Postal voters could be ‘robbed of their democratic right’ due to the late delivery of voting packs.
During a quality assurance check, Winchester City Council found that 4,000 postal vote packs fell below standard and had to be reprinted ahead of the local elections next week.
Patricia Stallard, chairman of the Meon Valley Conservative Association believes this will leave voters with little time to return their vote.
‘The city council has now delayed the despatch of the postal vote packs until Wednesday, April 27,’ she said.
‘That date is barely a week away from election day on May 5 and it also includes a bank holiday.
‘Voters who had planned to travel over the election period, perhaps departing before April 28, will not now be able to vote.
‘It is to be hoped that the finalisation of the result would be delayed sufficiently so that postal voters who cannot get their ballot paper back by 5th May are not robbed of their democratic right.
‘The failure to ensure the prompt, and on time despatch of the postal vote papers by the Lib Dem administration has provided yet another first for Winchester City Council, not a record of which they should be proud.’
A council spokesperson said that the reprinted packs were despatched on Monday including to voters overseas.
‘All remaining packs will be with the Royal Mail by Wednesday, April 27 and should be with residents the next day.
‘We encourage residents to complete and return their postal vote as soon as possible so it is with us by 10pm on Thursday, May 5.
‘The packs can be posted back to the city council, taken in person to our reception or put in our post box at Colebrook Street, Winchester. Sealed postal packs can also be taken to polling stations on election day.
‘All postal votes have been dispatched in line with the national timetable and there is more information on our webpages.’