EARLY Royton voters in yesterday’s General Election had to post their votes in a large bag after problems with a ballot box.

Robert Battye, son of a former Mayor of Oldham, went to post his vote at Firbank school.

But having cast his vote Robert, a 45 year old warehouse manager, was faced with placing his voting paper in a large bag or returning later.

He said: “ It was very confusing. I’ve never faced anything like this before. I was offered the opportunity of returning later to place my vote in the ballot box when it arrived but I decided to place it in the bag.

“There was a ballot box on the table but it wasn’t being used, there was only one person in front of me when I voted,” he added.

A councillor reported the problem to the leader of the council leader Cllr Sean Fielding, who contacted the returning officer Caroline Wilkins to investigate.

A spokesman for Oldham Council said: “There was an issue with the ballot box which was reported to the presiding officer.

“Our elections team immediately sent out a replacement box.

“Until this arrived the cast votes were collected and stored securely. This is a standard process if this situation occurs.

“When the new box arrived the votes were transferred into it and will be counted as part of the official count.”