By KLTV Newsdesk –
Our region, our vote – only if you manage to receive your postal vote in time?
On 6 May 2021 residents of West Yorkshire will be going to the Polling Stations to take part in the local government elections.
They will be able to cast votes for candidates standing as local Councillors. They will also be able to vote for the first-ever Mayor for the West Yorkshire Combined Region.
The reality is that this year many people will be unable to take part simply because their postal vote packages have not arrived on time.
The postal ballot is offered to those unable to attend the polling station in person or choose not to register for some else to cast their ballot on their behalf as a proxy vote.
Kirklees Council Electoral Services agreed with Royal Mail that the ballot packs should be sent out on 21st April 2021.
Many packs have not yet arrived even though the advance paperwork sent to all registered postal voters instructed them to return the forms eleven days before polling day.
Now, even if ballot packs do arrive, voters may think it is too late to return the postal voting forms.
The good news is that if the forms arrive before the 6th of May, they may be completed and handed in at the local polling station. That won’t be a great help as most of those affected are likely to be away from home!
One local resident with two children away at University and therefore unable to vote in person, said: ‘This is a muddle disenfranchising an entire section of the local population.
“Many of the people losing the opportunity to vote will be students, including first-time voters.
“What message does that send out to the very age group we should be encouraged to get involved in their local communities and politics at the grassroots level?”
“How can you believe in local democratic processes being taking seriously?” says another parent of students studying away from home.
They added: “How can we encourage people to believe in the power to bring about change when systems fail to function properly at even a local level?”
What happens next?
Why is there no emergency proxy vote being offered? What has Royal Mail got to say?
People have many questions and it seems like they may not be answered for some time.
Whose responsibility is it for Electoral Services to ensure that all people on the electoral register have opportunities to vote in the forthcoming election?
Will this affect the turnout for local elections across Kirklees? Will it make a difference?
Have you recieved your postal vote for the May 6th elections yet?
- Yes (0%, 0 Votes)
- No (100%, 2 Votes)
- I'm voting in person (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 2
This piece was submitted to Kirklees Local TV by a local resident who wished to remain anonymous.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Kirklees Local Television Ltd.
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