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Why ballot papers from ex pats aren’t in the post

BRITISH ex pats may be unable to vote in today’s EU election because local authorities did not deliver their ballot forms in time.

Some living in France found their papers took more than a fortnight to arrive after they were sent by a private delivery company via the Netherlands.

Around 785,000 Brits live on the Continent and many are furious they will have no say in the election. ‘We are all very upset, very angry and we want someone to be held accountable,’ said Joy Allen, who lives near Poitiers, western France.

Ann Bone — from the southern French town of Maury — received her form on Friday and was told by her local post office there was ‘no chance’ of it arriving back in time. ‘We’ve been denied a vote, basically,’ she said.

Ex pats are allowed to vote if they register with a local authority in the UK, but some councils used private postal service Adare SEC to deliver the forms. The firm said it uses ‘reputable mail handlers’ which ‘assess the best route through other European countries’.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said it was ‘down to individual councils to decide how to distribute ballots’.