8 May 2015

Postal vote for British expats delayed

12:21 pm on 8 May 2015

Some British expats say they were unable to vote in the election after voting forms arrived late in the mail.

generic union jack

Photo: 123rf

Many have taken to social media to vent their frustration after postal ballot forms arrived too late to be sent back in time for the election.

Wellington-based design lecturer Jo Bailey had only a 24-hour window in which to get her forms to her electorate of East Hampshire.

She said this was the second election it had happened, and she planned to take the matter up with her constituency.

Radio New Zealand reporter Lauren Baker's postal voting forms arrived on Tuesday, despite her early registration.

However, her boyfriend, who had registered late, had his form arrive in time to be sent back to the UK ahead of the election.

"It normally takes a week to post, but I would usually allow two."

She said as far as she knew there was no online option.

"I called the Auckland Consulate-General, they don't take them - they said the High Commission in Wellington was taking them, but only to post, and it would take eight weeks to get back."

While some voters are able to qualify for an emergency vote by proxy, this is only available under various conditions such as illness. A form arriving late doesn't come under the criteria.

Ms Baker said her sister in Italy had had the same problem as well as friends she had been in contact with via social media.