Delivery issues means some postal voters may have missed their chance to cast their vote

Date published: 01 May 2024

Some residents away from the area on election week may not have been able to cast their votes after delivery delays have hit Rochdale.

Postal vote packs have only been received by some in the borough as late as 29 April or 30 April, meaning that if they were on holiday this week, they would not be able to exercise their democratic right. Councillor Tom Besford, who is standing to retain his council seat in Littleborough Lakeside, claims this delay has disenfranchised voters, in his ward particularly – putting the blame at the door of the Royal Mail.

The delivery service stated that all election material is no longer in their base at Rochdale. They did explain there had been delays this year which came as a result of printer issues during one step of the process of delivering the packs.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “We have a specialist elections team that plans every aspect of the elections delivery programmes and works closely with local authorities to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

“We have investigated concerns with the delivery of postal votes in Greater Manchester and found one isolated incidence of delay but no widespread issues, this delay has since been rectified and postal votes have continued to be delivered as ordered.”

Councillor Besford explained that the council posted their voting packs on April 19 latest first class, leading to confusion as to how they have been delivered so late. He said he had been told of other issues around the Greater Manchester region, but other authorities have not reported any delivery problems out of the ordinary when approached by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Clare Poole, elections manager at Rochdale Borough Council said: “We’re aware that the delivery of some postal vote packs has been delayed. If you are registered for a postal vote and haven’t received it please call us on 0300 303 0345 or email and we will hand-deliver you a replacement. 

“You can still post your postal vote up to and including Thursday 2 May and provided it is posted before the last collection time displayed on the post box it will be collected and delivered to us in time. We’ve also arranged for some local libraries to accept postal votes until Wednesday and full details are at”

Libraries across the Rochdale boroughs will be open until 7pm until Wednesday 1 May to accept postal votes. Voters have been told that if you can’t post your postal vote pack in time, you can take it to your nearest polling station or bring it to the main council offices at Number One Riverside up until 10pm on polling day.

George Lythgoe, Local Democracy Reporter

If you want to drop off your postal vote at a polling station, you can find the closest one to your home using this interactive polling station finder.



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