ON 6 May 2010, the General
Election was held. Election officials admitted very quickly that
they had been "caught out" on the Election Day by the
highest voter turnout for 30 years. Blame has been attributed to the
fact that the votes were being cast for the General Election at the
same time as for the local elections; which was combined with the
problem of voters arriving late with no polling cards with them.
This produced around 81 allegations of electoral malpractice being
lodged with Police forces across the UK. Locally in Liverpool,
voters were left waiting when one polling station ran out of ballot
papers. A spokesman for The Electoral Commission commenting on all
the problems that happened over the UK told the media that:-
"It is a cause for serious concern. We must find out why many people
who wanted to vote were unable to do so by 10pm when polls closed.
Each Returning Officer is responsible for deciding numbers of
polling stations in their constituency and the numbers of electors
allocated to each polling station. In some cases voters turned up
late. By law, polls must close at 10pm and any voter issued with a
ballot paper by 10pm should be allowed time to cast it, but no
ballot paper should be issued after 10pm. There should have been
sufficient resources allocated to ensure that everyone who wished to
vote was able to do so. Again this requires our attention. The
Electoral Commission will be undertaking a thorough review of what
has happened in those constituencies where people have been unable
to vote." Liverpool's problems with both the Parliamentary
and Liverpool Council Elections came to light just after 6pm. It
emerged that ballot papers had run out at the polling station at the
East Wavertree and Childwall Association in Dunbabin Road,
Liverpool. It then became clear that the problem was more widespread
within the Wavertree area. A statement issued on the night by
Liverpool City Council, blamed the "astronomical turnout"
for the problems, and added that only enough papers had be produced
based on the previous turnouts. The spokesman added:- "We
apologise for the inconvenience which is due to the astronomical
turnout in that particular polling station. Once we identified the
problem we sent for extra papers straight away." With all
this and the long delay in the counting of the votes, due to the
numbers cast, it was a truly amazing experience to have watched.
This was in every way an historic election. These are pictures taken
of the Sefton Central count and of the Liverpool count. The UK is to
now have its first coalition government since 1945, and Liberal
Democrats will sit in the Cabinet. It will be interesting to see
what happens with this new government over its 5 year turn.
Congratulations to all the elected parliamentary candidates and also
to all the overlooked newly elected local councillors.
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