'Major review into postal voting needed' as voters left without ballot

Fears Scots could miss out on voting amid a delay in some postal deliveries.

‘Major review into postal voting needed’ as voters left without ballot days before General Election Getty Images

There are calls for a major review of the postal voting system in Scotland amid reports that people across the country haven’t received their ballots.

More than 25% of the electorate votes via post and concerns have been raised that some could miss out on their chance to vote due to delays.

The Electoral Management Board (EMB) for Scotland said there had been “many difficulties” with the delivery of postal votes.

Malcolm Burr, the body’s convener, said there were logistical issues in Scotland due to the timing of the election being so close to when it was announced.

He said those were exacerbated by the July 4 date coinciding with the school summer holidays.

Burr said: “There have been and remain issues with both suppliers and with Royal Mail across Scotland which the electoral community are dealing with as best we can. 

“It should be noted that the legal and logistical timetable for this election is very tight, exacerbated in Scotland by the holiday period commencing in many areas at the end of this week.

“The EMB believes that there is a need for a major review of capacity and systems after the election. That view is shared across the electoral community. 

“We are very much aware that some electors remain without a postal ballot at this point and we are working with Returning Officers, suppliers and Royal Mail to expedite delivery as quickly as possible.”

There are concerns about Scots unable to vote in person at the election.STV News

The Electoral Commission said anyone who applied for a postal vote before the deadline on June 19 and had their application approved should receive their ballot in the coming days, while others may have already received it.

A spokesperson said: “Local authorities and Royal Mail are working to get these out to postal voters as quickly as possible.

“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.”

The Electoral Commission said those with concerns about their postal vote can contact their local authority.

“We recognise the pressures on the postal voting system due to the holiday season,” they added.

“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.”

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