Inexcusable postal vote delays compromise integrity of local elections – Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Michael Green, Baghill Green, Tingley.

I SEEM to be writing to you ever more frequently, which could be seen as a bit sad. But then, people who should know better are uttering claptrap, or 
occasionally even blatant untruths, much more frequently too, and they deserve to be challenged.

A number of councils seem to have had problems with postal votes. For example, Calderdale Council has admitted to delays “due to circumstances beyond the council’s control” (The Yorkshire Post, May 6). Not an acceptable explanation at all, I’m afraid.

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Probably because the electoral process is vitally critical to our democracy, the law places an absolute responsibility on the returning officer (in this case, the chief executive of the council) to conduct the election in full compliance with the rules.

What has been your experience of postal voting?

No abdicating of responsibility. No passing the buck. If the contracts with printers or with Royal Mail have been expressed in such woolly terms that they can get away with failure to deliver, then the responsibility lands fair and square with the returning officer.

The least they can do is surrender the handsome fee that they will be paid. As did, very honourably, a returning officer in Sheffield some time ago, as I recall.

In the same news item, you also quote the chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators (whoever they are – a sort of trade union perhaps?) as saying that electors who have received their postal vote packs very late could still drop them off “into the relevant council offices or the elector’s polling station”.

Hang on a minute. The whole point of postal votes is for electors who cannot get to the polling station in person. If you can’t get there to vote in person, then how can you get there to hand over your postal vote? Get real.

Boris Johnson during a visit to Hartlepool after the Tory party's historic by-election win.

If the people who are supposed to be running the show don’t care, then what hope is there?

From: Steve Wilson, Lenton Villas, Bradford.

TOM Richmond (The Yorkshire Post, May 8) states what most of us weary about the state of politics already know; Boris Johnson is a lifelong chancer.

That he marches on says more about the abject lack of quality of the opposition. What your correspondent fails to note is that this type of personality is alive across all of society. Those who shout loudest are often heard and rarely called to account, especially as the general public is so apathetic.

Tom Richmond also highlighted the Lib Dem leader, Sir Ed Davey, whose hands are far from clean so far as the Post Office scandal goes; will he be called to account?

Over the page you had an article concerning a parental initiative to engage her children in politics. I asked our young columnist for the community magazine I edit to explain why young people seemed so apathetic about the local elections. She replied “What elections?” She is halfway through her degree course.

Perhaps the explanation is simple. Young people are born innocent, it takes time to acquire the levels of duplicity and cynicism that characterise many of our politicians today.

PO scandal has cost me dearly

From: Gary Brown, ex-sub postmaster, Rawcliffe.

I AM involved in the Post Office scandal. I was one of the 550 Bates v Post Office.

The system is corrupt and I feel so bitter about what has happened (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, April 29 and May 1).

Paula Vennells was in charge of a company who destroyed lives throughout the country.

I lost my sanity, health and over £250,000. What is happening now is more like what we imagine goes on in Russia or North Korea.

Cover-up after cover-up protecting the guilty. The Reverend Paula Vennells is at the top of that list.

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