Turned away from booths, British voters could get compensation
Tens of thousands of voters in UK`s general election could get compensation worth 750 pounds for being turned away from polling booths for reporting near the closing time.
London: Tens of thousands of voters in
UK`s general election could get compensation worth 750 pounds
for being turned away from polling booths for reporting near
the closing time.
As the Electoral Commission launched an urgent inquiry
into the fiasco that followed a late surge by British voters,
a leading human rights lawyer said the voters can take legal
action for being denied the right to vote.
It is still unclear how many places were affected but
reports of such problems came from London, Sheffield, Leeds,
Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Bristol where police
threw voters out of polling stations after the 10 pm deadline.
"These people have a right to sue. They will get at
least 750 pounds in my view. Under the European Convention you
have a right to vote," leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey
Robertson QC said.
"They were terribly disappointed, they should all sue
and get money from the election commission, which seems to
have incompetently overseen it," he said.
About 600 voters were turned away in Chester, 200 in
Sheffield Hallam, 300 in Lewisham in London, 200 in
Withington, in Manchester and many in other places.
Election officers closed the doors of most booths at
the scheduled time (10pm), while people were allowed to cast
their vote until 10.30pm in some places.
The police had to intervene at booths in Manchester
when people, upset at not being allowed to vote, turned
There were also reports of some polling booths running
out of ballot papers, raising serious questions on the
Electoral Commission`s preparation for the closely contested
An unprecedented statement from the Electoral
Commission said: "The Electoral Commission will be undertaking
a thorough review of what has happened. There should have been
sufficient resources allocated".
In his Sheffield Hallam constituency, Liberal Democrat
leader Nick Clegg went to offer his apologies to frustrated
voters at a polling station in Ranmore after they queued for
more than three hours.
Labour candidate Jack Scott said he was angry as
people may have been denied the chance to cast their vote.
Former Hillsborough MP Helen Jackson said it left any close
results open to legal challenge.