The Scottish Government has called for an investigation into reports that EU citizens were unable to vote in the EU Parliament elections.
Constitutional Relations secretary Michael Russell has written to the UK Government and the elections watchdog demanding an urgent inquiry after numerous accounts of EU nationals being turned away from UK polling stations.
Aberdeen-based EU national Natalia Staszak said yesterday she was disappointed and angry when she was unable to vote at her local station in Leadside Road.
Ms Staszak, 33, who moved to the city from Poland 13-years ago, said: “I am angry because I really wanted to vote. But I have read on Facebook that lots of people were unable to vote and a lot of people have been complaining.”
In order to take part in the elections, EU nationals had to complete and return special forms 12 working days before the polls opened. It has been suggested that the late calling of the election left people without enough time to do the paperwork.
“In the past, I have always been able to vote. I check my post every day, but this time I didn’t receive anything. Normally I would get paperwork,” said Ms Staszak, who runs a cleaning services company.
Colin Watt of the Carrbridge Hotel in Speyside, said 15 staff members, who are EU nationals, were also unable to vote.
Bar supervisor Martin Rabmbinini, 29, who came to Scotland from Spain, said: “I felt bad because I really wanted to vote.”
Mr Russell wrote to Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington and the Electoral Commission, saying it was a “disgrace” people had been denied a vote.
He added: “I believe it is imperative that an inquiry is conducted into these issues as a matter of urgency.”
Grampian electoral registration officer Ian Milton responded by stating that all EU citizens who were registered to vote had been sent a form and explanatory letter from April 15 and email had been used to speed up the process.