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Monday, 17 May 2010

What are my postal voting rights?

Having said previously that I'm an angry expat because I haven't received my vote, it is 11 days after the date of the UK General Election (6th May 2010) and still neither my wife or I have received our postal vote ballot papers.

Two seperate emails ( 30th April & 7th May) have been sent to the Electoral Registration Officer of the North Kesteven District Council pointing out the fact that we have not received the voting papers, and to seek clarification and proof that the papers were actually sent. The Council Officer has failed to reply to either of the two emails. The conclusion that must be reached is that the gentleman doesn't give a dam!

Having read the article What are my postal voting rights? by Corinna Ferguson of the Guardian it would seem there is no further action that can be taken. She writes
Under regulation 76, returning officers may use royal mail, commercial postal services or they can deliver ballot packs by hand. The court of appeal found in a case in 2004 that the returning officer's obligations are discharged by handing the ballots to the royal mail or other carrier, and that he or she cannot be held liable for delays in the postal system. This was partly because regulation 78 provides a safety net for when the ballot papers are not received.

It will interesting to see, if the ballot papers ever arrive, whether or not the full and correct address was used for the posting. Does an incorrect address put the liability back in the hands of the electoral registration officer?

Of course there is always the wonder - were the voting papers ever sent!

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