Polls were supposed to open at 7am at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies, but voters were shocked to arrive and find the doors locked. The church warden who was supposed to oversee the polling station “overslept”, which resulted in the boot of a car being used instead.
According to Toby Porter, a voter who shared an image of the temporary polling station online this morning, around twelve people had used the boot to vote before the building was open.
A spokesperson for Oxford City Council confirmed that the actual polling station was about 15 minutes late to open because of the blunder, with very little disruption to the day overall.
The spokesperson added: “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.”
Mr Porter’s tweet about the unusual polling station has gone viral, receiving hundreds of replies and over 10,000 likes in just a few hours.
Alongside an image of the car boot, Mr Porter wrote: “The church warden has overslept apparently so just cast my vote in a car. #LocalElections2021”
Laura Lock, deputy chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators, replied to Mr Porter explaining that similar incidents occur during every election.
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A second added: “I’d rather vote at a car boot than indoors at the moment for sure. Inspired.”
A third said: “There has never been a more British sight.”
Officials have encouraged those attending polling stations today to take their own pencil and wear a face covering due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.