Reports of polling problem at Keele University in the Newcastle-under-Lyme constituency
There have been reports of “hundreds” of students being turned away from polling stations at Keele University despite allegedly being eligible to vote.
According to social media users, eye witnesses and university staff, numerous potential voters were turned away after their names were not found on the registers, despite many coming equipped with their polling cards.
The affected university is in the Newcastle-under-Lyme constituency where Labour beat the Conservatives by just 650 votes in 2015.
Ben Anderson, a history lecturer at Keele University, told the Guardian: “There have been students who haven’t been able to vote because they haven’t appeared on the registers supplied to officers. The polling officers have been doing their best to sort that out but there’s clearly an issue. There were a number there holding their polling cards so I am sure there were genuine because the assumption is that they registered too late (and were not on the list for that reason).”
Labour’s candidate in the constituency, Paul Farrelly, said: “The electoral services department here in Newcastle is a shambles and there is chaos, which is denying people votes on a scale unprecedented in my 30 years fighting and organising elections. We have spent the past week firefighting over scores of postal votes, which have not arrived and we not only have lots of registration applications that have not been processed but people – including students – being turned away when they are indeed registered.”
“Each passing hour is not only spoiling election day, but just adding to the issues for complaint, which I will be referring tomorrow to the Electoral Commission and other bodies for an independent, outside investigation. The reality is that electoral services in Newcastle have been all over the place since a licensing fiasco led to the departure of good, experienced staff last summer.”
The local Labour Party has offered advice to voters, suggesting that the polling station staff may be using an out-of-date register and that they should contact the council to confirm any registration disputes or phone: 01782 742229.
You’re going to vote, but are your mates? Polling stations are open until 10pm tonight so be sure to get down to your local village hall, school or wherever your polling station is to cast your vote and have a say in what happens to your future.
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