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Vale of White Horse District Council (17 006 743)

Category : Other Categories > Elections and electoral register

Decision : Closed after initial enquiries

Decision date : 01 Aug 2017

The Ombudsman's final decision:

Summary: We cannot investigate Mr Y’s complaint about the Council not sending him his postal vote in time. The organisation of elections is the responsibility of the Returning Officer who in performing this duty does not work on behalf of the Council but in a personal capacity. We have no remit therefore to investigate.

The complaint

  1. The complainant, whom I shall call Mr Y, complains the Council did not send him his postal vote in time to allow him to vote.

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The Ombudsman’s role and powers

  1. We cannot investigate a complaint where the body complained about is not responsible for the issue being raised. (Local Government Act 1974, section 24A(1), as amended)

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How I considered this complaint

  1. I have considered what Mr Y said in her complaint.

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What I found

  1. Mr Y complains the Council did not send him his postal vote in time to allow him to vote in County Council elections.
  2. The Returning Officer is responsible for organising elections. In this role, the Returning Officer works independently and not on behalf of the Council. The Ombudsman has no legal jurisdiction therefore to investigate complaints about the organisation of elections.

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Final decision

  1. We cannot investigate Mr Y’s complaint as we have no legal remit over the organisation of elections.

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Investigator's decision on behalf of the Ombudsman

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