Doncaster Council admits delays to issuing 1,300 postal votes – what to do if this affects you

Doncaster Council has admitted there has been a delay in hundreds of postal votes being sent to people who requested them, less than two days before local and mayoral elections.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 8:33 pm
Civic Office of Doncaster Council

The Local Democracy Reporting Service understands residents from across the borough have contacted candidates to say they had not received their postal vote.

Council bosses have blamed ‘printing’ issues with 1,300 ballots and said they had been assured that postal votes were delivered over the bank holiday weekend.

Postal votes should have arrived to residents by April 19.

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But Gary Warrender, aged 73, from Auckley, said he was one of the residents affected and rang up the council to complain. He added he’s had a postal vote since he’s not been too good on his feet after he had a double knee operation.

He said a council employee came round to hand deliver two postal votes from him and his wife but one did not have the correct returning envelope and the other had wrong information.

“It was handed to me on Tuesday afternoon at 2.30pm and we can’t use it to send it back because it’s not correct – I don’t think it would get to the council in time now anyway,” he said.

“It saddens me because I’m two minds whether to fill them in and take them down to the polling station or to just throw it in the bin and forget about it. It’s not good for people who are in this position and can’t get down to the polling station.

A council candidate who didn’t wish to be named, said: “This isn’t good enough, we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we are expected to see a larger than usual increase in people wanting to use postal votes.

“Some people will now not be able to get down to the polling station – even if their vote arrives, there won’t be enough time for people to send it back.

“It’s all well and good saying to people they can hand it in but the point of a postal vote is for people who won’t be able to get there for whatever reason.”

A Doncaster Council spokesman said: “We are encouraging people who opted to vote by post to return their votes as soon as possible.

“They can also drop them off at their local polling station or at the council’s Waterdale Civic Office by 10pm on Thursday.

“We did have a couple of days’ delay in a small second batch of 1,300 postal votes being sent out via our printer which we were assured have now been delivered over the bank holiday weekend.

“For those who were registered to receive a postal vote but haven’t yet for whatever reason, please contact 01302 736000 for a replacement.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.