Edinburgh Election 2021 results: Long queues see people casting votes after 11pm
Long queues at polling stations in Edinburgh late on Thursday meant some people were casting their votes at 11pm – an hour after the polls officially closed.
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Bad weather during the day led many voters to delay their trip to the polling station until the rain went off. And Covid precautions inside the polling places meant voting took longer than usual.
But the rules mean anyone standing in a queue at 10pm is allowed to cast their vote.
The longest queues seem to have been at the St Joseph’s Centre in Balerno – part of Edinburgh Pentlands constituency.
The last voter is said to have left the centre at 11:30pm.
Pentlands Labour candidate Lezley Marion Cameron said she had spoken to one woman who had joined the queue at 9:30pm and did not get to vote until 11:05pm.
She said the council should look at its polling arrangements and consider setting up an additional polling pace in Balerno.
Ms Cameron said: “It’s important we do all we can to encourage people to cast their vote and do what’s possible to remove barriers which might dissuade folk from coming out to vote if they anticipate having to wait in long queues for some time, and doing so in the outdoors.
“Not everyone is physically able to do that and nor should they be expected to.
“We can’t manage the weather, but there are other things we could do and should definitely be exploring ahead of next year’s City of Edinburgh Council elections, including increasing the number of polling stations.”
Returning officer Andrew Kerr said more people had been registered to vote in this election in Edinburgh than in any previous election.
"The need to follow strict Covid guidance and the intermittent bad weather during polling day yesterday meant there were sometimes long queues at busier times, but I can confirm that everyone who turned up to vote by 10pm was able to cast their vote,” he said.
"I want to pay tribute to the hard work and dedication of all the polling place staff for helping Edinburgh’s voters have their say in this unprecedent Covid election.”