Ballots late around world

Many ballots have not arrived on time

Connexion has heard from dozens of people who have not had their postal ballots for Thursday’s UK election

CONNEXION has now heard from several dozen British readers who have not received postal ballots for this week’s UK general election and the Electoral Commission says the problem is worldwide.

A spokeswoman for the commission confirmed they have been monitoring the situation and have noted problems reported around the world with some people not receiving their ballot packs.

They are keen to hear from people to understand how they are affected, though the commission is not able to intervene with councils for the public, she said.

Some councils are accepting as a last-ditch measure to email out an emergency proxy ballot application, which can be printed, signed, scanned and emailed back. This is so that a voter in the constituency where you last lived can vote for you.

Since today is a UK bank holiday, you may have to wait until tomorrow (Tuesday) to request this if you have not done so.

The spokeswoman said councils are allowed to do this, though not all are accepting to do it, and they are not obliged to under current rules.

“We say to them that they can do this; ideally it’s something they should be offering. This is something we should look at when we do our post election report. We will be following up the election, taking note of all the problems and making recommendations afterwards about how things can be improved.”

The spokeswoman added: “We impress on councils that they should prioritise sending out postal ballots to overseas voters at the earliest opportunity. The postal system can be unreliable, but it does appear some have been sending them out quite late.

"We monitor social media and we see that quite a lot of people are saying that they have not received them, which is not ideal at all.

“We always say that if you live far away it’s probably best to go for a proxy vote to be sure the postal ballot isn’t going to fail, but it should not be a problem from France and we realise it’s very disappointing for people.”

Connexion intends to send the commission a selection of reader comments received, editing out contact names and other personal details. However the commission spokeswoman said they are also interested to hear from people directly on info[at]electoralcommission.org.uk

“That will help us to assess how big a problem it has been at these elections – it’s good to have evidence,” she said.

If you have not had your ballot Connexion would also still like to hear from you, so we can continue to monitor how our readers are affected, at news[at]connexionfrance.com

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