POSTAL VOTE SUCCESS

POSTAL voting was given an emphatic thumbs up from councillors in town after last Thursday's election turnout skyrocketed in the four wards it affected.

Residents in Broadfield, Bewbush, Ifield and Southgate were chosen for the pilot scheme and it appeared voters were more inclined to fill in the postal ballot forms than make their way down to a polling station.

Turnout in Ifield shot up from 22.5 percent in 2000 to a massive 39.86 percent in 2002, and Broadfield went from 13.8 percent in 2000 to 29.51 percent.

Bewbush numbers also rose from 17.2 percent in 2000 up to 27.79 percent in 2002 and Southgate went up from 21 percent in 2000 to 39.38 percent in 2002.

Overall, the amount of people voting across the town increased from 23.2 percent in 2000 to 30.09 percent in 2002.

And returning officer for Crawley Borough Council, Pat Tinsley said: "We are on a par with Gateshead where they have tried this before.

"The all postal vote has had a significant effect on the turnout this year.''

The number of ballot cards that were rejected in the postal vote was a lot higher than from polling station votes, which indicates that there are still some flaws in the system.

All wards in town work on a rota system where they will vote for their councillors three years out of four, but this is set to change next year.