Problems at UK polling stations; Dutch unable to vote

Ballot box in front of the European Union flag
Ballot box in front of the European Union flagPhoto: vepar5/DepositPhotos

Problems at polling stations in the United Kingdom resulted in non-English EU citizens, including many Dutch, being unable to vote in the European Parliament elections on Thursday. Local media blame the haste in which the elections were organized - the UK had to quickly organize elections when the Brexit was postponed until after the European elections

EU citizens who do not live in their own country can vote in the EU Member State they live in, provided they registered to do so. EU citizens complained on social media under the hashtag #DeniedMyVote. "This is ridiculous, my voice has been taken away from me", one Tweeted, according to RL Nieuws.

Dutch man Mark de Rond is one of those who couldn't vote on Thursday. He has been living in Cambridge for 31 years. "I had done everything I had to do. You have to fill in an online form. That's how it always works. In it you indicate that you do not want to vote in the Netherlands, but in England. A few days later I received a form by post that I also had to fill in. I did that too", he said to RTL. But when he showed up at the polling station, he couldn't vote.

"I especially wanted to make my voice heard. This is perhaps the last time that I can vote as a European in England", De Rond said to the broadcaster. "My children grew up here, I pay taxes. I think that many Europeans would choose against the Brexit. Those voices could have quite an impact, and they have not been able to make themselves heard. I find it all very disappointing."

Sosha Bronfman was also unable to vote. The 24-year-old from Haarlem has been living in London for five years. "I noticed that my name was crossed out on the list." The head of the polling station told her she should have received an extra letter. "I registered on time. The fault lies with the British government", she said to RTL. "This is very harmful. This is my right and my voice has now been taken away from me."