Page last updated at 08:27 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 09:27 UK

Review into ballot paper shortage

Luciana Berger
Luciana Berger beat her closest rival by 7,000 votes

A "thorough review" is to be carried out by the Electoral Commission after a polling station ran out of ballots.

Voters in the Liverpool Wavertree constituency had to wait at the Dunbabin Road polling station on Thursday as more papers were delivered.

In other areas, including some in Liverpool, Manchester and London, some people were turned away from polling stations because of long queues.

The commission said it was a cause for "serious concern".

Colin Eldridge, the Lib Dem candidate for Wavertree, had called for an investigation and described the ballot situation as a "fiasco".

'High turnout'

Liberal Democrat councillor Eddie Clein described it as a "huge, huge mistake" and was also calling for the inquiry.

Council leader Warren Bradley said many people were locked out of polling stations as the doors closed at 2200 BST.

"In at least four polling stations that I know of across south Liverpool there were residents of this city that couldn't cast their vote," said Mr Bradley.

"I'll be asking the chief executive for a full investigation into why that happened and also why something as simple as ballot papers weren't available at the polling stations at certain times of the day."

Returning officer Colin Hilton apologised for the problem, but insisted everyone who wanted to vote "had the opportunity to do so".

'Unprecedented turnout'

Mr Hilton said: "Due to unprecedented and unexpected high turnout in the Wavertree constituency, a small number of polling stations ran out of ballot papers in the early evening.

"As is normal procedure in these circumstances, additional ballot papers were delivered very swiftly to these stations.

"I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused to some electors and would like to thank them for their patience in waiting until the new ballot papers arrived.

"Every elector in the Wavertree constituency who wanted to vote had the opportunity to do so before polls closed at 10pm."

Labour candidate Luciana Berger held onto the Wavertree seat with 20,132 votes.

She beat her closest rival Colin Eldridge by more than 7,000 votes.

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City station runs out of ballots
07 May 10 |  England

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