Voters unable to get to the polling booths on election day have two other options to make sure they can cast their vote.
Kirklees Council spelled out the options for postal and proxy voting after a Colne Valley resident discovered that he will not be able to vote by post – despite applying just minutes after his polling card hit the doormat yesterday (Thurs, May 11).
David Townend, who lives at Linthwaite, phoned the council to apply for a postal vote because he will be on holiday on June 8.
But he was told he was too late to get a postal vote – despite his prompt call – because his postal vote form would not arrive at his address until after he had left on holiday.
Mr Townend branded the system a “shambles” and argued that thousands would be denied a vote “because of the incompetence of the organisers”.
Under law, the closing date for receipt of applications to vote by post in he June 8 general Election is 5pm on Tuesday, May 23.
But people applying for a postal vote between Wednesday, May 3, and May 23 will not receive their voting form until about Tuesday, May 30.
That means anyone away from home between May 30 and election day is unlikely to be able to use their postal vote as it will arrive at their address while they are away.
A Kirklees Council spokesperson said that in those circumstances, people had the option of applying for a proxy vote form, nominating someone else to vote on their behalf on June 8. The deadline for receipt of proxy vote applications is 5pm on Wednesday, May 31.
Anyone can act as a proxy, providing they are registered to vote and are allowed to vote in the same type of election. A proxy can vote for two people in the same election or more people if the extra people are close relatives.
Applications for a proxy vote form can be downloaded at www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote/voting-by-proxy
The council said it had not been possible to send polling cards earlier than this week.
In reply to Mr Townend, the council said: “Given the short notice of the General Election being called, together with the requirements to send poll card data to external printers and for proofs to be checked before being sent out via Royal Mail, it has not been possible to send poll cards out any earlier.”
- How do I register to vote?
Visit gov.uk/register-to-vote and fill in 11 questions.
They include your name, address, National Insurance number and whether you want a postal vote.
There’s not much else you need to fill in.