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Ipswich postal vote for 2019 elections fails to arrive

PUBLISHED: 17:16 26 April 2019 | UPDATED: 18:36 26 April 2019

Postal votes can be handed in to a polling station if it is too late for them to be returned in time via the mailbox.  Picture: SARAH lUCY BROWN

Postal votes can be handed in to a polling station if it is too late for them to be returned in time via the mailbox. Picture: SARAH lUCY BROWN

Archant

More postal votes in Suffolk appear to have gone missing as a second council was reportedly hit by problems.

On Thursday the new East Suffolk Council insisted postal votes had been sent out on time last Thursday, despite some people not having received theirs.

Now, it has emerged that some who applied for postal votes for Ipswich had not had theirs delivered by Friday, April 26.

One postal voter, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had been chasing the council for three days attempting to find out what had happened.

He said: “Ipswich finally admitted to me this morning [April 26] there were postal votes that went missing.

“They are sorting me another one out but I have got to go and collect it personally.

“I am able to do that but I think there are people that are infirm who can't – I don't think it's fair [for people].

“I have had to be really persistent – voters shouldn't have to go through that.”

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However the council has said that it has sent all of the postal votes out.

A council spokeswoman said: “All postal votes for the local elections on May 2 have now gone out to everyone who requested one by the deadline of April 15.

“If you have not received your postal vote by Monday, please contact our elections office on 01473 432533 so that a replacement can be arranged.”

The spokesman added that the council had only received one formal complaint.

The anonymous voter said he feared others may have lost out on the opportunity to vote if their postal vote had not been sent correctly.

Government guidance on postal ballots suggests that if postal vote papers have not arrived by Friday, April 26, then the local authority should be contacted and a replacement paper sent.

Those with postal votes cannot vote in person at a polling station, although postal votes can be handed in to the polling station by 10pm on the day of the elections if it is too late to send in the post.

At East Suffolk Council, a spokesman confirmed all postal votes had been sent before its deadline.

It is understood that there have not been any other postal vote issues reported to any of the other district or borough councils in Suffolk up for election this year.

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