Ballot blunder sees voters turned away
Would be voters are fuming after a blunder saw the wrong voting slips delivered to three polling stations this morning, writes Kate Ferguson and Andrew Cheng. More than 50 people were turned away from the ballot box while 35 residents voted on incorrect
Would be voters are fuming after a blunder saw the wrong voting slips delivered to three polling stations this morning, writes Kate Ferguson and Andrew Cheng.
More than 50 people were turned away from the ballot box while 35 residents voted on incorrect slips after officials delivered papers to polling stations in Willesden listing Brent North candidates instead of Brent Central nominees.
Voting was suspended for more than an hour between 7.30am and 8.30 am this morning at King's Hall in Harlesden Road, St Mary's Magdalen School in Linacre Road and Learie Constantine Centre in Dudden Hill Lane, after officials spotted the mistake.
Jonathan Goldberg, a Times photographer from Willesden was one of the voters turned away.
He said: "I have just been trying to vote at the polling station but I have been turned away because they have got the wrong voting slips. They have been delivered the papers for Brent North rather than Brent Central.
"I am on my way to the hospital today so I won't be able to go back and vote later."
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A council spokeswoman said as many as 85 voters could be affected by the blunder, which forced officials to suspend voting for both the General and Local Elections for an hour at the affected polling stations.
She added that every effort is being made to track down affected voters and get them to re-cast their ballots.
She said: "There were three polling stations in Willesden that were issued with incorrect ballot papers. They realised within 20 minutes at around 7.20 am. The ballot papers were replaced by 8.30 am.
"All three polling stations suspended voting for that time and voters were asked to either wait or come back later. There were 35 people who voted on the wrong papers.
"Brent would like to apologise to everybody concerned and we hope that everybody will have the opportunity to come back and vote. Every effort is being made to get in contact with those who have been affected. We are hand delivering letters to the 35 people who are affected to alert them to the mistake."
Meanwhile Robert Edward Moran, who lives in Willesden High Road, said he was turned away from a Polling Station in Willesden Green because he was not registered, despite previously being reassured that his application had gone through.
He said: "I am seriously annoyed. There's been a vote that's lost.
"There were two application forms sent to the council in the same envelope. My friend's application has been processed and mine hasn't.
"I phoned yesterday to confirm that I was registered, and they said yes but confused me with my dad who has the same name.
"The thing is, I can't do anything about it. I can't vote today because there seems to have been a processing error.
"They keep harping on about how important your vote is, and I've done everything in my power to register."
A spokeswoman said the council is investigating.