600 voters in Ipswich still waiting for postal vote forms with only a week to go until the election

Ballot papers should arrive today in the post.

Ballot papers should arrive today in the post.

Hundreds of people who applied for postal votes in the highly-marginal Ipswich seat should finally get their ballot papers today – nearly a week late.

Officials at the borough council were blaming a problem at their printers after about 600 people failed to receive the postal votes that they had applied for by the end of last week.

That is about 3% of the 18,000-20,000 postal votes that have been sent out across the borough. There are also some voters in the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich constituency in the 600.

Council chief executive and acting returning officer Russell Williams said yesterday: “Because of an error at an external printers there was a delay in sending out around 600 postal vote packs.

“Though this is beyond our control, we apologise for the delay. Our printers tell us these packs have now been sent and we anticipate they will arrive tomorrow(today).

“If your postal voting pack has not arrived in the post, please call our electoral services team on 01473 432533 to arrange a reissue – any reissues will be hand-delivered before the weekend.”

A spokesman for the borough said they could not work out how the problem had occurred – there was no clear pattern to it. In some households where two people had applied for a postal vote one had arrived while the other had not.

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The printing and distribution had been carried out by a specialist company which prints ballot papers for councils across the country.

Postal ballot papers have to arrive back at the council by 5pm on May 7, general election day, although anyone who has applied for a postal vote and has forgotten to fill in it can take it to their local polling station right up to the close of polls at 10pm on election day.

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