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LATEST: Kent voting letter under fire

Friday 16th October 2020

A COUNCILLOR has criticised the decision by the leader of Kent County Council (KCC) to encourage postal voting for next year’s local election.

Conservative KCC leader Roger Gough sent a letter – paid for by the Tories at no expense to taxpayers - to residents last month encouraging them to apply for a postal vote due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the risk it poses to the vulnerable.

Cllr Gough’s letter states 20% of people already choose to vote this way, due to “tens and thousands of people” unable to make the trip on polling day.

Liberal Democrat Cllr Chittenden said: “The Conservatives can afford to send more letters and leaflets out than any other party and it definitely gives them the upper hand.”

Bridge ward borough councillor Jonathan Purle says the Conservatives always favour the postal vote system because it is a “convenient way of voting” for older people who may not want to leave their house on polling day.

Cllr Purle said: “Postal voting does favour us and serves us well. But your local councillor can act as a proxy vote or we can come and pick it up for you.”

But there was disquiet that the KCC leader had omitted to mention the borough council elections in May next year in the letter.