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Highland Council opens buildings in Inverness and Dingwall for people who haven’t received postal votes

By Andrew Dixon

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Highland Council issued this image with its social media posts.
Highland Council issued this image with its social media posts.

Highland Council has taken an unusual step in a bid to help people following delays in receiving their postal ballots.

A spokesman for the local authority stated on social media: “Between 9am and 5pm [on] Sunday, voters who have yet to receive their postal votes can go to HQ Inverness or Dingwall County Buildings and have their voting pack re-issued.

“A private booth is set up for anyone who wishes to complete their postal vote there and then. Bring photo ID.”

Highland voters ‘frustrated and angry’ over ‘inability to vote’ after postal ballot delays

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In a further social media post, Highland Council stated: “Unfortunately, you will have to come in person (with photo ID) - but we are open on Sunday between 9am and 5pm and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week between 10am and 4pm.”

The deadline to apply for a postal vote was June 19, and anyone who is a long-term postal voter or applied before June 7 should have received their voting pack last week.

The general election is this coming Thursday.

However, many Highlanders haven’t received their postal vote, meaning they will not get the opportunity to have their say in the general election, as they leave for family holidays over the next few days - or have already left after schools broke up for summer.

The situation has prompted some criticism from the public and First Minister John Swinney feel postal vote issues could impact election results.

Graham Neville replied to the council’s post on X: “Absolute nonsense, This is no good for those of us already away on holiday, who applied and received confirmation of postal votes well in time for the deadline. Total shambles and I have been denied my vote.”

Sarah Nicolson said: “Oh great, it’s a 212-mile journey for my disabled mum and an overnight stay, travelling on a road that’s had crashes every day. Anti-democratic.”

Replying to the council’s Facebook post, Jo Unda said: “Unfortunately this doesn’t help those who applied for a postal vote, haven’t received the pack, and are already out of the country on holiday.”

Hannah Toohill stated: “Unfortunately I am away on holiday and you have not got my ballot out to me in time despite applying in May! Was hoping my husband could collect and bring it to me but oh well! First time since I turned 18 I haven't been able to vote. Thanks Highland Council.”

Helen Smith asked: “Why has this decision been made so late? Lots of people have been disenfranchised because of the delay.”

Dyan Myles said: “I don't believe that it is the Highland Council at fault here. I am working in the Highlands and my local council is saying exactly the same and doing the same. I obviously can't go back there and collect my postal vote, I'm just hoping it still comes in time or else that's another lost vote.”

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