Dis­en­fran­chised by elec­toral sys­tem

The Oban Times - - Letters -

Sir, I have voted in ev­ery elec­tion in which I was el­i­gi­ble to vote, since the age of 18, be­ing aware of the hard-fought bat­tle for univer­sal suf­fer­age.

When the re­cent gen­eral elec­tion was called, I re­alised I would be on hol­i­day abroad on June 8, and for the first time ever ap­plied for a postal vote. This ap­pli­ca­tion was sent off well be­fore the lat­est dead­line to ap­ply for such a vote.

On May 25, I be­gan to be con­cerned that the postal vote had not ar­rived so I tele­phoned the rel­e­vant of­fice at Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil, this be­ing al­most two weeks prior to the date of the elec­tion.

I was told that postal votes for peo­ple al­ready reg­is­tered had been sent out and that mine was due to be sent out on Wed­nes­day May 31. This was only eight days be­fore the date of the elec­tion.

I in­formed the coun­cil of­fi­cer that this was of no use to me as I was leav­ing home on June 1, only a day af­ter they were send­ing out my vote. I was told that there was no flex­i­bil­ity in the ar­range­ments, and although sym­pa­thetic to my po­si­tion the of­fi­cer agreed that I was ef­fec­tively be­ing dis­en­fran­chised by the Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s pro­ce­dures.

Can I urge the coun­cil to re­view its pro­ce­dures with re­gard to this and to be aware that first-time postal vote ap­pli­ca­tions are likely to be from peo­ple who will be away from home, and at least to in­clude some­thing on the ap­pli­ca­tion to in­di­cate the de­sired time re­stric­tions? Alec Chase­more, Con­isby, Is­lay.

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