Late polling cards 'strip' Northampton residents of right to vote in MEP elections

Residents say they only received their polling cards this week - two days too late to apply for a proxy vote when they needed it.
Residents say they only received their polling cards this week - two days too late to apply for a proxy vote when they needed it.

"Furious" would-be voters in Northampton say have been "stripped" of their chance to vote after their polling cards arrived late in the post.

Several residents in the town have called the Chronicle and Echo to say they only received their polling card for the MEP elections this week - leaving them unable to make a postal vote or even apply someone else to vote in their place.

Northampton Borough Council has been contacted to ask when the cards were posted out - but it comes after the statutory notice of election was published on April 15, more than a month ago.

"I'm furious," said Elaine Hawker, a voter from Weston Favell. "It is a right that every citizen can vote and I've had mine taken away.

"I found my polling card when I got in from work on Thursday. The deadline to set up a proxy vote was Wednesday.

"It's a more important time than ever to vote and now I've had my chance taken from me, through no fault of my own."

The election for five Members of the European Parliament for the East Midlands region is set for May 23.

The deadline to register for a postal vote was May 8, while the last chance to ask for proxy vote was 5pm on May 15.

Another resident, Timothy Fisher, from Abington, got his polling card on Thursday as well. He said: "I received it too late. It's taken away my chance to vote.

"I called the council but they told me there's nothing that can be done."

Residents who know they will not be free to go to the polling station can ask for a proxy vote, where someone else will hand in their vote for them.

But if they miss the chance to apply for the proxy vote, they can essentially lose their chance to vote.