Peterborough voters sent wrong postal vote forms

Election news and coverage from the Peterborough Telegraph: peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
Election news and coverage from the Peterborough Telegraph: peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, facebook.com/peterboroughtoday
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Residents planning on voting by post who have been sent the wrong ballot papers in Peterborough have had new forms sent to them today (Thursday).

Some voters have been sent North West Cambridgeshire forms, instead of Peterborough ballot papers - and vice-versa- in a number of wards.

Peterborough City Council said 1730 people have been affected by the problem.

On Tuesday the council said the problems have affected Park Ward, North Ward and Stanground East ward - but now have admitted wrong ballot papers have been sent out to 10 different wards.

It is thought around 85 per cent of the wrong forms that have been sent out are in Park, North or Stanground East wards, with the rest in other parts of the city.

The wards affected - with the number of residents who have been sent the wrong forms - are:

I thought how they can send the form out to the wrong person? Then I thought it’s going to cost a lot of money to send the forms out again.

Alison Weaver

BARNACK - 5

FLETTON & WOODSTON – 8

GLINTON & WITTERING – 10

ORTON LONGUEVILLE – 6

ORTON WATERVILLE – 8

ORTON WITH HAMPTON – 7

STANGROUND CENTRAL – 132

STANGROUND EAST – 366

NORTH – 431

PARK – 757

Some postal votes have already been received by the council, and checks are being made to ensure any wrong postal vote ballot papers are picked up.

Sheila Brewer (69) and her husband Graham (68), of Foxdale, Peterborough in North Ward, both received the wrong forms.

Sheila said: “We have used postal votes for a long time, and never had any problems before.

“While we noticed the problems, I am concerned that others might not. Someone who has always voted for one particular party may have put a cross in the box and sent it off without noticing the error.”

Alison Weaver, of Brownlow Road, Park Ward said: “I thought how they can send the form out to the wrong person? Then I thought it’s going to cost a lot of money to send the forms out again.

“Plenty of people would not know the forms were wrong and would send them back.”

She said it was hard work explaining the problem to the council but that they were aware of the problem.

A Peterborough City Council spokesman said: “We estimate around 400 voters in North, Park and Stanground East wards have been affected, but our printers are still working to identify every individual affected. Six residents have contacted the council. We issued 18,000 postal votes across North West Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

“People should destroy and discard the wrong forms. If they try and use them to vote they will be discounted as invalid. If they have already voted they will have to vote again with new ballot papers that are being sent by first class post tomorrow. The letter we send to everybody affected will make this as clear as possible, explain the process again and apologise for the inconvenience.

“This was caused by human error at the printers. We understand a batch of ballot papers was put in the wrong envelope by somebody working there. They will probably review their systems but this would be a question for the printer. They are Print UK, based in Slough. We have successfully used them for the last three years, during some large elections and have a very good working relationship with them.

“New forms are being printed today and being sent tomorrow first class post. It will not cost the council any money to put the situation right. Election night will be in no way compromised.”

If residents have any queries they should call Peterborough City Council on 01733 452 282