8 May 2010

Inquiry promised into voter problems

7:30 am on 8 May 2010

Problems which led to hundreds of voters being turned away from polling stations in the general election in Britain, are to be the subject of an inquiry.

Electoral Commission head Jenny Watson said it will "never happen again" and promised a "thorough review" after some voters said they were "fuming" at being denied a vote.

The BBC reports police had to deal with queues on Thursday as the voting deadline passed in Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, parts of London and Surrey.

One official in Sheffield said the highest turnout for 30 years "caught us out".

Ms Watson blamed Britain's "Victorian" voting system, which she said was at "breaking point".

Legally, polling station doors must close at 2200 BST. no ballot papers are issued after that time, although everyone who has a ballot paper by then must be able to vote.