Local Trafford Conservatives have been outraged this week by the news that the Yes to AV campaign has been misleading local voters by sending postal vote application forms to residents who are already registered to vote by post.
To date, 10,000 postal vote application forms issued by the Yes campaign have been received by Trafford Council. Of these, roughly 95% are from residents who are already registered to vote by post.
As a result of the Yes campaign's actions, Trafford Council have had to employ 3 extra temporary staff to process these forms manually as they do not contain a Council barcode (in normal circumstances, postal vote application forms would be issued by the Council using barcode technology to speed up processing once returned).
So far, over £4,000 of extra costs have been spent dealing with the Yes campaign's forms (the vast majority of which were not required for a postal vote). The final cost by May 5th is set to be even higher.
Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group on Trafford Council, Alex Williams said:
"It's clear that the Yes campaign are confusing local voters through their meddling in Trafford's referendum process. To make matter's worse, their actions are likely to cost local taxpayers in Trafford several thousand pounds. Nationally, the cost must be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of pounds."
"I'm calling on the Yes campaign to apologise to Trafford's residents and taxpayers immediately."