London voters are being turned away from polling stations because of a huge admin error

Hundreds of voters in the north London borough of Barnet are being “turned away” from polling stations over a major administrative error.

Barnet residents, who visited stations on Thursday morning to cast their votes in the London mayoral and assembly elections, were instructed to come back later in the day as they were not on the polling lists.

The error relates to the polling lists being issued incorrectly, according to local newspaper the Barnet & Potters Bar Times, and has affected all of Barnet’s 90 polling stations.

Affected residents were furious, with many expressing their anger on social media.

One of the affected voters was UK’s chief Rabbi Mirvis and his wife, according to Jewish Chronicle reporter Sandy Rashty.

Arjun Mittra, a Labour councillor for the Barnet ward of East Finchley, told the Independent that the error meant some people wouldn’t be able to vote at all. 

Mittra said: “Out of the seven people who came to my polling station in the first 10 minutes, only one was able to vote. They were very angry — I had one lady who was crying because she was so upset.”

He added: “She had come at 7 a.m. to vote because she was going away for the day — she said she was disenfranchised. It’s a disgrace.”

An estimated 250,000 Londoners are visiting polling stations in Barnet on Thursday to vote for the capital’s next mayor and Assembly members, according to The Independent.

British voters usually aren’t required to take their personal polling cards with them when they go to vote, however Barnet council has told residents to bring theirs in order to prove their identity.

The council posted the following tweets:

The mess-up could potentially impact the chances of Conservative mayoral candidate Zac Goldsmith, who was expected to receive large support in Barnet. 

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission told The Independent: “Some polling stations did not have complete registered for people who are eligible to vote. The complete registers are being reprinted, checked, and delivered to each polling station.”

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