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Residents lose their say after East Suffolk postal votes are delayed

PUBLISHED: 16:25 25 April 2019

Postal votes from East Suffolk Council have failed to arrive on time. Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

Postal votes from East Suffolk Council have failed to arrive on time. Picture: EAST SUFFOLK COUNCIL

East Suffolk Council

East Suffolk council officials insist they have done nothing wrong despite postal vote forms failing to arrive in time for people to take part in this year's local elections.

They say postal vote forms were sent out on time last Thursday – and should have all arrived at the start of this week.

However a couple from Felixstowe say they are missing out on their votes in the local elections.

They have now headed off abroad on holiday, and will not be able to cast their votes. They did not want to be identified while their house is empty.

The wife wondered if it might be due to the changeover in council organisation, with the former Suffolk Coastal council now being part of East Suffolk.

She said they had both applied for postal votes around five or six weeks ago, so they would still be able to vote despite being away.

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However, the forms had still not arrived on Wednesday, and they travelled first thing Thursday morning, before the post arrived.

She said: “My husband has been chasing them up – I was at work so I wasn't able to call. He got an email saying they were sending them out yesterday, so they should arrive today (Wednesday), but they haven't turned up.”

She had spoken to someone from the council who then said the forms had been posted. The council said they were not able to send replacements out until Friday, but that would be too late for them.

The woman, a Conservative supporter, said she was keen to vote to show her support for the party, and added that small numbers of votes can make all the difference in a council election.

“I am angry, because a lot of people at the moment are saying they don't want to vote. But I have always voted, because I feel strongly that we should. My husband told them this would be the first time in 42 years that he hadn't voted.

“I have also spoken to another man who said he hadn't had his postal vote form through either, so I don't know how many people may be affected.”

A spokeswoman for East Suffolk Council said: “I can confirm that the postal votes was sent out by us on 10 April for those who signed up for one before 9 March and 18 April for those who signed up after 9 March.

“I understand it is disappointing for those concerned, but it was posted as scheduled from us.”

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