Election 2015 England

Hackney residents lose vote despite registering before deadline

Hackney Town Hall Image copyright Hackney Council
Image caption Hackney Council said some people would not be able to vote

Voters in a London borough have lost their chance to take part in the election despite registering before the April deadline.

Hackney Council has told the BBC about 100 people will be unable to vote.

Claire Mason, a Hackney resident, said she was told the system probably could not process the number registering to vote in the week up to 20 April.

A council worker told her up to 20,000 people registered that week.

"He reiterated that I had to face the possibility that I could not vote, which is outrageous," she said.

Image caption Hackney resident Claire Mason and her partner registered before the deadline

Ms Mason, who has lived in the east London borough for 12 years, said she and her partner were among those who had registered just before 20 April.

"Maybe if I hadn't registered so close to the deadline I might have had a better chance," she said.

"This election more than ever we're being told numbers are tight," she added. "And with all kinds of random parties and candidates now in the frame I feel that my vote counts more."

Another Hackney resident Steph Wilson wrote on Instagram: "I've just been told I can't vote due to the rubbish new voting registration forms that Hackney Council failed to send to me. Shame on you @hackneycouncil."

'No need for polling card'

The borough has two parliamentary constituencies - Hackney North & Stoke Newington and Hackney South & Shoreditch.

Hackney Council said about 100 people were thought to be affected and issued a statement which said enabling people to vote was an "absolute priority".

"Due to issues caused by the new Individual Electoral Registration system we did not receive some applications until late into the process, as details were cross checked by the Department for Work and Pensions, via the government's new online registration service."

It said voters did not need a polling card to vote, but just needed to give their name and address to staff at their polling station.

An Electoral Commission spokesperson said it was aware of the issues in Hackney, which it understood related to specific problems with the council's IT system.

He said: "Any voter that has concerns about whether they are registered should contact their electoral services team in Hackney to check this and, if needed, to find out where their polling station is."

Candidates in Hackney North & Stoke Newington:

Labour - Diane Abbott

Liberal Democrat - Simon de Deney

Green - Heather Finlay

UKIP - Keith Fraser

Conservative - Amy Gray

Animal Welfare Party - Jon Homan

Communist League - Jonathan Silberman

Candidates in Hackney South & Shoreditch:

Christian Peoples Alliance - Taiwo Adewuyi

Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol - Paul Birch

TUSC - Brian Debus

Green - Charlotte George

Independent - Russell Higgs

Labour - Meg Hillier

Liberal Democrat - Ben Mathis

Workers Revolutionary Party - Bill Rogers

Campaign - Gordon Shrigley

UKIP - Angus Small

Conservative - Jack Tinley