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Grandmother aged 106 turned away from UK polling station

Mirror logo Mirror 9/06/2017 Natalie Evans
Credits: Hannah Freeman/Facebook © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Hannah Freeman/Facebook

The family of a 106-year-old grandmother have hit out after she was turned away from a polling station.

Amy Winifred Hawkins, known as Win, was refused her vote after being told she was not on the electoral roll.

Granddaughter Hannah Freeman shared the story on Facebook with a picture of Win at her local polling station in Monmouth, Wales.

She wrote: "This was my Gran who, at 106, walked into our local polling station - a labour voter all her life.

"Upon arriving she was told that she was not on the electoral roll. I have seen the electoral roll letter and saw her name quite clearly on it at the beginning of the year!"

Granddaughter Tamzin Powell told the Mirror: "She has been a Labour supporter all her life and been through two world wars - it is outrageous that she could not place what is possibly her last vote ever."

The family later shared a video of Win explaining what happened when she turned up to vote.

She said: "I was born in 1911, I've seen two world wars, I've seen votes for women, I've seen pensions for all and the miners' strike.

"And today - they wouldn't let me vote."

The post went viral with hundreds of Facebook users voicing their support for Win.

One wrote "Your Gran is my heroine" while another added: "Poor woman but good on her for getting out there."

One furious user said: "Your lovely Gran took herself to vote and was let down? This is DISGRACEFUL! I really am starting to believe the corruption our country seems to be enduring!"

It came as hundreds of students were also turned away from voting in a crucial marginal .

First-time voters at Keele University were unable to cast their vote in a key Labour/Tory marginal seat in Newcastle-Under-Lyme because of registration problems.

Students told how they were turned away from polling stations despite having polling cards with them at the time while postal voters were also beset by problems.

In some cases, a number of others who said they registered to vote by the deadline were turned away for not having provided extra information required to confirm their registration.

Tellers are believed to have been using an out-of-date register, according to the Newcastle-Under-Lyme labour Party . 

Paul Farrelly, the Labour MP for the seat since 2001, has been "working tirelessly" to help resolve the issues, according to his campaign team.

He said: “The Electoral Services Department here in Newcastle is a shambles and there is chaos, which is denying people votes on a scale unprecedented in my 30 years fighting and organising elections.

“We have spent the past week fire fighting on over scores of postal votes, which have not arrived, and we not only have lots of registration applications that have not been processed, but people – including students – being turned away when they are indeed registered.

“Each passing hour is not only spoiling election day, but just adding to the issues for complaint, which I will be referring tomorrow to the Electoral Commission and other bodies for an independent, outside investigation.”

Keele University Biomedical sciences undergraduate, Andrew Niblett, 18, said in his group of five friends who applied to vote in the Newcastle-Under-Lyme area, just one had been correctly registered.

He said: "I phoned up the electoral office who said it was because I didn't provide ID when I was prompted, but the thing is I was never prompted to provide ID and also one of my friends, who was prompted, provided ID and it got verified and they still got turned away."

Mr Niblett said despite complaining to the staff at the polling station that he had not received prompts, he was told: "Next time just check your mail and make sure you go through the process again."

A spokeswoman for the Electoral Commission said they had been in contact with electoral officers in Newcastle-Under-Lyme about what students should do to cast their vote by the 10pm deadline.

The chairman of Keele Student Union Council, Tom Snape, 21, said up to 100 students have been in touch about problems so far.

A spokesman for Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council said those affected by out-of-date printed electoral lists at polling stations had been able to vote after polling station staff phoned council offices to verify they were on the register.

Credits: PA © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: PA

However, those affected by other issues had little option at such a late stage in the process.

"Where people haven't completed the online process, it's unfortunate, but if they haven't completed the process they can't be registered to vote."

He added: "We've had quite a few people claiming that they've not had postal votes but when we've looked into it that just hasn't been the case either."

There were also problems in other parts of the country, including Guildford, where hundreds of replacement postal votes were issued after complaints residents had not received them.

A spokeswoman for Guildford Council said 276 replacement postal votes had been sent out in the last week.

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