Euro and London mayoral ballot deadlines extended

by Stephen Tall on October 31, 2007

Jonathan Davies, the party’s senior returning officer, has just posted the following message on LDV – it deserves flagging up:

Because of the delays in the mail, we have extended the deadline for the return of ballot papers for both the euro and London mayoral selection to 12 noon on Friday 9th November. The freepost envelope which was enclosed in the ballot paper mailing is second class, so you must post it no later than 2nd November. Or you can post your ballot paper first class post and post it until 7th November.

Please pass this information to other members you know who do not have email.

This will not affect the count which will go ahead for the euro selection on Saturday 10th November and for the mayor early the following week.

Jonathan Davies
Senior Returning Officer

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I am extremely frustrated by this as most members are fed up with what strikes me as a completely incompetent returning officer. NO consideration has been given to the concerns of members and frankly it has become tedious.

by Eddie on November 1, 2007 at 10:47 am. Reply #

This announcement is not a huge amount of use to people in Liverpool, Mid Sefton, Knowsley and parts of other local Parties who have not had any ballot papers yet.
We can’t send back what we don’t have!

by Richard on November 1, 2007 at 12:07 pm. Reply #

Quite right.. we are in real danger of being disenfranchised…. and even if our ballot papers do arrive in the next day or so they will still have a 7 Nov return date on the letter and some members may feel its too late to send their vote off. We actually need a longer extension and a re issue of ballot papers to the areas with an L postcode affected by the much longer strike. My mail is still arriving very slowly and I have no faith that these ballot papers will arrive

by Paula on November 1, 2007 at 6:26 pm. Reply #

“Typical Liberal ~#@#up” – Cyril Smith, Crewe, c.1981

by crewegwyn on November 1, 2007 at 7:56 pm. Reply #

We are aware of the difficulties in Liverpool and are discussing them with the post office. We will keep the position under review in the light of the available evidence as to how many ballot papers have arrived and how many have been returned, and how significant the problem appears to be in the context of the ballot as a whole.

None of the options are easy. For example, if we re issue ballot papers how do we prevent double voting? If we extend the deadline, how do we ensure all members know? We need to be fair to all candidates and all members, including those who have already voted.

We will keep the position under review between now and the scheduled date for the count. In the meantime, if members receive their ballot papers this weekend it will be obvious to them they need to post them back immediately.

Jonathan Davies
Senior Returning Officer

by Jonathan Davies on November 1, 2007 at 10:12 pm. Reply #

What does “in the context of the ballot as a whole” mean?
This is an election not an opinion poll. Jonathan surely can’t be dismissing an entire City full of members being disenfranchised as an acceptable price can he?

by Richard on November 2, 2007 at 1:28 pm. Reply #

This is far from the first screw-up involving Royal Mail which has a particular habit of losing Party mailouts such as Conference publications, etc. Is HQ mapping where there is a pattern of this – and reporting it to the police?

by Daniel Bowen on November 2, 2007 at 1:40 pm. Reply #

Ahem, can I just mention that IT’S NOT JUST LIVERPOOL THAT’S AFFECTED. I live in Crewe, oddly enough. Post code CW (for Crewe). County of Cheshire.

I have still not received a ballot paper, which needs to be posted … er … today.

Answers please?

by crewegwyn on November 2, 2007 at 1:41 pm. Reply #

In answer to Richard, a standard question for any returning officer considering any irregularity in an election is whether it could have any affect on the result.

by Jonathan Davies on November 2, 2007 at 5:49 pm. Reply #

But Jonathan, if you think the problem is restricted to Liverpool then you clearly don’t know the scale of the problem!

As I have already pointed out the problem also APPEARS to apply in postal area CW – or do you have evidence to the contrary?

by crewegwyn on November 2, 2007 at 7:52 pm. Reply #

With any large scale mailing, inevitably some of the letters will not arrive – and unfortunately the postal dispute does mean the number of ballots lost in the post on this occasion is higher than normal. This appears to have happened randomly across the whole country. Liverpool is the only situation where we’ve had reports of no deliveries at all in a concentrated geographic area.

by Jonathan Davies on November 3, 2007 at 6:49 pm. Reply #

@ 11

“some of the letters will not arrive”

I have now checked with 5 members in Crewe & Nantwich constituency.

NONE have received their ballot papers.

Are we to be disenfranchised Jonathan?

by crewegwyn on November 5, 2007 at 6:13 pm. Reply #

Well thats it. Wednesday and much of Liverpool still has no ballot papers. Under the current rules on an extension until friday we now can’t get our ballot papers back in time to be counted first class stamp or not.
An election result is the number of votes cast for each candidate not necessarily just who wins so any disenfranchisement affects the result.
IS Crewe still in the same boat?

by Richard on November 6, 2007 at 12:16 pm. Reply #


Yep, Richard – Crewe seems to be in the same position. I’ve now spoken to 6 members and 100% non-receipt.

Anything to say Jonathan?

by crewegwyn on November 6, 2007 at 5:26 pm. Reply #

What was the final position as to ballot papers received.

How far above the “acceptable” level of undelivered ballot papers were things in this election?

by Hywel Morgan on November 9, 2007 at 10:33 pm. Reply #

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