Breckland council apologises after mix-up sees woman denied vote in Euro elections

Polling Station Polling Station

Tuesday, May 27, 2014
5:19 PM

Breckland council has been forced to apologise after a registration mix-up saw a German national in Dereham denied her Euro vote.

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Marion Broughton’s name was crossed off a list at her polling station on Thursday, despite a call from her in the run up to the poll to check she could exercise her democratic right.

Although foreign nationals are not permitted to vote in general elections, people born within the European Union can cast their vote in local and EU elections where they live.

The Dereham mother said she had been anxious to counter the “anti-European movement” by casting her ballot.

Mrs Broughton, who has been living in Breckland for 20 years and works at Neatherd High School, said a poll card had always arrived automatically with her English husband’s, after she had filled in a registration form.

When it did not arrive this year she queried it with Breckland Council, but was told she just needed to take some identification along to the polling station.

Breckland insisted that it had sent forms and a prepaid return envelope to all Breckland residents on its electoral register who were European citizens.

But said in a statement: “We are writing to Marion Broughton with our sincere apologies for the advice given over the phone when she got in touch about not receiving a poll card. We regret the advice to attend the polling station was not correct and have now taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Mrs Broughton said that after taking to social media to voice her concerns she had found others had had problems and there had been inconsistencies in the way the election worked.

She said: “It is very worrying to see where this country could be heading if a certain party came to more power - and it makes me seriously think about leaving the UK which I called my home for so many years, and where my son Max, who is now 15, was born.

“I have always taken my duty to vote in elections very seriously, and I feel that, especially as a woman, it is disrespectful not to vote as people have died so that I would get this right.

“This time though I feel that I have been denied my right to vote.”

5 comments

  • All these incidents should be reported to our dependent electoral commission. They will then look at it, call is a mistake and nothing will change. Postal voting fraud in Blackburn, Birmingham and elsewhere have not led to much change, so do not expect those who are paid by us, but get their franchise from politicians, to change this wretched system. This is one case were us who pay the piper, do not call the tune.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • No, Vic, this is not an isolated case at all, I have friends all over Norfolk who had problems. They either did receive this declaration form, didn't receive the form - but the poll cards or got nothing like me. This happened in the whoke of the UK, there have been articles in the press about angry Europeans who were denid their right to vote, some were apparently told to "go and vote in their own countries"

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    Marion Broughton

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • I don't think this case is isolated as I have spoken to one or two people who were denied a vote as their name had been omitted from the list, despite voting at the same polling station and living at the same address for many years.

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    Vic Sponge

    Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  • if you think this is bad. In tower hamlets yesterday they were still counting the votes from the council elections on thursday

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    milecross

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

  • Norfolks councils know full well what the registration process is like, now and then they just can't be bothered to work for the extra money we throw at them for exercising our democratic rights.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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