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people unable to vote despite arriving at polling station before 10

21 replies

violetqueen · 06/05/2010 23:25

Shocking news ,never heard of this happening before .
Sheffield, Manchester reports that polling stations unable to handle large numbers of people turning up shortly ( ? 9.30 pm ) .
No consistency in way returning officers handled this .
Birmingham allowed those in the building to go ahead and vote even tho after 10.
Lewisham in London ,officer kept station open until 10.30.
What on earth has happened ?

OP posts:
Heathcliffscathy · 06/05/2010 23:25

absolutely appalling this.

violetqueen · 06/05/2010 23:26

Sorry " shortly before 10 ."

OP posts:
violetqueen · 06/05/2010 23:29

Voters at a Hackney polling station staged a sit in over this issue .

OP posts:
SugarMousePollingStation · 06/05/2010 23:30

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CaptainNancy · 06/05/2010 23:30

The police were called to a Bham polling station after voters were turned away and got angry.

GuntherMcKilocodie · 06/05/2010 23:32

The Lewisham constituency is mine. Have to say it was soo quiet when I went in, I had a ten minute convo with one of the women giving out papers about prams and their relative merits!
Really disgusting, can't see that there won't be legal challenges as there is such inconsistency between officers in different areas.

edam · 06/05/2010 23:34

Bizarre. But returning officers can be eccentric. My vote was stolen in my first ever election - turned up to vote and was told I wasn't on the register when I most certainly had filled it in. People who moved into our house after the qualifying date had lied and nicked my vote! Returning officer just shrugged and refused to do anything about it.

longfingernailspaintedblue · 06/05/2010 23:34

A complete scandal.

Kaloki · 06/05/2010 23:49

That's ridiculous, Though not suprised. We couldn't even register to vote due to them not getting us registered in time.

Slightly pissed off about that!

WetAugust · 06/05/2010 23:58

Tough - the polls have been open since 7am in teh morning. They've had 15 hours to vote.

The rules are quite clear - if you have a ballot paper in your hand at 10pm then you can complete your ballot. If not the doors are shut and you're too late.

Buzzybb · 07/05/2010 00:15

But were they really waiting 1hr 30 min to vote . What was the delay? it cannot take a person to long to vote. It is awful for people to wait that long and then be turned away, surely if you were inside the door, they could close the doors and just have let those people vote

ouryve · 07/05/2010 00:16

Some people work pretty long hours. Woman just interviewed in sheffield said she went to the station several times over the 4 hours she had after work and the queues were huge the whole time.

weegiemum · 07/05/2010 09:22

Spoke to a friend last night who works for the UN as an election monitor.

He has monitored elections all over Asia, Latin America, Africa.

He's never seen an election anywhere in the world where people queueing were denied the right to vote.

We don't get signed off as "free and fair" by the UN as they assume that we are. He's not sure how automatic it would be if we had been monitored.

RibenaBerry · 07/05/2010 09:43

I think it's a scandal that people were waiting for so long. Lewisham is near me (am SE London), but not my constituency.

Here's a thought. Why don't we have UK elections taking place at the weekend, like most European countries. since a lot of people in this country work to a working week of Monday to Friday, that would spread the vote more evenly over the day and result in fewerr people trying to squish their vote into the 7-10pm window after work (particularly in areas with large commuter populations, who tend to get home later). Shift workers, etc would still be able to vote morning/evening as they do now.

Kaloki · 07/05/2010 13:41

ribenaberry that would make so much more sense!

RibenaBerry · 07/05/2010 19:18

I know. I could run electoral reform me.

Poor typing skills though (sorry about the many typos in the previous post!)

edam · 07/05/2010 23:09

I don't honestly think it was a problem with working week v. weekend. They just needed more staff to check who you are and hand you a ballot paper (and in some areas a few more ballot papers).

edam · 07/05/2010 23:10

btw, that returning officer who fucked up in Sheffield Hallam was telling porkies about the problem being lots of students who didn't have polling cards. You don't need to bring your polling card along. You just have to give your name and address and have it checked against the register.

RibenaBerry · 08/05/2010 07:26

Yes, they need more staff. But if voting was at the weekend things would be more spread across the day. The problem was, at least partly, that polling stations were practically deserted in many areas between about 10am and about 5pm.

In my area, for example, more staff wouldn't realistically have created shorter queues without also more polling booths, which wouldn't fit in the room, so you'd probably have to find a new hall for the voting...

If the election had been on a Sunday, no way would I have voted at 7:30pm, I would have gone mid afternoon or during the morning.

edam · 08/05/2010 08:40

If it'd been on a Sunday, you'd probably get peaks at different points of the day. Maybe after the big shops shut at 4. On Saturday in towns with big football clubs, maybe after the match.

RibenaBerry · 09/05/2010 10:06

Yes, you would, but more peaks spread over the day, not just one big one at the end. I still think it's a good idea .

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