Voters face polling day delay following death of UKIP candidate ahead of Sunderland local elections

Voters in Sunderland’s Copt Hill ward will see polling day delayed following the death of a candidate.

By James Harrison
Thursday, 21st April 2022, 5:22 pm

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Reginald Coulson was due to contest the Sunderland City Council seat for the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in local elections scheduled for Thursday, May 5.

He was also a member of Hetton Town Council, representing the East Rainton and Moorsley ward since 2015.

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A new date for the election is being arranged and new poll cards will be sent to all affected voters once the date is set – these will tell voters how to arrange a postal or proxy vote if they cannot make it to the polling station on the new date.Any postal votes which have already been returned will no longer count, but postal voters will be sent new postal ballots.

Sunderland’s returning officer, Patrick Melia, said: "We send our condolences to the family and friends of Mr Coulson at this sad time. Legally, we must now postpone the election in Copt Hill ward. I am contacting the other candidates, and will be writing to all affected electors."

The 2022 local elections are scheduled for May.

Candidate nominations will reopen for a set period once the new date is announced, while nominations for all other previous candidates remain valid and will be included on the ballot paper.

UKIP candidate Reginald Coulson died ahead of polling day