Electoral Office has questions to answer, says Nicholl, over miscommunication around postal vote applications

Alliance MLA Kate Nicholl has said the Electoral Office has questions to answer, after revealing she will be unable to vote in this week’s upcoming Council Election on Thursday (18 May) despite initially having an application for a postal vote accepted.

Kate Nicholl

The South Belfast representative attempted to register for a postal vote for the 18 May poll, due to being out of the country on the day in question. However, she has now been informed that due to the absence of a digital registration number, her application has been denied, despite the form initially being accepted by the Electoral Office. She said many constituents had also fallen foul of the situation.


“I hand delivered my correctly filled-in forms for a postal vote to the Electoral Office, where they were checked and accepted,” said Ms Nicholl.


“I was therefore surprised to subsequently receive a letter from the Electoral Office to state we were not approved, with the reason given being a lack of a digital registration number. It was never made clear on the form that was necessary, and when I spoke to a member of staff there, I was informed the number could have been emailed to me but it was now too late.


“I have now been left without the ability to vote for this week and I am aware of many constituents who are in the same situation. It has come up on the doors many times during canvassing. Clearly the Electoral Office has questions to answer – if they can email people the number with ease, why is it needed, and why are people not provided it being left disenfranchised?


“Given my application was submitted ahead of the deadline and accepted at the office, it is disgraceful my vote will now be denied. I have written to the Electoral Office to request people who have fallen foul of this situation be facilitated, as their votes are otherwise valid.”