Owners are being urged to post back voting papers for
residents no longer living at that address.
The best thing people could do if they had voting papers for
unknown residents was to readdress them and put them back in
the mail, electoral officer Pam Jordan said.
It was possible people put unwanted papers in the rubbish bin
but it was more helpful if they were marked as ''not at this
address'' and sent back, she said.
That enabled the electoral commission to follow up on the
residents to ensure the correct address was added in time for
the next election.
''They do a good job, to ... make sure electoral rolls are up
to date but we have limited control of what people do.''
Registrar of electors Dee Vickers said voting papers were
addressed to a specific person so it was illegal for anyone
else to open them.
''It is the risk of a postal vote.''
However, people were generally honest and many brought
unclaimed papers to the city council or the electoral office,
''I don't think there is a massive problem here. Most people
try to do the right thing.''
There were also many checks and balances in the system to
ensure anyone who tried to ''cheat the system'' was detected
and those votes were discounted.
Halls of residence and rest-homes gathered together unclaimed
voting papers and returned them to the electoral office so
they were not left lying about.
It was simple to return unclaimed papers by crossing out the
address and putting ''return to sender'' on the front, she
said. No stamp was needed.