Voters cast ballots from back of car as usual polling station was shut

Voters cast ballots from back of car as usual polling station was shut
A car being used as a polling station (Cambridge Electoral Services/PA)
PA Media - Cambridge Electoral Services

Voters in Cambridge used the back of a car as a polling station as staff had problems getting into the library building they had planned to use.

Polling teams “remained calm and carried on” when they found themselves shut out of Milton Road Library on Thursday, Cambridge Electoral Services wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

They posted a photograph of a grey car with its boot open, with a polling station sign hung from its door handles and candidate information stuck to the windows.

“Voters at Milton Road Library get to experience the rare sight of voting from the back of a car as we’ve had problems getting into the building,” Cambridge Electoral Services wrote online.

“Hopefully we’ll be in soon but for now our polling staff are doing a great job ensuring early voters can still cast their vote!”

Around an hour later the account, which helps run elections for Cambridge City Council, wrote that staff had got into the library building.

They said in a post: “The polling stations at Milton Road Library are now up and running… well done and thank you to our polling teams who remained calm and carried on!”

A Cambridge City Council spokesperson said there had been a “problem with door codes and contacting keyholders, so our staff showed great initiative and used one of their own cars as a temporary polling station for the first voters arriving after 7am”.

They said the polling station at the library was “open and fully operational” as of 8am.

“Our elections staff are doing a fantastic job today coordinating the local elections at 39 different locations across the city, and have a variety of back-up plans in case of any incidents, to ensure Cambridge residents can cast their votes,” the spokesperson added.

It is not the first time that a polling station has operated from a car boot.

In 2021, voters in Oxford cast their ballots from a parked car as a church warden reportedly overslept and officials found themselves locked out of the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies.

The usual polling station was opened later that morning.

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