RCN apologises after members sent the ‘wrong ballot papers’ for Council elections

Electoral Reform Service (ERS) has confirmed an investigation is underway.

Ian Snug
11 September 2019
Red Postbox Letter

Around 1,500 members in the London and Yorkshire and the Humber regions have been sent the wrong ballot papers.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has issued an apology after around 1,500 members in the London and Yorkshire and the Humber regions were sent incorrect ballot papers for the colleges’ Council elections.


According to the unions’ website, the ruling Council provides leadership and direction for the organisation, ensures it has a clear vision and strategic plan, acts as a guardian of the unions’ assets and holds management to account.

Electoral Reform Service (ERS), the independent company the paid to oversee the election, has confirmed an investigation is underway.

A ‘miscarriage of democracy’.

Anthony Johnson, a Health Visitor and RCN Member, said in an email to Sue Warner, the current Chair of Council, that the mistake is a serious “miscarriage of democracy”.

He added; “As a ‘democratic’ organisation we currently have a situation where two regions have had inequality built into their democratic mandates. It is not acceptable for members in my region to have less of a say in their council member than there is in any other.”


Members who believe they have received the incorrect ballot paper have been advised to email the RCN at elections@rcn.org.uk with their name, membership number and the serial number of the paper for a replacement.

The mistake comes only a year after the union was accused of “misrepresenting” the NHS pay deal to its members.

‘We apologise’.

A Royal College of Nursing spokesperson confirmed the mistake and said: “ERS, the independent scrutineer, overseeing the printing and distribution of the Council elections for the College, have advised us that a small number of members have received the wrong ballot papers for the elections.

“We apologise to any members in this position.  Anyone who thinks they have received the wrong ballot paper should email us at elections@rcn.org.ukwith their name, RCN membership number, which ballot paper they’ve received and the serial number on that ballot paper.  The serial number is eight digits long and is on the top right-hand corner of the ballot paper.


“ERS will then arrange for the correct ballot paper to be posted to them at the beginning of next week.”

Members of the union have until the 30th of September to return their ballot paper.

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