Man’s threat to take postal vote saga to police

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A Bexhill man has threatened to go to the police after his family’s postal vote forms allegedly went missing from Rother District Council’s doormat.

Alan Pitches said he, his wife and son had completed postal votes registration forms and put them through the door of the Town Hall on Sunday, April 12.

When the 74-year-old had received no response from the local authority, he called in to the Town Hall on April 20 and was told the votes were in the post.

But when he phoned Rother on the day he was due to fly to Corfu on April 30, after the votes failed to materialise, he claims he was told the council had never received the completed forms in the first place.

Mr Pitches, from De La Warr Road, said: “The whole process has been a waste of time. I always vote, but this time on the postal election I was let down badly.”

Mr Pitches, a former police officer, is considering whether to take his complaint about the missing forms further.

He said: “Supposing they received them and someone filled it in and sent it off?

“Somebody has had those applications because we 
never heard anything back at all.

“I am considering going to the police over the matter.

“This is criminal.”

Long-time Bexhill resident Mr Pitches has vowed never to vote by post again.

He told the Observer: “This will be the last time I ever use it.”

Malcolm Johnston, Rother District Council executive director of resources and returning officer, said: “Postal votes were issued for anyone who completed a postal vote application form and while we do sympathise, in this case we have no record of an application being submitted.

“We were contacted by 220 people who had applied for a postal vote but not received it, and in these cases we were able to reissue their postal ballot to ensure they could vote.

“While all the postal ballots were sent out in plenty of time to allow people to return their papers, we will be making enquiries with the printers and Royal Mail to try and establish why some people didn’t receive their ballot.

“These figures should be seen in the context of a higher than usual turnout from people voting by post, with 87 per cent of the more than 11,000 postal ballots issued being returned.