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Page last updated at 14:40 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 15:40 UK
Determined to make their vote count for Election 2010
Liam McCarthy at his polling station
Liam McCarthy cast his vote despite undergoing an eight hour operation

BBC Leicester have been speaking to people who have had to make an extra effort to reach a polling station or help others cast their vote.

Nationally, turnout for the General Election 2010 is up on five years ago, but it was not easy for every voter to make their mark on Thursday 6 May.

In some areas of the UK people were turned away from polling stations after the 22:00 deadline.

There have been no reported cases of this in Leicestershire and Rutland.

However, there were a few instances of individuals going the extra mile as they attempted to make their mark.

The heart surgery patient
A vote being cast into a ballot box
Liam said he could understand why some people may not use their vote

Liam McCarthy from Leicester was determined to get to his local polling station in Clarendon Park, despite having undergone open heart surgery just 10 days before.

Doctors at Glenfield Hospital allowed Liam to leave his bed for just a few hours to cast his vote.

"Everything seems to be going well and I thought, well, if I can vote, I should vote.

"I've voted since October '74 in every general election and I didn't want to miss out this time."

Liam feels that those who do not vote but do complain about politics should reassess their approach, but does understand why some may feel unmotivated.

"Ballot papers don't have a box on them that say, 'None of the above', and maybe if they did then more people would vote because sometimes people feel they can't support any of the candidates."

The car boot vote
A gold key
With no keyholder in site one polling station was moved to a car boot

Across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland voters came out in their thousands to polling stations based in churches, town halls, leisure centres and village shops.

A handful of people in Loughborough will be able to claim they have used the most extraordinary polling booth in the region.

After the keyholder failed to arrive for the 07:00 start at one polling station, presiding officer Geoff Jennings was forced to use his initiative and open voting from the boot of his blue saloon.

Up to six voters marked their vote in the front seat of the car before popping their ballot paper into a box in the boot, in the 10 minutes it took for the real polling station to be opened.

Dave Platts, deputy returning officer at the Loughborough Count, said, "I've done four general elections and it's certainly the first time we've had to use a polling station in the car of the presiding officer, but Geoff was extremely good and kept his calm."

The last minute traveller
View from a passenger plane window
A last minute business trip to Denmark left Oliver Vale unable to vote

Oliver Vale from South Knighton was so interested in voting, he researched his candidates, went along to a local hustings to hear them speak, made up his mind, and registered to get his polling card.

However when it came to actually voting he found himself stuck abroad at a business meeting in Denmark that he could not miss.

Blaming his situation on a mixture of last minute travel plans and bad luck, he said, "It's very frustrating to see this happening and not being able to have a say on it."

Despite being desperate to vote himself Oliver said he could understand why some people may be indifferent to voting if they live within a constituency with an obvious safe seat.

However he added, "I think in marginal constituencies it's really almost like a duty for people to put the effort in."


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