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‘Swat teams’ prevent East Lancs polling station problems
12:20am Sunday 9th May 2010 in East Lancashire general election news
RESERVE council staff formed polling station ‘swat teams’ in East Lancashire to handle the queues of extra people who turned out to vote in the General Election.
Around the country in London, Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester, hundreds of voters were turned away at the 10pm deadline after long queues prevented them from getting their hands on a ballot paper.
But East Lancashire was well prepared for an anticipated increase in voters with extra polling clerks on standby, reserve ballot boxes and inspectors monitoring every polling station in the area.
Steve Rumbelow, Burnley’s chief executive and returning officer, said: “There were some small queues but we had extra staff because of the anticipated increase in voters this year and everyone voted with few delays.”
Blackburn with Darwen chief executive, Graham Burgess, the council’s returning officer, said: “In Liverpool they ran out of ballot papers. Here we always print 100 per cent.
“Although they will have saved money by printing less, it’s not worth the risk of running out.”