Thousands of postal votes invalid: voters en masse the mistake with envelopes

Thousands of votes cast by post in Brabant are invalid. This is evident from a tour on Monday evening by Omroep Brabant along various municipalities. In Tilburg, for example, about ten percent of the postal votes checked on Monday turned out to be invalid. According to a spokesman, this concerns between six hundred and seven hundred votes that were not cast properly.

Of the twelve thousand postal votes that Tilburg has received up to and including Monday, seven thousand have been opened so far, as it is called.

Bergen op Zoom and Breda
4,703 postal votes were cast in Bergen op Zoom. According to a spokesman, about seven percent of this has been declared invalid. In Breda it concerns a total of 11,692 postal votes of which, according to a spokesman, four percent are invalid.

Helmond and Den Bosch
Helmond announced that a total of 124 postal votes were declared invalid on Monday evening. That is 4.4 percent of the 2,830 votes checked by Monday evening. Up to and including Monday evening, 6,700 postal votes were checked in Den Bosch. About five percent of this is invalid, the municipality says. A total of 8,112 votes were received by post in the Brabant capital up to and including Monday evening at nine o’clock.

Earlier Monday it appeared that in Bernheze, 8.5 percent of all votes received by mail are invalid. Eindhoven announced on Monday evening that it would not make any statements about any invalid votes that would emerge during the pre-opening. “That will not come until Wednesday,” said a spokesman. Oss is also unable to give a definite answer on Monday evening. The votes cast by post will be checked there on Tuesday, according to a spokesman.

What’s going wrong?
According to many municipalities, people sometimes forget to send their voting pass. They also see that the voting pass has not been put in the correct envelope. The voting pass and voting form are often interchanged.

Ministry consults with Electoral Council
On Monday evening, the Ministry of the Interior indicated that it had indeed received ‘signals’ from municipalities about problems with postal votes. It has been agreed with municipalities that they will separate the incorrect postal votes. “Because it concerns a considerable percentage, we are in consultation with the Electoral Council,” said the ministry.

Municipalities are already pre-opening the envelopes. This is a kind of check whether the postal votes have been cast correctly. These votes, which are put in a ballot box, will not be counted until Wednesday.

Reaction of the elderly association
Elderly union ANBO is now very concerned about the possible loss of the voice of many over-70s. This year, people aged 70 and older are allowed to vote by post. That is the first time because of the corona crisis.

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