Report on voting chaos published
3:45am Thursday 20th May 2010
The Electoral Commission is to publish a report into voting chaos which left hundreds of people queuing outside polling stations on election day.
Problems were reported in London, Sheffield, Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, sparking angry scenes and a litany of complaints.
In some cases ballot papers ran out and in others, furious would-be voters were left locked outside.
There was frustration in Hackney, east London, where people staged a sit-in after they were told they could not vote, and in Nick Clegg's constituency of Sheffield Hallam where students tried to prevent ballot boxes being taken to the count after they were turned away.
The fiasco was roundly condemned by the leaders of the main parties following the high turnout across the country.
The Electoral Commission (EC) described the situation as "a cause for serious concern".
Its Chair, Jenny Watson, described the voting system as "Victorian" and at breaking point.
In its review, the EC will report on the planning and management by local Returning Officers and the responses to the problems which arose.
The watchdog's investigation will seek to identify the impact of the support offered on polling day while detailing what can be done to ensure the situation does not arise again.
Ms Watson said after carrying out a review, the EC would make recommendations to change the law.