Residents criticise election ‘farce’


Angry residents in Horncastle have hit out after claiming they had no idea that last Thursday’s district council by-election was taking place.

Several people contacted 
the News to complain they had not received polling 
cards, even though they are included on the electoral register.

It is understood large areas in the south of the town 
failed to receive cards 
in an election which attracted a 20.82 per cent turn-out.

Vicky Timms said that together with many friends and neighbours, she would have voted but never received a polling card and was not aware the by-election was being held.

Mrs Timms described the process as “a farce” and said that in her opinion the election should be declared invalid.

However, ELDC hit back and while accepting “some” polling cards were not sent out, said the election met “all legislative requirements”.

Stuart Davy, the Returning Officer for the election, said: “We have been made aware that some households did 
not receive polling cards in the Horncastle ward.

“We are reviewing the end to end process of production, supply and distribution to ensure this does not happen again.

“The election was well publicised through public notices and the local media and accordingly met all legislative requirements and we are also aware that the candidates and their teams were very active in the local area.

“It is not necessary to have a polling card in order to cast a vote provided a person is registered on the electoral roll.”

Mrs Timms said: “I am upset because I have always vote.

“Even when my job took me abroad, I made sure I arranged for a postal vote.

“I would certainly 
have voted last week - and so would a lot of my 
friends and neighbours but 
we never received polling cards.

“We had no idea an election was even taking place. It is appalling - a farce. I have tried to contact ELDC but the person responsible won’t take my call.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “My understanding is that a lot of people in the South ward did not get a polling 
card and, as such, did not know the election was taking place.

“I wonder how many people would have voted - and whether it would 
have affected the overall result?

“I’ve been told that if you take out the number of postal votes, the actual turn-out was about 12 per cent.

“That is atrocious. There again, if no-one knew about the election, what do 
ELDC expect? It’s another mess up.”

lThe election was won by Conservative candidate Richard Avison (432 votes) ahead of Independent David Roark (353) and UKIP’s Mike Beecham (339).