Election officials might have been more suspicious about postal ballots seized during a midnight raid on a Birmingham warehouse if police officers who attended the scene had given a fuller description of what they saw.
The admission, by city council chief executive Lin Homer, was given to an election court which is considering allegations of corruption by Labour candidates in Aston at last year's local authority elections.
The court heard from council elections officer John Owen that police officers who went to a Witton industrial estate shortly before polling day to discover Labour candidates and supporters surrounded by 275 postal ballots failed to tell him that the ballot papers were open and unsealed when they arrived.
When the police returned later, after taking advice from a senior officer, the ballot papers were in envelopes and sealed ready to be deposited at the elections office.
A police officer delivered the envelopes to Mr Owen, who agreed to admit them to the count.
Liberal Democrat organisers of an election petition say the votes were forged.
Mr Owen told the court he made several calls to the West Midlands Police fraud squad in an attempt to discover more about the circumstances surrounding the warehouse votes, but he gave up after he could not get through.
Asked by counsel for the Aston petitioners whether the votes would have been treated differently if she or Mr Owen had known the ballot papers were not sealed, Mrs Homer replied: "I have to say if the description we have now been given had been shared, John and I would have liked a fuller conversation with the police.
"We made the correct decision on the information available to us. If we had been given a fuller picture we would have expected a much fuller conversation and then reached a decision."
Ravi Sukul, representing the Aston petitioners, told Mr Owen: "I suggest you knew full well that when the police first visited the warehouse they saw the votes scattered over a large table in the presence of six Asian men and you knew that had happened."
Mr Owen said he had no recollection of being told.
The case continues.