Almost seven million people have used this year's postal voting system, claims Electoral Commission Chief

Almost seven million people have used this year's postal voting system, claims Electoral Commission Chief
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 02/07/2024

- 21:17

The Chief Executive of the Electoral Commission has said postal voters should have confidence that their votes will be included in the results and said they expected ‘less than tens of thousands’ of votes will be missing from the final tally.

Vijay Rangarajan revealed that more people have used postal votes than at the equivalent time in the 2019 election.

Speaking to GB News, Vijay Rangarajan said: “So what we know is that in some cases, there have been some delays to post the votes.

“About 6.7 million people have now used the postal voting system. So the votes have been sent to them, they've signed them, they're voted, they've gone back through the Royal Mail system to election administrators, and they're going to be counted after 10pm on Thursday night.

“So 6.7 million, it's a lot of people, and it's more than actually voted by post in the equivalent time at the 2019 general election.

“So mostly, the system is working really well and can I say thank you to election administrators who have had to do a big job running this poll immediately after the May poll.

“Clearly there have been some problems with some delays to some postal votes.

“Overall, we'll be looking at the entire system and trying to make sure that after this election, we can improve the system.

“What we're seeing is a very large number of postal votes.

“We think very few now haven't received their ballot papers. Royal Mail have checked their system, have tried to get all of the ballot papers through. There have been a few issues with some printers, a few issues on delivery times for some, but everyone should have their ballot papers by now. It's possible some don't.

“So here's what people should do if they don't. If they haven't received a ballot paper in their postal vote, they should contact their local council and get a replacement pack. That will mean going and picking it up, I'm afraid. But they will show some ID for election security, and they'll then be able to vote.

“But if you have got a ballot paper received today or even tomorrow, you can still use it to vote. You can vote early as you can get it into a post box, and Royal Mail will then sweep up all the votes and make sure that by 10 o'clock on Thursday night they're with the relevant people who start the counting process. So do still use it if you've got it.

“You can, if you're not sure you trust that, still take it in. You can take it in physically in the polling station on Thursday, or you can ask someone else to take it into the polling station on Thursday. So there's many ways to make sure your vote is counted.

“We think many less than tens of thousands [have not received their vote]. We can't put a total figure out at the moment, it's moving all the time. We'll come back to this, as we do after every election, and analyse how many votes didn't make it through the system, or for whatever reason, didn't count.

“The number is usually really small. I think voters should have a high degree of trust in the system and that their vote will, in fact, count.”


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