An elderly woman was denied a vote after struggling to write her date of birth following an injury.

Elizabeth Moxley, who is the mother-in-law of David Van Day, was forced to move out of her home after the water pipes burst.

The 88-year-old moved in with Van Day and her daughter, Sue Moxley.

A resident in South Ockendon, Elizabeth signed up for a postal vote in the Ockendon by-election, which took place on March 22.

To do this, Elizabeth had to give her signature and date of birth.

But signing the form was difficult for left-handed Elizabeth, who had fallen over and broken her left arm.

A couple of days after the election result was announced, Elizabeth received a letter through the post explaining that her vote had been rejected at the count.

In the letter, written by the Electoral Services Officer, it said: “The Returning Officer advised me that your vote was rejected because the date of birth supplied on the postal voting did not match the one supplied on your application to vote by post.”

Ms Moxley said: “I feel upset and angry the council never contacted me to correct the discrepancy, therefore depriving me of the vote.

“As a mature voter who has done my bit for Queen and Country over my many years, it is disappointing to have my vote disregarded like that.”

The particular by-election that Elizabeth voted in came down to a tiebreaker after the votes were counted twice.

Both the Conservatives and Labour received 696 votes and both candidates, Andrew Jefferies (Conservative) and Les Strange (Labour), had their names placed in a box.

Thurrock Council’s Chief Executive, Lyn Carpenter, then placed her hand in the box and pulled out Andrew Jefferies name, meaning that the Conservatives won the by-election.

As Elizabeth voted Conservative, her vote would not have changed the outcome of the election but it would have avoided the dead heat result.

Aveley and Uplands Conservative council candidate and former Dollar singer, David Van Day, said: “If this vote had been accepted the Conservatives would have won by one vote and we would not have had this business of picking names out of a box.”