Elections 2021: Car boot used as polling station


A car boot has been used to cast votes in the local elections after the normal polling station could not be opened because a church warden “overslept”.

Polls were due to open at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies at 07:00 BST but voters turned up to find the doors locked.

Oxford City Council confirmed the presiding officer instead used their car as a makeshift polling station.

A council spokesman said the building was open within 15 minutes.

Toby Porter, chief executive of Acorns Children’s Hospice in Birmingham, posted a photograph of the car on Twitter and said about a dozen people had used it to vote.

Laura Lock, deputy chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, said some polling stations in cars were seen at every 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 keyholders 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 07:00 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 07:00, wherever that may be.”

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Olivia Wilson
By Olivia Wilson


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