I made sure I was registered for postal voting, but am still waiting for the voting form to arrive. Listening to the BBC, I hear that some UK residents have already voted! Typically, the British are willfully ignorant of anything that happens abroad and don't take account of foreign bank holidays. If I am lucky, I could get this around noon tomorrow, leaving me just three hours to get to the post office in time for the afternoon collection and a chance that it could arrive before voting closes. Not good enough, I think. No wonder expats don't bother to register. If you are in one of those countries where the post takes a week or more to arrive - no chance!
Gary, 19 days before the election is the deadline if you want to stand as a candidate. Then the ballot papers can be printed. So those responsible for sending out the postal votes need to move PDQ if we are to have any chance of getting our votes back in time. If you live in Spain or Italy or some others, you probably don't have a snowball's. The only sensible answer is online voting. That would also save a lot of money in postage. But that doesn't matter to me, because by the time of the next election, I will not be allowed to vote. So I now think of myself as a citizen of Europe and no longer a British subject.
Despite getting a confirmation that I had registered some months ago, I didn't get my postal vote either. Scandalous considering the election date was known well in advance.
The the postal service as we know it has been in existence for nearly 200 years. Since the whole electoral process still depends on 19th century technology, you would think they would have got it right by now.......
It wasn't hard to get right, a few hundred per constituency on average, they could have had them printed in an hour, and all in the post on 10th. I suggest the Electoral Commission should have been aware that local officers were often second rate (for so it seems) and should have been on their case before it was too late. Giving people instructions isn't enough.
My local council (Cambridge) posted everything on 22nd (they say proudly), cutting it fine for far flung places, and needlessly 10 days later than they might have. They also contrived to give my proxy a vote in the city council elections! Has something happened to the appointment process, or was it ever thus, just the internet making us aware?
I got confirmation of my right to a postal vote but did not get my papers in time to vote. Pissed off after the effort to make sure that I could vote that in the event it did not work.
I have in the past received letters from the UK which have been sent by surface mail because they were inadequately stamped. Took about a month. I guess the post office saves them up until they have enough to ship them in bulk. Could be the same thing has happened here?
I am aware that the Electoral Commission gave detailed instructions to all the 650 local Registration Officers.
That body cannot be faulted. It appears that some if not many EROs bundled all the postal voters envelopes together and sent them en bloc to the post office franked with local UK postal rates.
Also, many local offices would have taken on temporary staff to deal with the extra load of work at this time. Inadequately briefed and not understanding the nature of the work no doubt!
There must be a detailed examination by the Electoral Commission after the election and a detailed grilling of the methodology of the 650 EROs.
I complained to the Electoral commission after complaining to my local authority and this was the reply I received form them:-
Thank you for your email to the Electoral Commission.
We are sorry to hear that you have had problems regarding your postal vote.
Our guidance to electoral administrators is clear that postal votes sent to overseas electors should be prioritised to allow the maximum time for them to be returned. We are aware that some overseas voters have raised concerns that they are yet to receive their postal ballot packs and we will look carefully at the evidence shared with us on this when we consider what issues to raise in our statutory election report, which will be laid in the UK Parliament in the summer.
If you wish to make a complaint on this issue, we would suggest you first direct it to the Monitoring Officer at your local authority. If you would like to take your complaint further, you will need to contact the Local Government Ombudsman http://www.lgo.org.uk/
Please let me know if you require any further information
The Electoral Commission
3 Bunhill Row
London EC1Y 8YZ
Putting voters first
Fame at last! Pity it isn't my favorite news medium.......
It asks for a password but you just press ESC and it's all ok.
I've added a comment linkimg back to here
I have not received my voting papers, even though I applied via the government website (who forwarded my applications on to my council) twice and emailed them twice last week. I have made a formal complaint to the Returning Officer for North Dorset, forwarding my complaint to all the North Dorset Parliamentary candidates and also the Electoral Commission. So far I have not been impressed by all the 'bum' covering that is going on at the council and have therefore decided to elevate my complaint to the Ombudsman. Too late for me to vote as I have been disenfranchised but I am blooming hopping mad.
Jane, I got this from Yahoo News and then just did a google search to find the article in the Independent which just opened on my PC (I don't subscribe to any of these news services). The article in the Independent didn't seem to differentiate between UK or Overseas but judging from our group the overseas vote is severely impacted!
Simon, your link requires a user name and password.
Can you tell us if this refers to postal voters within the UK only or does it include overseas voters as well?
This from the Independent News Paper
A significant minority of voters will have opted to vote by post rather than in person. For the 2010 general election, 6,996,006 postal ballot papers were issued – an increase of 1,633,505 on 2005, and equivalent to 15.3 per cent of the electorate.
Well over 1 million of these were not returned before the close of polling, while a further 183,453 were spoilt.
This left 5,596,865 postal votes that counted towards the result of the election.
Postal voters are more likely to vote successfully than other potential voters. Postal voting papers were issued to 15.3 per cent of the electorate in 2010 – but postal votes represented 18.8 per cent of the total votes cast.
I've decided it is a plot against all us rats who have deserted a sinking ship. They think if we choose to live in France/Spain/EU Land what right have we got to have a say in how UK is run. So they devise diferent ways to scupper our chances of exercising our constitutional right to vote for the people who decide how much tax we pay on our goverment pensions, what state pension we get and freezing our age-related tax-free allowance. They probably give a bonus to the council which comes up with the most imaginative and effective scheme. I know our last three chances of voting came to nothing due to late arrival of forms and nonexistent voting forms. I wonder what will happen when referendum time comes round.
I agree, Lesley.
This is the reply I got from my constituency when requesting a proxy vote:-
You can apply for an emergency proxy vote up until 5.00pm on polling day. There are strict criteria for applications for these, however, and the completed application forms need to be countersigned by someone with the necessary authority to do so.
Details of the criteria for voting by emergency proxy, of who can authorise this application for you and of who you can nominate to vote for you can be found here, alongside the application form you will need: http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/register-to-vote/apply-to-vote-by-proxy . You should return this to us by email to this address as soon as possible, and before 5.00pm on the 7th of May 2015 at the latest, with the necessary information and authorisation, or we may not be able to issue you with an emergency proxy vote.
Your nominated proxy must be fully registered, although not necessarily in Waltham Forest. They must, however, be able to attend to vote on your behalf at your designated polling station – which may not necessarily be theirs. Unquote
So for the first time since I was 18 I will not be voting. As Catherine Tait would say "Bothered - yes I am bloomin bothered"
To say get an emergency proxy vote is no help - I have no contact now with anyone in my old constituency! The whole thing is a farce!