General election polls in chaos as Keele University students stopped from voting and later asked to return to polling stations

Students are being turned away in a key Labour marginal seat

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 08 June 2017 20:59
Election 2017: How the night unfolded

Students and other young people are being urged to go back to vote, after being turned away.

Voters in Newcastle-under-Lyme arrived to vote but were told they weren't on the register, because an old one is now being used. The problems are especially significant because the constituency is the home of Keele University, and is a key marginal seat for Labour, which hopes to gain votes from students.

Those turned away had registered to vote and received voting cards alongside confirmation they had successfully registered. But they found that the polling stations had been issued with old registers that didn't include their details.

Now those voters who were turned away are being urged to head back in the last hour of voting, now that the problems have been fixed. They are being instructed to take along their polling card, to help avoid any issues, but new lists have reportedly been sent out and they should be able to get back in.

If there are further problems, voters are being told to use phones at the polling station to call the presiding officer who will be able to check whether they are really on the register. They should be able to help the voters finally get hold of a vote.

But there is less than an hour left to vote, and many voters have already been to their polling station once. Voters can still vote if they arrive in the polling station queue before 10pm.

Last time around, the Newcastle-under-Lyme constituency was won by less than 700 votes. Many of the voters in the region are students – and they are being particularly affected by the problems with the register – and young people are thought to be overwhelmingly support the Labour party.

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