Slow Postal Vote System Means Some People Could Miss Out
PUBLISHED: 11:58 22 April 2010 | UPDATED: 13:22 02 June 2010
A SOHAM woman has hit out at the district council over the handling of the postal voting system for the upcoming General Election. Belinda Clarke says that she was given just a day to download, complete and post back her application form to East Cambridge
A SOHAM woman has hit out at the district council over the handling of the postal voting system for the upcoming General Election.
Belinda Clarke says that she was given just a day to download, complete and post back her application form to East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) before the deadline passed and she would be unable to vote.
Dr Clarke, who will be out of the country on May 6 when the election will be held, said she had only received her polling card at the weekend but was told that if she wanted to apply for a postal vote she would have to have her form completed and sent back to the council by Tuesday, giving her just one working day to complete it,
"I feel very strongly about voting so despite the fact that I am due to be out of the country on May 6 I was determined to apply for a postal vote, she told the Ely Standard,
"When I contacted the council I was asked to download an application form from the website but it was so hard to find I had to be directed there. After I eventually found it I was told that I would have just one working day to complete it, which meant that I had to hand deliver it on Tuesday morning.
"I think as a local authority it simply is not good enough that the council were not organised on this and made it very difficult for people,
"I think there will be a lot of people out there wont be able to vote because of the deadline and because it was so hard to download the right forms."
A spokesman for ECDC said: "During the canvas period -September - November every year - local authorities send out voter registration forms for residents to register to vote and indicate whether, when an election comes, they would like to vote at a polling station or via the post.
"We use this information to send out polling cards to all residents confirming how they have selected to vote. The problem for all Councils is how tight the timetables are. We cannot send anything out to residents until we have received the writ - officially informing the Council of the election.
"We received this on Tuesday April 13, printed the polling cards on Wednesday April 14 and had them in the post for Thursday April 15. We have worked as quickly as we can but we are constrained by the legislation.