Sheffield City Council was forced to hand delivered ballots to voters across Sheffield on bank holiday Monday to make up for delays due to printing issues.
15,000 postal votes for today’s elections were delayed this week because of an issue with the printers, meaning that thousands of people had to wait to receive their ballots and were worried they wouldn’t be able to take part in this year’s incredibly important set of local elections.
In Sheffield, people are going to the polls to vote for their local councillors, Police Crime Commissioners, and deciding whether they want to see changes to the way the council is run.
This election is unique because of the referendum that will decide how the council is run for at least the rest of the decade. Voters have the chance to vote to remain with the current leader and cabinet system or change to the committee system run following the delayed ‘It’s Our City’ campaign.
“I really wanted to vote on changing the council system.” said Joanne Ferguson, a Sheffield voter. “I was concerned the papers wouldn’t reach me in time as I’m going away for a few days midweek.
“I’m impressed that they got hand-delivered papers to me on bank holiday Monday.”
Kate Josephs, Returning Officer for Sheffield said on Saturday May 1st: “Our understanding is that postal votes have landed on doorsteps today.”
Joanne hadn’t received hers, but her daughter had, so she emailed the council late on Sunday night and had her postal vote hand-delivered to her door the next day.
The reason for the delay was because of an issue at the printers. On the day, Kate Josephs said: “This obviously falls far below our expectations, and we are in urgent talks with the printers to ensure that no efforts are being spared in getting these postal votes delivered.
“Voting is your democratic right, and we will do everything in our power to ensure that everyone is able to cast their ballot in these elections.”
Postal votes can still be handed in today if you haven’t got round to posting them. Simply hand them in at your nearest polling station.
Sheffield isn’t the only place to have this issue. Bradford and Warrington both had similar issues with their ballots.