Tuesday, 1 May 2012

People urged to contact council if postal vote packs not arrived

People in Leeds still waiting for postal ballot forms for this week’s elections are urged to contact the council after reports some voting packs have not yet been delivered.

Voters are due to go to the polls on Thursday May 3 to vote in the local elections and mayoral referendum in Leeds.

A question mark has arisen over the delivery of up to 2,167 postal votes in the final batch due to be delivered by printers to Royal Mail for first class despatch on April 23. Leeds City Council has launched an investigation into what had happened to those packs after receiving calls from 90 people in that batch to say they had not yet arrived.

Unfortunately replacement ballot packs cannot be re-delivered by post. This is because regulations state that if an elector does not receive their postal vote they must provide proof of identity to receive a replacement.

Tom Riordan, Returning Officer for Leeds City Council, said:
“It’s unfortunate that out of nearly 100,000 postal packs that this number appear to have been mislaid. I’m satisfied that the council did everything it should to ensure that the ballot packs were ready and issued in plenty of time.

“We are making special arrangements to ensure everyone who registered to vote by post is able to do so. We urge people to contact us if their pack has not arrived.

“It will not be possible for people to vote twice, since if a request is received to re-issue a pack the original pack is cancelled. If the original is returned it would be rejected during verification of the votes.

Anyone who is still waiting for their ballot pack can call the council on 0113- 222 4411 to arrange to collect a replacement from the elections office at Leeds Town Hall on The Headrow.

Arrangements have been made for the office to be open late until 8pm today and tomorrow (Tue/Wed May 1/2) to allow access for people unable to call in during the day. It will also be open right up until the deadline of 5pm on polling day on Thursday- this is the normal legal deadline for the re-issue of postal ballot packs.

The Town Hall’s car parking spaces will also be made available to the public for the collection of replacement postal packs only.

Special arrangements are being made by the council for people who have difficulty in getting to the Town Hall, particularly the elderly or other vulnerable people- please call the elections number on 0113- 222 4411 to discuss.

It will not be too late to return the completed forms since all postal ballots can be returned by post as late as 5pm on voting day. They can also be handed in to any Leeds polling stations or at the Town Hall up till 10pm on polling day.

Leeds City Council has this year issued postal ballot packs to 94,753 voters.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk