A SCOTTISH parliament election candidate whose name was misspelled on postal ballot papers has described the error as “an absolute disaster”.

Jesse Rae, of St Boswells, is running as an independent candidate for the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency.

On postal votes supplied by Scottish Borders Council (SBC), Mr Rae’s name appeared as ‘Jessie Rae’.

“People didn’t know it was me and they didn’t know I was standing," Mr Rae told the Border Telegraph.

“They misspelled my name and made me sound like a woman.”

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Mr Rae said he was contacted by a man on Facebook who said he would have voted for him had it not been for the misspelling.

Mr Rae was also excluded by ITV Border in its round-up of the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire candidates.

“As an independent candidate you just want a fair chance with everyone else,” Mr Rae said. “They’ve completely ruined my chances altogether.”

An SBC spokesperson said that more than 52,000 ballot papers to be used in polling places will be reprinted to show the correct spelling of Mr Rae’s name.

They added that more than 74 per cent of the electorate are unaffected.

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SBC chief executive Netta Meadows, who is the constituency returning officer, said: “Unfortunately in the printing of the ballot papers for the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire constituency a spelling mistake has been made in respect of the name of independent candidate Jesse Rae. The name appears on the ballot paper as Jessie Rae instead of Jesse Rae.

“We have apologised to Mr Rae for this error and for any embarrassment caused.”

Mr Rae said he was contacted by Ms Meadows who said that the three options discussed were to reprint all the ballot papers, some of them or none of them.

“I said to her that to reprint them all is the only one I can agree to because so many people will be voting via postal vote,” said Mr Rae.

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The council says that the decision to not reprint the postal vote ballot papers was due to the short timeframe between becoming aware of the issue and the election.

The SBC spokesperson added that letters have been sent out to postal voters “to reassure them that the ballot paper they have received remains valid”.

“They’ve had to send out 27,000 letters,” said Mr Rae. “Even if you have a three-day turnaround [between sending the postal votes and asking for them back] that would be better than sending out a letter saying they had misspelled my name.”

The outcome of the Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire count is set to be announced on Friday (May 7).