Boundary changes – yet another blunder!

Reports have reached me of voters in Easton receiving my freepost election address – that’s the one which is directly delivered by Royal Mail, which every candidate is allowed. (There’s an issue about whether the postal workers will deliver the BNP one, I think they refuse to do so).

The office had a call this morning from a voter in Easton who knew she was backing Paul Smith this time, but then got a postal vote with my name on it, and an election address from me. And then she got a letter from the Council telling her the postal vote ballot paper was wrong and she’d be getting a new one. Can’t blame her for being confused!

Meanwhile some people in Lawrence Hill ward have received letters from the Council apologising for being sent Bristol East ballot papers, telling them to scrap them, and that they will be sent Bristol West ballot papers by May 4th at the latest. But they haven’t actually been sent Bristol East ballot papers – they’ve had Bristol West ones! (It seems the wrong ballot papers have mostly gone out in Easton, but the Council has recalled all those sent out to the bits of Bristol East going into West).

So… what happens if they’ve already sent off their ballot paper? Will they realise they have to vote again? And what if they’ve gone away on holiday by then? Surely there must be a way, when verifying the postal votes, of checking whether people have voted once or twice, and if they’ve only sent back the first Bristol West ballot paper, then that should be allowed?

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