Postal vote fears as Londoners say they still haven't received ballots

Andrew Matthews/PA (PA Archive)
Andrew Matthews/PA (PA Archive)

Some Londoners have expressed concern that their postal votes have not yet arrived, with just under a week to go before the general election.

The Electoral Commission noted that those who applied before the deadline on June 19, and had their application approved, should receive their ballot pack through the post in the coming days.

However, some in the capital have felt concerned about them potentially not arriving at all in time for polling day.

East Dulwich resident Tina Thorpe told the BBC: "I'm concerned that we might not have received the literature from the candidates that's delivered by the postal service.

"Neighbours appear to have received different amounts.

"I just want my vote to count. The whole world is going to vote and I can't."

Southwark Council have processed 50,518 postal vote ballot papers for the general election and it said all were dispatched within sufficient time for delivery by the Royal Mail.

It said it was aware of the delays in the delivery of ballots and that it has raised the issue at a senior level with the Royal Mail. The postal service said it is working with authorities “to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.”

The issue is one which has affected people across other areas of the city. One social media user from Harrow reported the issue of not receiving their ballot on X, formerly Twitter after claiming they were told the “vote documents” had been sent to them a fortnight earlier.

On Friday, they wrote: “Not received postal vote docs from Harrow council. Told two weeks ago they’d been sent. Just been told that they initiate re send of packs tomorrow. Less than a week to receive/return them. Option of proxy vote not available.”

The issue of delays is becoming increasingly concerning for many, especially those due to go abroad and who will be unable to cast their vote in-person on July 4.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said:We have a specialist elections team that plans every aspect of the elections delivery programme and works closely with local authorities to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

“We have no backlog of postal votes. Where concerns have been raised, we have investigated and confirmed ballot packs are being delivered as soon as they arrive in our network.”

An Electoral Commission spokesperson said: “As is the case at all elections, given the electoral timetable, there is a short window of time for administrators to prepare and dispatch postal votes. It is not uncommon for all postal ballots to not have arrived at this point.

“If a voter’s postal ballot pack does not arrive in time, there may still be options available to voters, such as requesting a replacement from their local authority. If voters are concerned their postal vote won’t be sent back in time, they also have the option of handing their postal pack to their polling station on polling day.

“...Following the election, we will undertake research with voters and electoral administrators to understand their experiences at this poll. The administration of postal voting is one of the areas we will look at.”