Ulster Unionist Leader, Robin Swann MLA, has expressed his concern at reports of postal and proxy votes not being received just days out from the local government elections.
Mr Swann said:
“I have received reports from people in different parts of Northern Ireland of postal and proxy votes not being delivered. For voters to be sitting just days out from the council elections, still waiting for these ballots to be delivered is shambolic.
“I have spoken to councillors and candidates who have received inquiries from people due to head off on holidays this week and others who are on a permanent postal vote, who are very concerned that they haven`t received anything from the Electoral Office. These councillors and candidates have attempted to contact the Electoral Office seeking clarity but have experienced problems getting through. Some constituents who were able to get through have been advised that their postal and proxy votes were sent out approximately two weeks ago, but as yet they have not materialised.
“I understand the pressures that staff in the Electoral Office may be under, but the fact that the local government elections are taking place this Thursday should be of no surprise to anyone. I hope that the Chief Electoral Officer will provide clarity as soon as possible and also an explanation for the delay. If we can’t get postal and proxy votes out in time for a council election which we knew was happening five years ago, it doesn`t bode well for the European Elections, with postal and proxy vote applications closing for that election this Thursday.”