Were 1,000 voters’ poll cards not delivered?

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More than 1,000 poll cards are alleged to have gone missing in Mexborough during last week’s council elections.

Residents have contacted the South Yorkshire Times complaining that they did not receive poll cards and were not informed about the alternatives until late on polling day.

Doncaster Council is investigating the error and Mexborough councillor Sue Phillips said staff had “no idea” how it happened.

Market trader Bill Lawrence, who is calling for an explanation for the mistake, which also affected other parts of the borough said: “It is a sad fact that Doncaster Council seems to be notorious for blunders. We have now witnessed the council’s poor handling of the local elections in regards to my belief that most of Mexborough’s potential voters never received a poll card.

“I can never remember such a serious error happening in the nearly 50 years of my participation in elections, an error which might have put Doncaster MBC in breach of their legal obligations under electoral law”.

Coun Sue Phillips told the Times: ”We are going to sit down with our chief executive Jo Miller and the head of legal services to see what has gone wrong. I was flagging this up all last week, but it was never identified as a problem.

“I spoke to one postman in Mexborough and he said he had only delivered around 1,000 polling cards when normally he delivers 3,000.

“Our staff don’t know where the problem lies. We know the cards went out on March 27. The printers printed them and we know that because they were all scanned. There seems to have been a big black hole somewhere - it is not just Mexborough it is all over Doncaster. Doncaster Council’s assistant director of legal and democratic services, Roger Harvey, said: “Voter turnout in Doncaster reflected similar figures from across the country and we are aware there were a number of residents who didn’t receive their postal vote or polling card as we would have expected.

“However, we worked hard to let residents know how they could still vote and ensure alternative and successful arrangements were put in place for these cases. We will of course now be working with our partners to establish where improvements can be made for future arrangements.”