04:30PM, Wednesday 22 May 2019
A French resident entitled to vote as a UK citizen in the European elections is concerned her vote will not be counted tomorrow.
Tracie Cook Ricketts lived in Temple, near Bisham, before moving to Limousin in France 11 years ago.
She is entitled to vote in the last constituency she was registered to vote in (The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead) for 15 years after leaving the UK.
Tracie contacted the Royal Borough on Wednesday, May 15, to ask when she could expect her postal vote to arrive.
She was told that even if it did arrive late, she would be able to scan it through.
But a council employee then contacted her to confirm that the electoral department ‘advised that scanned copies of postal vote ballot papers will not be accepted’.
Tracie’s husband received his voting pack on Friday and returned his vote the following day, and Tracie received hers on Saturday and posted it on Monday.
“The government gave insufficient time for the local authority to process the postal vote,” she said.
“Three working days to get from us to the council is not enough.”
She described the postal vote system as ‘unreliable’ and told the Advertiser she would rather vote online.
“When you vote online you get an electronic receipt, you know your vote has been cast and been counted,” she said.
“With this postal vote you have no idea if your vote has arrived in time.”
A Royal Borough spokeswoman said: “We always endeavour to ensure that those who request a postal vote receive the forms as quickly as possible once the candidates standing for election are known, and it is possible for us to produce ballot papers.
“All postal voting packs, including those sent abroad, were sent out first class on 14 May.
“Included in the postal voting pack is a first class, business response envelope for UK addresses and an international business response envelope for postal votes posted from overseas.
“We do everything possible to ensure postal votes are sent and returned on time, however we cannot guarantee the speediness of a foreign postal service.
“We are sorry to hear that this customer did not get the correct information regarding returning her postal application and will remind our customer service staff about the protocol surround the return of postal votes.”
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