What should I do if I still haven't received my postal vote?

Delays in the deliveries of postal votes has raised concerns that Scots could miss their chance to vote.

What should I do if I still haven’t received my postal vote in Scotland for UK General Election? Getty Images

Voters will head to the polls in less than a week for the General Election but around a quarter will vote before that.

More than 25% of the electorate now votes via mail – up from around 2% a few decades ago – but recent delays in delivering ballots have prompted concerns that some won’t be able to participate.

The July 4 date of the election coincides with Scotland’s school summer holidays, meaning some families may already have left the UK before their voting pack arrives.

What should I do if my ballot hasn’t arrived?

The first thing you should do is wait. Royal Mail should deliver most ballots by Saturday.

If your ballot still hasn’t arrived, you can check below for your local authority. STV News has contacted all 32 Scottish councils to ask what arrangements they have in place and what their residents should do.

Not all have issued a statement yet though, so if your council hasn’t replied you should contact your local election office directly.

These are run by your local authority and you can find them by typing your postcode into the UK Government’s website here.

That will tell you where your local council and its election office are and will list some contact details.

You can also check your council’s website and social media which may also have more information.

From Friday, councils will be able to start issuing replacement voting packs for those whose ballots did not arrive in time.

You should be able to collect your pack or have it sent out.

Remember to bring photo ID though, as this election will be the first time new rules around identification will be rolled out in Scotland.

Edinburgh and Fife councils have said it will also allow voters to vote in person ahead of the election but other councils will have their own system.

What if I have already gone on holiday?

If you are already abroad then there’s not much you can do. You won’t be able to attend your address or election office physically and it’s too late to arrange a vote by proxy.

If a quick trip back home is something you are able to do though, this is your only option.

What is every Scottish council saying?

Aberdeen

An Aberdeen City Council spokesperson said: “Equivalent measures to the City of Edinburgh Council are not being put in place in Aberdeen.  

“We are providing replacement postal votes where appropriate as we routinely do at all elections. The remaining postal votes from late applications were issued on Thursday and Friday and we expect these to be delivered today and on Saturday.

“Voters should contact us on Monday if they have not received their postal vote.” 

Aberdeenshire

An Aberdeenshire Council spokesperson said: “The majority of postal vote packs for the upcoming General Election will have by now been received by those who have registered and we expect the remainder to be delivered by the end of Saturday.

“We’d encourage voters to complete and return their ballot paper as soon as possible.

“If voters are not able to return their vote in time, completed ballots can be handed in at polling stations on election day if necessary.

“Should a pack not arrive this weekend, a replacement can be requested by emailing elections@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Angus

Angus Council has issued an update to residents on its website which can be found here.

Argyll and Bute

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “We are already dealing with a number of requests for replacement ballots and as at 1pm on Friday are up to date with those.

“We will continue to process requests up until the day of the poll.

“If you wish to request a replacement postal vote you can contact our Customer Contact Centre on 01546 605522 or e-mail elections@argyll-bute.gov.uk”

Clackmannanshire

Clackmannanshire Council has been approached for comment.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar

The Western Isles Council said Royal Mail had confirmed the second issue of postal ballot packs for the UK General Election will be delivered in Lewis and Harris on Friday. 

A spokesperson said the Uist postal ballot packs were delivered to the Uist sorting office by the mail plane on Friday and should be out for delivery either on Friday or Saturday. 

The Barra postal ballot packs will be delivered on Saturday.

They added: “If you applied for a postal vote you are encouraged to keep an eye on the post and once your pack is received, complete it and return it as soon as possible.

“Electors in the Harris area should now have received separate postal ballot packs for the by-election on July 4. Again, once your pack is received please complete it and return it as soon as possible.

“Any individual who does not receive a postal vote can contact the election team by email at elections@cne-siar.gov.uk.

“The team will be able to offer advice and where necessary issue replacement postal ballot packs.”

Dumfries and Galloway

Dumfries and Galloway Council said it is taking measures to ensure a small number of postal voters in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Dumfries and Galloway constituencies who won’t be at home next week can cast their vote.

It said Royal Mail has confirmed that all packs in the two constituencies should be delivered on Saturday or Monday.

From Friday, and over the weekend, voters in the Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale and Dumfries and Galloway constituencies who have yet to receive their postal votes – and will not be at home next week – should contact elections@dumgal.gov.uk or call the dedicated helpline immediately on 01387 260 008.

The helpline will be staffed between 9am and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday.

A spokesperson said: “We are prioritising those who will not be at home next week. If you will be at home next week, please wait for delivery and only contact us early next week if you still haven’t received your voting pack.”

Dundee

Dundee City Council has been approached for comment.

East Ayrshire

East Ayrshire Council said its postal votes were dispatched on Friday with delivery scheduled for Saturday.

A spokesperson said: “The council has been working with all relevant parties to ensure that this matter is resolved as quickly and effectively as possible.

“Priority for re-issuing voting packs will be given to those from first issue and those going away on holiday on Friday or Saturday.

“The council will apply resources as appropriate in order to ensure, so far as possible, that no one misses out on the opportunity to vote.”

East Dunbartonshire

Ann Davie, returning officer for the Mid Dunbartonshire County constituency, said: “East Dunbartonshire Council has arrangements in place to deal with late and replacement postal vote packs for the Mid Dunbartonshire constituency.

“These arrangements will ensure that postal vote packs will be delivered to those voters whose packs have not yet been issued due to either late registration, or where voters have contacted the council advising that they are leaving the country imminently and have not yet received their postal vote. 

“Similar arrangements will be in place next week – up to 5pm on polling day – to support those voters who do not receive their postal vote pack.

“Anyone in this position should contact us by email at election@eastdunbarton.gov.uk ”

East Lothian

East Lothian Council said its remaining ballot papers are expected to arrive with residents by the weekend.

A spokesperson said: “If a resident is going away this weekend but hasn’t yet received their postal vote, they can contact us first to arrange a replacement. It would need to be collected from Meadowmill by 6pm on Friday.

“Otherwise, if they don’t receive their postal vote over the weekend, they can contact us on Monday.”

“The Elections Office contact details are on our website.”

East Renfrewshire

East Renfrewshire Council has written an update on its website for voters who haven’t received their ballot via post yet. You can read that here.

Edinburgh

The City of Edinburgh Council has taken urgent steps to open a special polling booth at the City Chambers from Friday for those who have not yet received a ballot and will not be home next week.

Open until 5pm on Friday and from 9am until 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, the special booth will allow those who will not be at home on July 4 and have not received their postal vote to vote in person.

Residents will also be able to attend in person at the City Chambers to have their voting pack reissued, but must bring along photo ID in both instances.

Falkirk

Falkirk Council said it expects postal packs will be delivered on Friday and Saturday by Royal Mail.

“We understand that many people will be leaving for holiday over the weekend,” a spokesperson said.

“If you are and your postal pack has not reached you, there is an option to have a new one issued at the Council offices and for you to collect this.

“Staff from the postal vote team will be available from 9am – 12 noon on Saturday at The Foundry, Central Business Park, Larbert FK5 4RU to assist voters with this situation.

“Please bring identification that includes your address.”

Fife

Fife Council said it is taking urgent steps to ensure all residents can cast their vote.

On Saturday, voters who have yet to receive their postal votes, and will not be at home next week, can go to Fife House and have their voting pack re-issued or hand them in.

A private booth will be set up for those wishing to complete their postal vote there and then.

“To be clear this is not a polling station,” a spokesperson said. “Voters can complete their postal vote in private and then put it into the nearest Royal Mail postbox.

“The facility will be open on Saturday between 9am and 4pm. Voters should come to Fife House in Glenrothes, with photo ID, and a replacement pack can be issued.

“Please note there may be waiting times if the service is busy.”

The council said Royal Mail confirmed that all packs should be delivered on Friday or Saturday.

“We’re prioritising in person replacement packs for those who will not be at home next week,” they said. “If you will be at home next week, please be wait for delivery and only contact us early next week if you are still without your pack.

“Please contact postals@fife.gov.uk in the first instance or call the helpline on 03451 55 55 11.”

Glasgow

Glasgow City Council has been approached for comment.

Highland

Highland Council said Royal Mail should deliver all postal votes on Friday and Saturday.

A spokesperson added: “To help postal voters, Friday, Saturday and Sunday we will have two offices open at which people can hand in their completed postal votes.

“These offices will be also open Monday – Wednesday next week and on Monday, we will look at opening further locations if necessary.”

Those offices will be at Dingwall Council Offices, 84 High Street, Dingwall, IV15 9QN and Highland Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness, IV3 5NX

These offices will be open Saturday June 29 and Sunday, June 30 between 9am and 5pm. 

They will also be open from Monday to Wednesday between 9am and 5pm.

Inverclyde

Inverclyde Council said all postal ballot packs apart from the most recent applications should have now been delivered and people should return their postal ballot papers by post as soon as possible.

Anyone who has not yet received their postal ballot pack can collect a replacement pack for any undelivered or lost postal votes from the local authority’s customer service centre at Municipal Buildings, Greenock, by making an appointment with the election office by phoning 01475 712126 or emailing elections@inverclyde.gov.uk.

People will need to produce photo ID to allow the pack to be issued.

A spokesperson added: “Anyone who is unable to or does not wish to return their postal vote by post can hand it into the customer service centre, Municipal Buildings, Greenock, during office hours, up to July 4 or at any polling station in the constituency between 7am and 10pm on July 4.”

Moray

Moray Council is asking any resident who has not yet received their postal vote pack, and will not be at home next week, to contact its election team directly where they’ll be able to organise for their voting pack to be re-issued.

You can find your local election team here.

North Ayrshire

North Ayrshire Council has been approached for comment.

North Lanarkshire

A spokesperson for North Lanarkshire Council said: “We are able to issue replacement ballot packs for people who are concerned that they have not yet received their postal vote.

“If necessary, we can arrange for anyone who is going on holiday in the next few days to come to the council headquarters to be given their replacement pack.

“However, it is essential that anyone in this position contacts the election office by telephone on 01698 302058.”

Orkney

A spokesperson for Orkney Islands Council said: “We are aware of a small number of voters who are still waiting to receive their packs. 

“We are assured that local delivery staff are working hard to prioritise and deliver packs as quickly as possible, but if any of these postal voters have not received their postal vote pack by Monday, they should contact the local elections office. 

“Lost or undelivered postal votes can be replaced by the returning officer – with replacement packs available from July 1. Voters can attend the Council Offices in Kirkwall and Lerwick with ID for a pack to be reissued.

“We want everyone entitled to vote to have their vote counted.

“We would encourage all those with a postal vote to complete and return this as soon as possible – remembering that any votes returned to council offices or at a polling station must be accompanied by a postal vote return form or they will be rejected and not counted.”

Perth and Kinross

Thomas Glen, returning officer for the Perth and Kinross-shire, said: “We are aware that in line with the experience across Scotland, some residents in Perth and Kinross are reporting they have not received their postal votes.

“Given the tight timescale, we have been engaging with Royal Mail locally who have assured us they are focussing efforts on clearing the backlog of deliveries, and we understand that postal voting packs should be delivered no later than this weekend.

“Where we have been approached by voters due to be on holiday before this weekend, replacement voting packs have been issued.

“As previously advised, any resident who has applied for a postal vote for the Perth and Kinross-shire constituency and has not received a pack by Monday, July 1 should contact elections@pkc.gov.uk.”

Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire Council said it was not experiencing any issues with postal votes.

It said the vast majority of its postal votes were handed to Royal Mail on June 18 and 19.

It said that for voters whose applications for a postal vote were received and processed by the Electoral Registration Office between June 12 and the postal vote deadline on June 19, their postal votes were handed to Royal Mail on June 24.

“As with any election,” the local authority said, “if anyone loses, spoils or hasn’t received their postal vote then they can visit Renfrewshire House in Paisley with photographic ID from Friday to have a ballot reissued to them.”

South Ayrshire

Postal voters in South Ayrshire who applied for a postal vote between June 10-19 should receive their postal vote packs on Saturday, the council said.

If postal voters do not receive their postal pack on Saturday they should contact the election office on 01292 612300 on Monday and a replacement postal vote will be issued.

A spokesperson said: “If postal voters still require an earlier replacement (e.g they are leaving for holiday before their postal vote is due to arrive), they should contact us immediately in order that they can be issued with a replacement.

“The Royal Mail will use their best endeavours to prioritise returning postal votes to returning officers, and those in receipt of a postal vote should complete and return it immediately.”

South Lanarkshire

A spokesperson for South Lanarkshire Council said: “Postal votes are being issued in two batches, the second of which went out on Thursday.

“A very small proportion of those postal votes already issued have been reported as not having been delivered and these have already been re-issued.

“We have 48,181 eligible postal voters across the three constituencies we are responsible for, which is higher than previously.

“All voters in our constituencies who requested a postal vote before the deadline for doing so will receive one.

“Lost or undelivered postal votes can be replaced by the Returning Officer from June 28. 

“That is the first legal point at which a replacement can be made. Voters can attend at the council headquarters in Almada Street, Hamilton, with ID for a pack to be reissued.”

Stirling

Stirling Council will not be opening its offices this weekend and will continue to issue replacement postal votes when requested during office hours in the run-up to July 4.

West Lothian

West Lothian Council said most people should already have their postal votes with the remaining papers expected to arrive with residents by the weekend.

If you have not received your postal vote, you are urged to contact the elections office on 01506 282035 between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. It’s closed at the weekend.

A spokesperson added: “Our team can issue replacement postal votes from Friday until 5pm on Wednesday.

“Voters will be asked to collect their replacement postal vote from the Civic Centre in Livingston but we will post it out if the voter asks us to (although we would advise you to collect your replacement postal vote in person if you can).”

Residents are urged to bring photo ID. The council said it can’t hand deliver replacement postal votes.

West Dunbartonshire

A spokesperson for West Dunbartonshire Council said: “The first tranche of postal votes West Dunbartonshire were picked up by Royal Mail on June 19, with a second tranche picked up on June 24. We expect remaining packs have now been delivered.

“If any resident has yet to receive their postal vote they should contact the election office as soon as possible on 01389 737643 who can arrange for a replacement pack to be re-issued.”

Shetland

Shetland Islands Council has been approached for comment.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in