‘Crackers’ Sheffield Council blunder in voting letter

candidatesBS''Shirecliffe Community Centre polling Station
candidatesBS''Shirecliffe Community Centre polling Station
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Thousands of Sheffield residents received letters wrongly saying nobody at their home was registered to vote in a council blunder.

The error by Sheffield Council worried some householders, who feared that they may not be able to have their say in this year’s general and local elections in May.

Letters were sent out to 243,000 households last week, informing them of who was registered to vote at that property.

But in almost 8,000 cases, voters were sent a letter saying there was nobody registered at that address - despite the fact many had taken part in the by-election for a new Police and Crime Commissioner only in October.

One Sheffield resident who was affected but did not want to be named, said: “We queried it as we knew that wasn’t the case and were told that the letters which went out last week had a slight glitch in the programme, which caused errors.

“I knew something was amiss because we’d voted in the police and crime elections a couple of months earlier.

“It’s pretty crackers though – we’re hearing loads about the importance of being registered to vote, but then your right to vote seems to go missing.”

Earlier this month the council encouraged people to make sure they were registered for the election ahead of time.

Its campaign, called Your Vote Counts, also encourages people to have their say on May 7.

In total 7,898 letters from the original mailing contained the error.

A council spokesman said: “We are sorry for this error, but we will be contacting those households affected to apologise and listing the people living there who are registered.

“Anyone unsure if they are registered can check this by viewing the electoral register at the Town Hall and the First Point office at Howden House on Union Street or contact elections@sheffield.gov.uk or telephone 0114 273 4093.”

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