FUKUOKA – Election officials at three polling stations in Kyushu mixed up single-seat and proportional-representation ballots Sunday, affecting 66 voters in Sunday’s House of Representatives general election, administrators said.
At a polling station in Kitakyushu, officials mistakenly passed out proportional ballots to 22 voters at a table designated for the distribution of constituency ballots. Voters must write the names of their chosen political parties on the proportional ballots and of individual candidates on the constituency ballots.
The officials recovered ballots from 15 voters before they were cast but were too late to stop the remaining seven, the Kitakyushu election committee said.
Although the Public Office Election Law prohibits voting slips from being reissued — even in the event of administrators issuing the wrong slips — the officials at the polling station gave the seven voters new ballots for the constituency seats, the committee said, adding that the number of constituency votes will therefore outnumber voters who cast ballots at the polling station.
At another station in the same city, administrators gave 24 voters two proportional slips each instead of one constituency ballot and one proportional ballot.
All of the voters cast their ballots before the officials noticed the error, meaning that the number of proportional slips will outnumber the registered voters.
In the city of Miyazaki, 10 voters were given the incorrect papers, and six cast them, Miyazaki election committee officials said.
The committee did not reissue ballots, and the votes cast by the six will be counted as invalid.
“Voting slips for the two types of contests were mixed up in machines that automatically issue slips for voters. We regret the error,” a Miyazaki committee official said.
Deluge delays polls
KAGOSHIMA (Kyodo) Heavy rain lashed southern Kagoshima Prefecture from late Saturday to early Sunday morning, causing floods and delays in the delivery of ballots for the general election in the town of Bonotsu.
At two polling stations in Bonotsu, voting for the House of Representatives election was delayed for 31/2 hours from the scheduled start time of 7 a.m. because a mudslide prevented ballots from reaching the stations on time.
In Makurazaki, 12.6 cm of rain fell from 4 to 5 a.m. Sunday, the highest hourly downpour recorded by the city, according to the Kagoshima meteorological observatory.
Fifty-five households were flooded in Makurazaki and Bonotsu, but no one was injured, police said.
Train services were also affected by the deluge. Fifteen trains running between Makurazaki and Kiire on the Ibusuki-Makurazaki line were canceled as of 9:30 a.m., Kyushu Japan Railway Co. said.