'Massive let down' as young first-time voters turned away from polling stations

Many people were denied from voting in the general election on Thursday, including many young first-time voters, despite having been convinced that they were registered to vote.

 

Up and down the country reports emerged throughout the day of voters being turned away from polling stations despite having registered to vote weeks before the election.

 

In the London constituency of Finchley and Golders Green, this writer encountered several people complaining from their doorsteps of being turned away.

 

A lot of the build-up to the election focused on the energy amongst 18-24 year-olds, especially young first-time voters. But it seems many were left disappointed.

 

Christina Demetriou, an 18-year-old student from Finchley, spoke of how she felt massively “let down” in what was the most important election of her generation.

 

“I got the confirmation email on the 21st of May at 20:57", she told me. "When I arrived at the polling station they said I wasn’t on the list and that there was nothing that they could do and that others had come that had been affected in the same way.

 

“I returned to the polling station with my confirmation email in hand and was told others had come with theirs too, but [they said] ‘our job is not to second guess the registration system, only to insure that those eligible to vote, get to vote'.

 

“I’m so disappointed,” she added. “Having been so enthusiastic about this for the last two weeks and urging all my friends to register for their first time and vote only to have myself and a considerable number of people I know rejected in the single most important election of our generation is truly a massive let down.”

 

Christina said that she would have voted for Finchley’s Labour candidate Jeremy Newmark, due to her feelings on the abolition of university tuition fees and support for the NHS and increasing corporation tax.

 

“I’m currently waiting to start university in September, and I feel that [the] Labour party would have been the best choice for me” she said.

 

“For my generation to take an active interest on such an important matter for our country it really is so disappointing. This was a good chance for youths to show that they actually do care about our future and are enthusiastic to make their contribution.”

 

Another man who spoke to this writer described how he had registered online, only for him to be told that Barnet borough would contact him to complete the process.

 

However, he never heard from them and upon contacting them this week was told, conversely, that it was his sole responsibility to get in touch with the borough and he would not be able to vote.

 

The Telegraph reported late on Thursday that many students in the UK had been turned away from voting due to 'outdated voting lists'.

 

Complaints have also been raised in the days leading up to the election about postal votes that reportedly failed to arrive

 

 

 

 

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