An organ transplant recipient who could not vote last year as she wears a face mask has hailed an outdoor ID check system.

Andrea Barrett was unable to vote at her polling station in Eastleigh last year, after feeling uncomfortable when asked by staff to remove her face mask so that her identity could be matched with her photo ID.

Andrea, an organ transplant recipient, is clinically vulnerable to infections due to severe immunosuppression and wears a face mask in public spaces.

Having campaigned for a year – calling on polling stations to have an outdoor area for people to cast their vote – Andrea succeeded, successfully casting her vote in the local elections on Thursday.

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The adjustments made at her local polling station included an outdoor ID check, and further measures were in place to monitor CO2 levels, and enhance ventilation within the polling station to ensure a safe environment for all voters.

Andrea said: “The initial changes that were offered to me allowed me to vote more safely.

“It was a simple ask which was easy for Eastleigh Borough Council to implement.”

She added: “It is a strong starting point, but there is still room for improvement, such as improved air quality, and I will continue work with stakeholders to drive this essential change."

Andrea is a member of Clinically Vulnerable Families, an organisation founded in 2020 to support people who are clinically vulnerable or severely immunosuppressed.