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23rd May 2019

Hundreds of EU citizens ‘turned away from polling stations’ in European elections

Wayne Farry

european elections

The lack of correct forms being sent to voters was blamed for the majority of denials

European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom have reported being turned away from polling stations during voting for the European elections.

Within hours of polling booths opening across the UK, people were taking to social media to report the fact that they had been denied the right to vote, with the hashtag #deniedmyvote trending.

A number of reasons have been given for the fact that hundreds of people have been turned away, including administrative errors, the lack of correct forms being sent to voters prior to the vote, and late registration for voting.

However, a number of people, including human rights campaigner Agata Patyna, claim to have followed all of the required steps – steps that saw them allowed to vote in European elections in the UK previously – before being turned away.

“Turned away from polling station this morning. Told I should vote in my EU member state,” she said.

“I registered before the deadline. Have been here since 2005. Voted many times before. This is my member state.”

In response, Labour MP for Tottenham, condemned the denial of voting rights to people that had lived in the UK for a number of years.

“3 years of being insulted, exploited and asked to apply to stay in their own homes,” he tweeted.

“Now reports flooding in that EU citizens are being turned away at polling stations, despite being registered to vote.

“The two step process is ugly discrimination.”