• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

Students turned away from polls in key swing seat

ByEllen Blunsdon

Jun 8, 2017

Hundreds of students in the Newcastle Under Lyme constituency have reportedly been denied the opportunity to vote in the 2017 General Election.

The Huffington Post has reported that polling stations were using an out of date electoral register, meaning that newly registered Keele University students have been turned away.

In 2015, Labour won the seat by just 650 votes against the Conservatives.

The current MP Paul Farrelly has condemned the situation as “chaos” and has threatened to complain to the Electoral Commission tomorrow (June 9) regardless of the outcome.

In a statement 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 fire fighting on 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,” he added.

The Labour Party have urged voters to phone the council to confirm their voting legitimacy.

Jonathan Price, one student who was denied a vote, told The Independent: “It could actually make the difference here.”

Keele University history lecturer Ben Anderson told The Guardian: “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,” he added.

The council have defended their actions tweeting that those who could not vote had not completed the whole registration process.


Image: secretlondon123

By Ellen Blunsdon

Former President, Treasurer, Head Copy Editor, Editor-in-Chief and News Editor. Retired History and Politics student.

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