So what went wrong with the poll cards?


Some people might find it disturbing that despite an internal probe, nobody at Doncaster Council was able to find out exactly how an estimated 2,000 poll cards were not delivered to households in Mexborough for the May council elections.

The report to the chair and members of the Elections and Democratic Structures Committee said:

“The organisation of an election is a large and complex project. For the May 3 election the council operated 183 polling stations for an eligible electorate of 223,000, 60,000 of whom receive postal votes.

The report goes on: “The election and referendum were both successfully delivered save for two areas of particular concern - postal vote delivery and poll card delivery”.

But there was no conclusive answer as to why Mexborough and other areas did not receive cards.

They were printed and scanned but did not materialise into the letter boxes.

Royal Mail say all of the cards they collected from the printer were delivered.

When the problem was identified the Council wrote to the residents concerned and told them they did not need a poll card to vote.

But not everyone knows the rules and so some people were effectively disenfranchised.

Staff are to be given extra training and the Chief Executive has been asked to carry out a review of the Council’s election arrangements.

There is no point in creating scapegoats and pointing the finger of blame.

But if the root cause of the problem has not been found, there can never be a guarantee it won’t happen again.