Posted on Friday 29th November 2019
With 55,000 registered postal voters in the BCP Council area there is always the potential for issues to arise, especially when dealing with a snap election.
In this case it appears a handful of postal voting packs sent out enclose not only the recipient’s form but also those belonging to an additional elector.
The numbers appear very small – just 0.06 per cent of registered postal voters so far - and as these have been reported they are formally recorded and a member of Elections team has visited to collect the form before redelivering a postal voting pack to the correct elector.
We would like to reassure everyone that due to the high number of failsafe checks and measures in place with the postal voting system, we are confident that the risk of anyone casting more than one vote is fully mitigated. Every postal vote has to pass automated and then manual verification processes.
For anyone concerned about data protection, the names and addresses of all voters on the electoral roll is publicly available information.
The last batch of postal votes for people who applied after the 13 November are due to be despatched on the 3 December but if you have registered to have one and not received yours by December 6 or have received more than your own voting form, please contact our Elections Team on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Council’s Customer Services for your area.
We are in constant communication with our printing supplier about how this has happened and apologise to anyone who has been affected.
For this election we have a contract with Print Image Network Ltd to undertake all our elections printing; with completed postal vote packs audited onsite prior to release into the Royal Mail. They are recognised as one of the leading electoral printing and mailing suppliers and used by many other councils across the country.
Council staff are making every effort to ensure there is no interruption to the voting process for any person, and the printers are helping wherever possible
In a second issue we are aware that the date of birth entry box in the postal voting statement has been pre-printed with either “20” when the recipient was born pre 2000, or vice versa. We have identified that 838 people have been affected by this.
We apologise to those who have received the incorrect number and advise electors affected just to cross out the incorrect information and overwrite it. We can assure them this will not affect the verification of their postal vote.
We have also written to all 838 people overnight explaining what they need to do.
All agents and candidates are being kept informed and the Council has also voluntarily reported the issue to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
We continue to monitor the situation closely.