Polling station set up in car boot ‘after church warden overslept’

Temporary polling station in a car boot
Temporary polling station in a car boot
11:04am, Thu 06 May 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

A voter has cast his ballot in a car boot after the church warden opening his polling station “overslept apparently”.

Toby Porter said he cast his vote in Oxford at 7.25am, and the normal polling station was “up and running” by 7.30am.

He said around a dozen people voted in the car before the centre at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies was opened.

“We found it funny. Everyone was enjoying the novelty,” he told the PA news agency.

Laura Lock, deputy chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, said some polling stations in cars are seen at each election.

“All polling station staff are trained on how to set up temporary polling stations for cases just like this,” she said.

“Unfortunately we do find key holders oversleeping, so every election we see a handful of polling stations in cars until access to the building can be sorted.”

A spokesman for Oxford City Council said: “The keyholder overslept and for a short time at 7am electors were voting using the POs’ (presiding officers) cars.

“This is standard procedure when a station building isn’t open on time and part of the training we give them.

“The key is that ballot papers are ready to be issued at 7am, wherever that may be. The building was open within 15 minutes.”

PA attempted to contact the centre for an explanation as to why the car had been used but did not get an immediate response.

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