The Times reports (26 Apr 2010) that tens of thousands of people living overseas may have lost their chance to vote in the General Election because of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud - but an exception was made for the final batch of applications from British soldiers in Afghanistan.
The deadline for registering to vote and applying for a postal vote was April 20. But aircraft carrying mail were unable to fly for nearly a week, delaying thousands of last-minute applications until after the deadline.
Election administrators warned last night that the problems could continue this week, with delays in sending ballot papers overseas caused by a backlog of mail. This means that even those who applied earlier may not get their ballot papers in time to vote by May 6.
The Royal Mail told The Times that delays were still occurring on some airlines because of airmail stacking up in mail boxes at airports abroad and at home. “It is up to carriers if they fill the aircraft hold with airmail or people’s luggage,” a spokesman said.
An exception has been made for 700 British soldiers in Afghanistan whose forms have been scanned into town hall computers as part of a trial project. ...
- Full story, The Times, by Jill Sherman: Thousands lose chance to vote as volcano delays overseas ballot papers