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Friday, May 24, 2019

The biggest scandal of yesterday's European elections

The ballots have been cast and verified, all that remains is to count them on Sunday night, but what rankles most about these elections is the fact that so many people were denied their right to vote.

As the Independent says, government could now face court action after hundreds of EU citizens were turned away from polling stations and denied a vote in the European elections. Reports of people turning up at their local polling station only to find their name had been crossed off the register became a common theme across the UK on Thursday:

The hashtag #DeniedMyVote began trending on Twitter as it was flooded with accounts of EU citizens being prevented from voting after confusion among election officials and administrative errors.

Some eligible voters said they were told to “vote in your own country” despite living in the UK for decades, while others described trips of hundreds of miles to ensure their ballots were counted after apparent mix-ups with postal votes.

Experts have warned the government could be at risk of being sued over the whole debacle, which they say was a “scandal we knew was coming”.

A barrister who specialises in EU law claimed there were multiple breaches of EU treaties, including Article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union which states that EU nationals have “the right to vote…under the same conditions as nationals of that state [of residence].”

Anneli Howard told The Guardian: “If EU citizens are being asked to fill out additional forms that UK nationals are not, that’s discrimination.”

While Ms Howard said she did not think it was likely any judge would declare council clerical errors had made the election unsafe, she added that the treaty had “direct effect” and meant EU citizens could go straight to court.

This is the sort of fiasco we might expect in a third world country, or parts of the United States where voter suppression is in play. It is a scandal and there should be a full investigation as to how so many European citizens were disenfranchised.

And it is not as if the government were not warned. Theresa May was confronted with this problem at Prime Minister's question time and took no action to try and prevent it. I hope that her government is sued for this negligence.
it's as if the Government didn't want them to vote ...
As you say,this was pointed out in Parliament, she ignored it,cos she does not like 'foreigners'. She had form from her home office days.
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