The Electoral Commission, the independent elections watchdog, has completed its review into why voters in some polling stations were unable to cast their vote before the 10pm deadline on 6 May. The report sets out what needs to be done to avoid a repeat of the problems two weeks ago.
The review found:

  • at least 1,200 people were still queuing at 27 polling stations in 16 constituencies at 10pm
  • in some areas the numbers of electors allocated to particular polling stations were too high and some polling stations had too few staff
  • in all the areas affected there were also local government elections taking place (and, in some, Mayoral elections) which meant it took longer for each voter to vote and arrangements to deal with this were inadequate
  • election officials did not identify and respond quickly enough to the problems that emerged on polling day

The report makes the following recommendations:

  • the law should be changed to allow people still queuing at polling stations at 10pm to be able to vote
  • local authorities and Returning Officers should improve their planning, review their schemes for polling districts and polling stations and make sure they allocate the right numbers of staff and electors to each polling station
  • the structure for delivering elections in Great Britain should be reformed so that elections are managed more consistently and professionally.

The Commission will publish a full report into the UK general election and the English local government elections in July, covering all aspects of the running of these elections. If new information emerges concerning polling station queues, this will be included.
Please complete our review of problems, not simply those involving queuing online here.
To download the full Electoral commission report click here

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