Disenfranchised by electoral system
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.