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How tides could delay election results in Cornwall

How tides could delay election results in Cornwall

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 4:22pm 18th November 2019.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter

It was probably the one factor that Boris Johnson did not take into account when choosing December 12th for a General Election – tide times.

But it has been revealed that low tides forecast for polling day could mean that votes in the Isles of Scilly will not be counted until the following day.

Votes on the Islands are transported to St Mary’s after polling stations close but that may not be possible on December 12th so the count could be delayed.

It was only recently that votes have been counted on St Mary’s.

In the past ballot boxes were locked up in the local police station cells and then transported to the mainland to be counted.

Because of this the St Ives constituency – of which the islands are part – was one of the last to declare its result as it had to wait for the boxes to arrive.

Mark Boden, interim chief executive of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, said that boats will be ready to transport the votes from the off islands to St Mary’s but they could be halted by the low tide.

And it’s not just low tides which could affect the transportation of votes, with the weather also being a factor.

Five of the islands are inhabited and ballot boxes will have to be taken to St Mary’s for counting. It had been suggested the votes could be counted on the individual islands if necessary, but it is not practical to do that.

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