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European elections: EU citizens report being barred from polling stations

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LONDON — EU citizens living in the UK claim they have been turned away from polling stations in the European elections.

Campaigners representing EU citizens said many Europeans living in the UK had not been sent the correct forms in time, meaning they were subsequently disbarred from voting.

The hashtag #deniedmyvote has been trending on Twitter since Thursday morning, with hundreds of EU citizens claiming they have been denied a chance to vote.

Immigration and human rights barrister Agata Patyna reported that she had been turned away from a polling station on Thursday.

She tweeted: “Turned away from polling station this morning. Told I should vote in my EU member state. Called local council yesterday, they confirmed I could vote. Called again today. Apparently council had no time to send out forms to all EU residents. Nothing they can do now.”

She added: “To clarify, I registered before the deadline. Have been here since 2005. Voted many times before. This is ‘my’ EU member state.”

Lina Dencik, a reader at Cardiff University, also said that she had been denied the chance to vote. “Early morning visit to cast my vote only to have it disenfranchised because my declaration that I wouldn’t be voting in Sweden (my country of citizenship) hadn’t been processed in time,” she tweeted.

Nicolas Hatton, a spokesman for the3million, an EU citizens’ rights group, told Business Insider: “Today, we are seeing hundreds of EU citizens turned away from the polling booths.

“It is outrageous that the incompetence and unwillingness of the government and the Electoral Commission have denied these people a vote.”

He said the3million would be pushing for an investigation into a “democractic disaster” which had “disenfranchised many of the European citizens most affected by the outcome of these elections.”

David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham North, tweeted: “3 years of being insulted, exploited and asked to apply to stay in their own homes. Now reports flooding in that EU citizens are being turned away at polling stations, despite being registered to vote. The two step process is ugly discrimination.”

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