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To complain DD has been denied a vote in Cambridge?

(147 Posts)
Novote Wed 11-Dec-19 13:13:23

NC'd to avoid outing.
DD is at uni in Cambridge- she is on the electoral roll in Cambridge (not here at home) and applied for a postal vote before the deadline as she is now back home for the holidays.
No postal ballot arrived. She phone Cambridge council who said it was not actioned and they can't find the e-mail.
She has shown me the e-mail (with scanned form attachment) - it was indeed sent before the deadline and must have arrived as it was in the 'sent' folder and she did not receive a 'delivery failure' e-mail.

Cambridge City Council has been having intermittent e-mail problems (according to their website). The guy in the elections team basically did an apologetic shrug on the phone.

Is there anything DD can do to still vote? We are over 200 miles from Cambridge.
This would be her first general election and she (and I) feel angry that she did everything properly and is being denied her vote.

rhubarbcrumbles Wed 11-Dec-19 13:17:21

It won't help for this election but students can be registered both at home and at university - mine is and has received a poll card for both locations; it might be worth your daughter doing that for the future.

I hope you manage to get it sorted without having to drive to Cambridge.

GetOffTheTableMabel Wed 11-Dec-19 13:18:20

Well you’re not wrong to feel cross about this (it’s an outrage) but you actually cannot complain. Your daughter is an adult and her vote is nothing to do with you. No one will engage with you on this point.
If there was any pressure that could have been bought to bear on Cambridgeshire Council, that moment has passed. In the event of a very close election in the seat and if your daughter could find a significant number of people with the same level of proof as her then a defeated candidate could challenge the result.

TwattingDog Wed 11-Dec-19 13:18:42

Yes, She can apply for a proxy vote, but will need to have someone available in her ward to vote for her tomorrow.

www.cambridge.gov.uk/vote-by-post-or-proxy

Ask to speak to the supervisor of the department, it isn't good enough.

AlexaShutUp Wed 11-Dec-19 13:19:21

Does she have friends who are still in Cambridge? If so, is there any chance she might be able to apply to appoint an emergency proxy? Not sure whether she would meet the criteria but might be worth a try?

Novote Wed 11-Dec-19 13:25:26

Thanks for the advice- yes she does have a couple of friends still in Cambridge- I'll get her to call about a proxy vote, that sounds like it could work. And of course I wouldn't interfere, she's over 18- it's just that DD is not on mumsnet but I thought someone on here would know what to do while she's still got a bit of time.
Thanks everyone!

5foot5 Wed 11-Dec-19 13:29:27

Similar thing happened to my DD at the referendum. She applied for a postal vote as soon as she could bt it didn't arrive at her student digs until after she had until after she had left for the holidays.

A Remain vote lost!

AlexaShutUp Wed 11-Dec-19 13:32:06

She has missed the deadline for the normal proxy vote, so she'd have to apply for an emergency one. Given that it's the council's error, she should push for them to be flexible on this if she doesn't meet the usual requirements, otherwise she has essentially been disenfranchised. I don't know how much discretion they have in these circumstances though.

When did she contact the council about the lack of a postal vote? Did they tell her about the option of appointing a proxy then?

Alanna1 Wed 11-Dec-19 13:33:46

She can go back to cambridge and vote in person if she’s on the electoral roll but worth exploring emergency proxy first www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/voting-person-post-or-proxy/voting-proxy

Novote Wed 11-Dec-19 13:34:29

She called this morning after the postman had been. No one mentioned the option of a proxy at all- it was just an 'oh well, these things happen' kind of attitude.

She's just calling them back (in the queue) now. I''ll post an update.

ThrowTheBookandtheBookcase Wed 11-Dec-19 13:35:40

My DD applied for a postal vote that has never arrived as well. She's a politics student, so very engaged, and disappointed that she can't participate.

Novote Wed 11-Dec-19 13:36:05

Going back to Cambridge isn't really a practical option unfortunately- it would more than 4 hours each way and well over £100 on the train.

AlexaShutUp Wed 11-Dec-19 13:37:32

OK, so she left it rather late to query the lack of a postal ballot. Why didn't she call them earlier?

User478 Wed 11-Dec-19 13:40:34

At least they answer the phone, you have to call to apply for a proxy vote in our area and no one ever answers the phone.

SillyUnMurphy Wed 11-Dec-19 13:51:30

It won't help for this election but students can be registered both at home and at university - mine is and has received a poll card for both locations; it might be worth your daughter doing that for the future

That is fucking disgraceful to be frank.

JockTamsonsBairns Wed 11-Dec-19 13:55:41

@rhubarbcrumbles that's not right. You can vote in both places in local elections, but not in a general election. Are you certain your DC has a polling card for both? If so, something's gone wrong here. Nobody gets two votes in a GE.

rhubarbcrumbles Wed 11-Dec-19 13:57:41

She says she has, I havent seen it though. If she doesn't have one for home then will she still be able to vote at home ? I know they are allowed to register in both places but do they have to tell the authorities where she wants to vote in the general election?

Pizzaformytea Wed 11-Dec-19 13:58:47

@JockTamsonsBairns you can't vote in both places, but you can be registered to vote in both (you'd be in trouble if you used both polling cards though). www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/students

Yarboosucks Wed 11-Dec-19 13:59:41

Students can only vote once but they do get two ballot cards.

Your DD is too late for a proxy vote. - Read your ballot card

rhubarbcrumbles Wed 11-Dec-19 14:01:24

I don't know how they inform the other polling station that she's voted but I just checked and students choose on the day which place they are going to vote at. Presumably they just rely on trust seeing as it's all a paper based system.

lotsofstripes Wed 11-Dec-19 14:02:21

Yes DD also has two polling cards. Prompted a discussion between us on how they police people using both - say if you voted at uni in the morning before travelling to your home constituency and voting there. When we googled it it did say it has been raised as an issue in the past

Mulledwineinajug Wed 11-Dec-19 14:03:02

I would travel to Cambridge and back rather than not vote. But your dd is right to be angry.

amusedbush Wed 11-Dec-19 14:05:13

A colleague told me that when she was a student she voted at uni and the hopped on a train home to vote again. This was for a general election.

TwattingDog Wed 11-Dec-19 14:05:44

Ref the proxy vote, I should have been clear - this would be an emergency proxy vote.

CheesyMother Wed 11-Dec-19 14:06:26

@SillyUnMurphy @JockTamsonsBairns @rhubarbcrumbles You can be registered to vote in more than one place and will receive polling cards for everywhere you are registered. For a general election you can only actually vote once. I don’t actually know how they check that people haven’t voted more than once, but you would obviously be committing electoral fraud if you did so.
www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

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