to apply for since the pandemic.

The council issued more than 30,000 postal votes in the run-up to polling day. These could also be returned by hand to council offices or polling stations on the day.