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Abbott: ‘Adopt US voting system’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 October 2010

Diane Abbott  (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty I

Diane Abbott (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty I

2010 Getty Images

DIANE ABBOTT has called on Parliament to follow the example of the American electoral system in a bid to avoid a repeat of the chaotic scenes in Hackney in May, when hundreds of voters were left disenfranchised.

The MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington spoke in a debate on Monday evening about how we should adopt a system used in the last US presidential election which ensured any voter queuing at the close of polls still had the chance to cast their vote.

She also spoke about her dismay at not knowing exactly how many voters, including many first time voters, were turned away from polls despite queuing well ahead of the closing time.

Ms Abbott said: “The number of people who were turned away is an underestimate, because in my constituency hundreds of people came out after work to vote, saw the queues, went away, came back again, saw the queues and went away again, so we will never know how many people were put off voting.

“I wish to stress that in a democracy the state has a very basic responsibility to allow people to cast their vote.”


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