– Five-hour delay at City Hall count and voters turned away in Barnet
The GLA Conservatives are demanding a full and urgent inquiry into ‘catastrophic’ blunders that led to a five-hour delay at Friday’s election count and voters being turned away from polling stations in Barnet.
The Tories were just short of securing an additional list member on the Assembly and group leader Gareth Bacon believes missing votes in north London could have made the difference.
Voters were turned away from polling stations because of what the local authority’s election team described as a ‘printing error’.
Friday’s count at City Hall, run by London Elects, was then delayed by more than five hours after the computer system crashed. The London Assembly results were not announced until shortly before midnight whilst the Mayoral ballot was only read in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Assembly member Bacon will call for an urgent motion regarding London Elects’ handling of the count at the newly-elected Assembly’s first meeting on Friday.
He is calling for cross-party support for the investigation and wants to see Greater London returning officer, Jeff Jacobs, and Barnet and Camden constituency returning officer, Andrew Travers, called to give evidence to the Assembly.
Conservative group leader Gareth Bacon said: “The total incompetence of London Elects and Barnet Council in their handling of this ballot has led to serious questions over the Londonwide list result and caused huge delays in the counting process.
“To have voters turned away for any reason is completely unacceptable. The votes that were unable to be cast could very well have altered the result of the Londonwide list allocation. It is essential that voters have faith in the electoral process and effectively disenfranchising people for three hours on polling day totally undermines this.
“We are demanding a full explanation for this abysmal administrative performance. London Elects and Barnet Council has had four years to plan for this but they both failed to get it right when it mattered and the voting public has suffered.
“I am calling on all parties to back my motion for a full and urgent inquiry so we can establish what caused these catastrophic blunders.”