The above post is from Syed Kamall’s Facebook page, expressing concern that “many Conservative Party members in London” still haven’t received their votes in the London Mayoral selection ballot. This site has been covering the issues and concerns about members being disenfranchised for a fortnight now, since they first arose, but I still here from members who have yet to receive their voting information.
There are still some issues confirming some members’ votes, though the totals are unknown as numbers vary wildly from association to association – while some reportedly are confident that the vast majority of their members have received a vote, others believe that the vast majority of their members do not. The Party has apparently found that data mismatches are the most regular cause of someone not being confirmed (their postal address listed with CCHQ differing from their address on the electoral register, for example), though association officers report still finding unexplained gaps and inconsistencies in the lists being extracted from Votesource centrally and sent on to them for checking. Either way, the risk of members being disenfranchised is clear.
The official response has been to handle those lacking a vote one-by-one, which is obviously less effective and less fair than successfully registering all members in the first place. Anyone who has yet to receive voting information should email email@example.com (if they wish to vote online) or call 020 7984 8011 (if they wish to vote by post). The window to do so is being held open until the last possible moment – three days before the ballot closes in the case of online voters and five days before in the case of postal voters. The ballot itself closes at 10am on Wednesday 30th September.
In the meantime, Party officials are combing through the lists to try to spot people who ought to have a vote but don’t, so that they can contact them to try to sort the issues out.
That it should be necessary to seek out disenfranchised voters, hold open the confirmation process until the last moment and encourage people to ring in to confirm or correct their personal details is a source of serious concern. Candidates and ConservativeHome are being contacted by paid-up, hard-working Tories who want to play their part in a selecting the Mayoral candidate but currently cannot do so. Whether the problems are about data or about process, there should be a full post-mortem to identify them and eliminate them in future.