LETTER: What is wrong with the postal voting system

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Once more this year, questions have been raised about the propriety of the postal voting system currently in place.

I have been the secretary of Pendle Labour Party for several years and it is my opinion the cause of many problems experienced over the years is quite clear, and I have written on more than one occasion concerning this to the Electoral Commission, the Electoral Reform Society, various MPs and Lords as well as Pendle Elections Department.

Clearly, many of the problems experienced by election staff and party workers are due to the fact people who have their postal vote rejected by the election staff for whatever reason are never told their postal vote has been rejected and the grounds for rejection.

If they were told, voters could then contact friends, election staff or people of their political persuasion for help in understanding what they are doing wrong in time for the next election.

Until this happens, there is no way of tracking why postal vote papers are rejected by election staff. Someone may be sending in their postal vote under the delusion they are doing their democratic duty, but their vote never gets counted ase the flourish of their signature goes slightly outside the marked box. Is it a fair system when people using their postal vote never get informed when and why their ballot paper is rejected?

Given the present situation, the consequential question is - how do party workers ensure postal votes are satisfactorily completed so they will not be rejected by election staff?

Surely, it’s not difficult to understand that hard-working party volunteers, keen for their side to win, try to help ensure people completing postal ballot forms do so properly and get them to the count on time?

With Pendle Labour Party, I have ensured party volunteers know that any assistance given must be in line with the current guidelines and Code of Practice of the Electoral Commission.

DAVID FOAT

Pendle CLP Secretary