Postal vote application forms from the ‘Yes to Fairer Votes’ campaign

UTTLESFORD District Council is advising residents who apply for a postal vote using the application form from the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign that this does not give them a postal vote for the district and parish elections as well.

The council is also concerned that some residents may believe that the form suggests the council endorses a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum, when in fact it has no view on the matter.

Some 8000 postal vote application forms have been sent to Uttlesford residents by the Yes to fairer Votes campaign. Returning this form will only give a postal vote for the referendum – NOT for the district/parish election on the same day. Anyone who wants a postal vote for the local elections must apply separately.

The council’s Democratic and Electoral Services Manager, Peter Snow, said: “The Yes to Fairer Votes campaign is a registered Permitted Participant campaigning for the adoption of the Alternative Vote system at the Referendum on 5 May and has no connection with the council.

“We understand that the form includes the council’s return address as the place where completed forms should be returned.

“While this is recommended good practice as it assists the person completing the form in sending it to the right place, it should not be read as any kind of endorsement of the ‘Yes’ campaign.

“Electors need also to be aware that this form relates to the Referendum only and we are not allowed to also send the district and parish ballot papers out if we receive this form.

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“This means that, unless a further application is made to vote by post at the district and parish election, the elector would have to attend the polling station in person in order to cast a vote at that election.”

Elections are being held throughout Uttlesford in all 27 district council wards.

Any elector wishing to vote by post on May 5 who has not already applied for a postal vote should contact the council’s elections office on 01799 510431 or 510432 for advice about completing an application form relevant to all polls being held on May 5. The closing date for all applications at these polls is 5pm on Thursday April 14.