Anger at polling station choice

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A RELOCATED polling station venue has hit voters’ rights with a ‘stumbling block’, a political party branch chairman fears.

Chairman of the Skegness and Wainfleet Labour Party Brenda Futers has criticised the choice of polling station for Skegness Town Council’s upcoming Winthorpe ward by-election.

Voters hoping to cast their ballot papers on Thursday, April 26, will have to travel to Skegness Town Hall, North Parade, more than a mile from the usual polling station location at Seathorne Primary School.

East Lindsey District Council made the decision because major alterations are being carried out at the school, making it unsuitable for use.

However Mrs Futers fears the new choice will be inconvenient for many of the ward’s residents and may hinder their democratic right to vote.

She said: “It matters not which party you plant to vote for, it matters that you are given a fair opportunity to vote.

“Asking our voters to go to the town hall is really unfair - a lot of our citizens are either elderly or infirm and a trip into town takes quite a bit of planning and, more often than not has to involve others.

“If it were compulsory to vote ELDC would probably find itself being sued on a grand scale.”

Mrs Futers has also criticised the lack of consultation that went into the choice of location, which left candidates with no time to contest the decision before it was made.,

To ensure the electorate can still have an effective say in which candidate is appointed to the town council seat, she has urged Winthorpe residents who may struggle to attend the polling station in person, to register for postal or proxy vote. The deadline for postal vote registration is at 5pm today and for proxy voting you must apply by the same time next Wednesday.

“I sincerely hope the officer responsible for this gets swamped with postal and proxy applications - we have a right to vote and they have no right to put stumbling blocks in our way.” Mrs Futers added.