Dozens of people planning to vote in the closest election for decades were turned away from polling stations on Thursday morning. Voters in parts of east London and Dorset were told that IT glitches meant they were not registered on the electoral roll, despite many having polling cards. Meanwhile, some Britons who live abroad have complained that postal votes have arrived too late to guarantee they can exercise their democratic rights. In Hackney, where at least 30 people queued to complain outside the town hall, Alix Rowe was one of those left disenfranchised by the problems. The 23-year-old, who works in fashion PR, registered to vote before the deadline but did not receive a polling card. Knowing that it was not necessary to have a polling card, she went to two local polling stations but was told her name was not registered and they could not help her.
“I feel like a right has been taken away from me,” she said. “One of my colleagues had the same problem but was told they would try and process it today, although there was no guarantee, but that option wasn’t given to me. It seems ridiculous. Everyone’s saying how close the election is, how important it is to vote.”
Before she attempted to register in Hackney, Rowe had received a polling card at her parents’ home in Kent, so she plans to travel there after work to try to vote there instead.
Davina Deverill, 43, a graphic designer, had the same problem in Hackney despite having her polling card. “They got in a flap [at the polling station] and sent me to the town hall,” she said. Eventually the polling station called her at her work to tell her she would be able to vote if she came in later.