POSTAL VOTERS in Emmbrook got a surprise from the postman – duplicate votes.
An error at the printers meant that local election voters living in Emmbrook South ward received two postal vote packs from Wokingham Borough Council, ahead of next Thursday’s crunch poll.
The council has said that the error would not affect next Thursday’s election results
Swathes of residents took to social media to complain about the error, with some wanting to know if they could vote twice.
And council chiefs have admitted the blunder but said that security systems in place meant that if anyone attempted to double vote, it would be picked up. Instead, they are asking affected residents to ditch their second set of ballot papers.
One affected resident said: “Post[man] delivered two sets of voting envelopes today to me and my wife. That’s great, I could vote twice.
“I rang the helpline and was told that the printer made an error, can I please destroy the copies.
“The candidates aren’t going to be happy.”
Another said: “I get my voting done by post because I have worked in polling stations in the past and we have to do that.
“The other day I received two lots of voting papers and on opening I found that they are both the same. Each gives me the opportunity to vote for Election of councillors to Wokingham Borough Council and Election of councillors to the Parish of Wokingham.
“This means I am getting two opportunities to vote rather than the regular person’s one opportunity. That doesn’t seem right.”
The council apologised for the mistake.
Returning officer Andrew Moulton told The Wokingham Paper: “If you live in the Emmbrook South (WBW Polling District) area, you may have received two postal vote packs from us. Both packs contain duplicate ballot papers which means the ballot papers have the exact same number.
“Therefore, even if both votes are used, only one would be accepted as the system automatically detects that a postal voting statement has already been received.
“We are advising our electors to complete one set and destroy the other.
“Unfortunately, our printers had an issue with the production of the postal votes in the Emmbrook South area (WBW Polling District). While we are disappointed this error has occurred, we’re confident it will not affect the result of the poll.
“We apologise for any confusion caused.”