Printer problems causes delay to around 15,000 postal votes in Sheffield
Sheffield Council said problems at printers caused a delay to a batch of around 15,000 postal votes being delivered across Sheffield.
It is less than one week to the local elections on Thursday, 6 May in which voters will decide city and parish councillors, a police and crime commissioner for South Yorkshire, which structure the council is run by and in one area, whether to adopt a neighbourhood plan.
Many will vote in personal at polling stations but some have chosen to use the postal vote system which requires getting a letter with a form and ballot papers inside, completing those and returning them to the council either in person or by mail.
The council said the delayed postal votes have now been sent and it is working with Royal Mail to deliver them as quickly as possible.
Kate Josephs, chief executive of the council and returning officer, said: “This obviously falls far below our expectations, and we are in urgent talks with the printers to ensure that no efforts are being spared in getting these postal votes delivered. All options are currently being explored to speed up the process and we are keeping in regular contact to monitor the progress. Voting is your democratic right and we will do everything in our power to ensure that everyone is able to cast their ballot in these elections.
“I want to urge people to move quickly once their postal vote arrives. Don’t delay, complete your form and ballot papers, and return the same day if possible.”
Those receiving postal votes can either return the papers by post, in person at Sheffield Town Hall on any day up to and including polling day or by handing the papers in at any Sheffield polling station by 10pm on polling day.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm. Safety measures are in place to make them as Covid-19 secure as possible.
People attending a polling station will be required to wear a face covering and, those voting in person will need to bring their own pen or pencil.
To find out where your polling station is, visit https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/polling-stations