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Polling Booth Set Up In Car Boot After Church Warden 'Oversleeps'

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Polling Booth Set Up In Car Boot After Church Warden 'Oversleeps'

People up and down the country are today voting in the biggest exercise of democracy outside of a general election, with elections taking place for English local councils, the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Senedd, police and crime commissioners, directly elected mayors, and the London Assembly.

But things didn't get off to a great start for voters in Oxford, when one man was forced to cast his ballot in a car boot after 'the church warden overslept'.

Toby Porter was up with the lark this morning as he went off to vote at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies at 7.25am.

After arriving at the polling station, Mr Porter said he was told that the warden had 'overslept apparently' and that someone's car had been set up to fill in.

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He said that around a dozen people voted in the car before the centre finally opened.

"We found it funny. Everyone was enjoying the novelty," said Mr Porter.

The polling station was briefly set up in a car boot. Credit: Toby Porter
The polling station was briefly set up in a car boot. Credit: Toby Porter

Speaking to Birmingham Live, Mr Porter said that it was all very 'bizarre'.

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"I'm a really early voter. I arrived at the church hall at 7.20am only to find it locked up," he told the publication.

"Someone told me the warden had overslept. I said, 'Aren't you legally obliged to be open?' They said, 'We are - follow me.'

"They led me round the corner to a voting booth set up in a car boot.

"It was the most bizarre voting experience of my life but it gave us all a good giggle."

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Laura Lock, deputy chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, said some polling stations in cars are seen at each election.

"All polling station staff are trained on how to set up temporary polling stations for cases just like this," she wrote, commenting on Mr Porter's tweet of the scene.

The church warden reportedly 'overslept'. Credit: Google Maps
The church warden reportedly 'overslept'. Credit: Google Maps

"Unfortunately we do find key holders oversleeping, so every election we see a handful of polling stations in cars until access to the building can be sorted.

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"Once again - Presiding Officers showing their training works! Democracy relies on caretakers and their alarm clocks - but @AEA_Elections members have staff who can problem solve and make a darn good job of setting up a temporary polling station!"

A spokesman for Oxford City Council said: "The keyholder overslept and for a short time at 7am 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 7am, wherever that may be. The building was open within 15 minutes."

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LADbible has contacted the centre for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Toby Porter/PA

Topics: Viral, UK politics, Vote, Funny, general election, Twitter, Weird

Dominic Smithers
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