Hundreds of overseas postal votes for the upcoming EU referendum have gone missing, but a local authority has reassured electors they will not miss out.
Durham County Council said 457 packs sent abroad for ex-pats or people on holiday did not arrive, having been lost after being printed but before they were delivered.
The local authority was contacted by overseas electors when the original packs did not arrive, and on June 6 it despatched a fresh batch of papers.
The council expected that would still give enough time for postal votes to be received around the world and sent back to be counted before polls close on June 23.
The original voting packs have been invalidated and the council said steps were
in place to make sure people could not vote twice, should the original papers turn up.
Colette Longbottom, referendum counting officer at Durham County Council, said:
The police and the Electoral Commission has been informed.
The 457 overseas packs are a small part of the 86,216 postal votes issued across County Durham, which has an electorate of 388,000.