Advice for postal voters in the upcoming elections

Ballot box during an election

POSTAL voters are being urged to look out for their postal vote pack for the upcoming elections, which will start to hit doormats soon.

Voters are due to go to the polls on 4 July for the General Election. There is also an election on 27 June for the Cumberland Council Harraby North ward in Carlisle.  

All postal voters are advised to check the instructions which comes with the ballot paper to make sure they complete it correctly.  

Anyone who wishes to apply for a postal vote for the General Election and has not done so already, has until 5pm on Wednesday 19 June to do so. You can find out more on the Cumberland Council website.

To apply for a postal vote you also have to be registered to vote first. If you are not already registered, the deadline to do this for the General Election is midnight on Tuesday 18 June.  

The rules for postal votes have also now changed. This means that anyone returning a postal vote by hand must complete a postal vote return form. A postal vote returned by hand not accompanied by a postal vote return form will be rejected.  

Therefore, the easiest way to return a postal vote is to use the Royal Mail envelope provided with the postal vote pack. Just pop it in a post box in good time to ensure the vote is counted.  

Electors who wish to hand their postal vote in at a polling station or one of the designated council offices must now complete a postal vote return form for the postal vote to be accepted. 

At polling stations, Presiding Officers and Clerks will have the necessary form to be completed. 

Council offices have signage in place to tell electors where they need to go to complete the form when they come to hand the vote in. Postal votes should not be put through the letter boxes or internal mail boxes at council buildings as these will have to be rejected. 

There are also new limits on the number of postal votes that can be handed in by one person. 

Postal voters in the Harraby North ward are advised that they will be getting two postal vote packs - one for the Harraby North ward election, and one for the General Election. These voters are also advised to check the details on the ballot paper to confirm which election they are voting in and to note that the date by which the postal votes must be returned will be different. The easiest way to return a postal vote is to use the pre-paid Royal Mail envelope provided. Separate envelopes should be used for each ballot paper.   

Andrew Seekings, Cumberland Council’s Acting Electoral Registration Officer, said: “Postal voting is popular with many voters especially those who cannot make it to the polling stations on the day. I’d urge everyone voting by post to keep an eye out for their postal vote pack when it is delivered and post your ballot paper back to us in good time to ensure your vote counts. Read the instructions carefully to ensure you complete and return it correctly and I’d encourage everyone to use the pre-paid Royal Mail envelope provided.” 

More details on the General Election including who is standing and key contacts, as well as more information on postal voting and other ways to vote can be found on the council’s website.

More information on the Harraby North election can be found on the Council's website.