Plans for the local elections in two weeks have been thrown into chaos and the results could be delayed for days because of widespread problems with new postal voting software.
Up to 100 councils are experiencing difficulties with software to scan millions of postal votes after new anti-fraud legislation. In some areas the systems have not even arrived.
The problems could lead to votes being discarded in error or false votes counted because the scanning equipment failed to work properly.
Most town halls are sending out postal ballot forms today. Electoral staff said they were crossing their fingers that they could read them electronically when the results start coming in after the ballot on May 3.
Ed: Recalling the 'alleged' postal vote fraud that happened last time in a number of inner city Labour consituencies it would be nice if the technology worked this time.