Ballot box blunder - East Lindsey District Council admit thousands of polling cards were never even printed


East Lindsey District Council has admitted it failed to print and send out more than 2,000 polling cards for last month’s Horncastle by-election.

The News can exclusively reveal only voters living in the north register area of Horncastle received cards.

None were sent to people living in the south register area of the town - or the village of Thimbleby.

The announcement has added to controversy surrounding the election which was won by Richard Evison for the Conservatives.

The turn-out was less than 20 per cent.

ELDC has insisted the election is valid and pointed out people do not need polling cards to vote.

However, several residents have come forward and contacted the News to complain they did not vote because they did not receive a polling card.

Some said they were unaware the election - held on April 24 - was taking 

They also alleged voters did not have to prove their identity at the town’s two polling stations.

Several called for the election to held again.

In another development, Horncastle based businessman Richard Ingram-Hill said he intended to report the authority to the Electoral Commission.

Mr Ingram-Hill claimed when he first enquired about the absence of polling cards, he was told the Post Office had “failed to deliver them”.

It has now emerged they were never printed.

Mr Ingram-Hill also called for the election to be held again and claimed that not sending out the polling cards had “affected an accurate representation of the wishes of the electorate of Horncastle”.

In answer to questions submitted by the News, ELDC said 4,656 polling cards should have been delivered.

It admits only 2,655 were actually sent out and that the ‘absent’ 2,001 were never 
even printed.

ELDC admitted only people eligible to vote at the town’s Community Centre (north register) received cards.

People who should have voted at Stanhope Hall (south register) - and Thimbleby - did not receive cards.