After opening the paper I read with great interest the Gazette’s article entitled ‘Postal Vote Blunder causes complaints’. The definition of blunder is:
Move blindly; stumble; make gross mistake.
I firstly accept that on occasions we do make mistakes which we look to rectify quickly and in the way the legislation dictates. I am sure that having sent out over 30,000 postal votes a handful of residents do not get all the ballot papers they should, but it is only a handful.
The article suggests that 20 residents have complained. 20 out of 30,000 is a 0.066% error rate. Hardly a blunder – more of a blip, however annoying it may be for the 20 people affected.
I also accept that a few more people may not have received their postal vote even though we put them in the post. Royal Mail sometimes does not manage to deliver them and they get returned to us, with a perfectly good address on them, but normally after Election Day.
It is correct when it says that we receive large numbers of phone calls from residents about not receiving their parliamentary postal vote ballot paper. Although 100s of people tell us that the ballot paper does not give the names of David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg or Nigel Farage etc. Perhaps we are becoming more like a presidential election rather than our own parliamentary system.
I am not being defensive or suggesting we do not get it wrong, but out of 30,000 postal votes issued 20 feels more like a blip than a blunder – however, I realise a blip does not sound quite as catastrophic as a blunder.
Anyway, I now need to go and lie down ready for the 28 hour election day and count tomorrow.