EU elections: German nationals wrongly turned away from polling station on the Isle of Dogs
PUBLISHED: 17:22 23 May 2019 | UPDATED: 17:34 23 May 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Two German nationals who were turned away from polling stations in Tower Hamlets this morning have been told they will be allowed to vote after CCTV footage proved they had submitted their registration forms in time.
Kat Sellner and Moritz Valero were told they could not vote in the European elections when they arrived at a polling station on the Isle of Dogs because they were not registered.
The pair received letters at the end of April explaining they had to fill in a form to tell Tower Hamlets council they would vote in the UK and not Germany. The form had to be submitted to the council by May 7.
When Mr Valero phoned the council three days ago he was told he would not be able to vote because the town hall "only received the forms on the 16th" - two weeks after they handed them in.
After checking CCTV from May 2 the council informed the pair they would be allowed to vote - six hours after they originally arrived at their polling stations.
A spokesman said: "We have used the council's CCTV footage to investigate the circumstances in which Mr Valero and Ms Sellner submitted their registration to vote.
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"We are pleased to say that there is evidence to show that they handed in their registration forms before the deadline.
"We have informed Mr Valero and Ms Sellner that they will now be able to vote in today's election.
Dozens of EU citizens living in the UK have claimed they were turned away from polling stations and unable to vote.
The hashtag #deniedmyvote was trending on Twitter hours after voting opened at 7am.
Administrative errors, incorrect forms being sent to voters and late registration were blamed.
Dragomir Krastev tweeted: "This morning my vote was denied in Tower Hamlets. As an EU national I had sent a letter expressing my wish to vote in the UK, but apparently they have "lost my letter". My name was in the lists but crossed out!"
A Tower Hamlets council spokesman added: "We recognise that these elections are unique and complex. It was only on Tuesday May 7 that the election was given the formal go ahead by the Government. This was the same day as the deadline to register and for EU citizens to apply to vote in the UK.
"Like all local authorities, our staff have worked tirelessly to deliver an election in weeks, which would normally take months."