I've had a lot of people get in touch because their postal vote hasn't arrived. There's a lot wrong about what has happened and questions need to be asked after the election, but for now we need to help every voter get their vote and use it for Labour.
LATE OR MISSING POSTAL VOTES
This is the full advice we are giving out for anyone who hasn't received their postal vote ballot yet:
The voter rings the Elections office on 01752 304866 or 01752 304936 and says their PV hasn't arrived. The Electoral Registration Officer (ERO) will take their details and reissue the ballot paper.
The voter can then go down to the Council House with either photo ID OR two forms of name/address (Bills, P60, etc) and collect the ballot paper at the security lodge at the front. They can vote there and then as there is a ballot box in the security lodge for Postal Votes.
If the voter wants someone else to pick up their Postal Ballot for them, then that's fine. The person collecting must bring the voter's ID as above. If the voter hasn’t previously spoken to a member of the Election Team, the person nominated to collect the replacement pack should bring a signed note from the person whose ID is being produced to the effect that, "I …………………………. (insert name of voter) give authority to …………………………(insert collector’s name) to show my ID to a Council Official at the Council House and collect my replacement postal vote pack." The Council already has a copy of the voter's signature from when they applied to get a PV.
The Council House will remain open until 6.30pm on Tuesday 6th and Wednesday. On Thursday, the Council House will open at 7am and close at 10pm. The barriers will be opened to let people park in the car park at the front of the Council House.
The deadline for reissue is 5pm on Polling day itself. Although the ballot can be collected and used until 10pm, the voter MUST ring to say they want a replacement before that time. It is a legal deadline. The sealed ballot paper can be taken (as with any postal vote) to any polling station in the voter's constituency.
Please note that, before the ERO can issue a replacement ballot pack, they must a) check the name of the elector on the Electoral Register and confirm that s/he is registered to vote by post b) add the voter’s details to a spreadsheet c) cancel the voter’s previously issued postal vote d) hand write details on the replacement pack and e) collate the various envelopes and take the pack to the main entrance. This information is to make you aware that, unless they receive prior notice, the person collecting will face some delay - between 5 and 30 minutes, depending on how busy they are. Hence a phone call first is preferable for both voter and ERO office.
Do you need a lift to sort out your postal vote?
Please note we can always offer to drive a voter down to the Council House to do this - call Plymouth Labour on 01752 269180 - we have volunteers able to help you get to and from the Council House.
Finally, in exceptional circumstances, the Council can visit the voter to do all this, but they are understandably keen not to have to. If someone is bed-bound and nobody is available to help them get their ballot paper, for instance, then it is an option.
Please share this information far and wide!
Lessons need to be learned
People are right to be angry about this mess. I am. A lot has gone wrong with postal votes in Plymouth in this election. Questions need to be asked and lessons need to be learned after the election but the priority now has to be to get people their missing postal vote and ask them to use it to vote Labour.