Emergency reprint of 2 lots of by-election postal votes for our customer.

The UK Engage team stepped up and saved a customer election which had been affected by the failure of another supplier involved in the process.

Our team had, as instructed, printed and mailed 2 lots of Postal Votes for our customer’s by-elections, which were planned for a Thursday in August.

All of our procedures took place within the agreed timings, with Royal Mail documented as picking up the envelopes ready for their onward distribution. In these cases the 2 electoral areas were extremely rural.

However, on the Sunday prior to election day (Thursday of the following week), the Electoral Manager contacted our Managing Director (who was on holiday in North Wales) via text message to say no postal votes had yet been received by their relevant electors and Royal Mail had no proper information as to their whereabouts. The text messaged was sent to us by the customer at 9am Sunday, asking for our opinion on the best course of action and requested to have a follow-up conversation with us at 2pm the same day.

In this time, the UK Engage crisis team immediately involved 2 Senior Managers and our Customer Account Manager; our Production Director and the Data Director (who was actually on holiday in Cyprus).

Internally; on this Sunday morning, the following points were addressed:

  • Rearrange existing production to leave machines free for reprints on Monday morning at 6am.
  • Do we need a different colour ballot paper?
  • Do we need a different numbering sequence.
  • Compose a covering explanatory letter (to be inserted into the postal vote envelopes) explaining to postal vote electors that they may receive 2 postal votes, but the systems would ensure only one could be scanned and verified. The letter would also state that completed postal votes could be dropped off at specially opened Polling Station locations on the Wednesday and as usual on the Thursday (day of election).
  • Arrange to courier down to the customer’s area and deliver straight into the very local Royal Mail depot with a named contact, and what can be the best timescales. NOTE: due to the extreme rural locations of the postal vote addresses it would not be possible for Council Staff to hand deliver.


The customer agreed that the jobs should be reprinted as previous and we all agreed the text for the explanatory note. Our Account Manager then immediately processed the job through our systems.

We reprinted all 2 lots of postal votes and couriered to the local Royal Mail depot by late Monday afternoon, ready for the normal Royal Mail staff to deliver on the Tuesday, which was confirmed by Royal Mail Managers.  Hence ensuring that all electoral postal votes were received on time by the electors.

UK Engage offer fully managed election and AGM services. We are an experienced election services provider, with a dedicated team of election professionals delivering elections and AGMs daily. Both postal and online services can be provided as part of our ISO9001 and ISO27001 certifications. Contact us on 0161 209 4808 to discuss your needs.

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