There were lengthy queues at polling stations on Thursday with some voters waiting for over an hour to cast their ballot.

People in Wales went to the polls today to elect a new Welsh Government, as well as regional Police and Crime Commissioners, but many found themselves in lines that snaked down the street from polling stations as the day and night wore on.

Higher than usual turnout mixed with social distancing guidelines and good weather were cited as reasons for the extended waits which were reported as being as long as 90 minutes in some areas. Councils were reassuring voters that their ballot could still be cast as it approached 10pm, saying that as long as people joined the queue before the cut-off they would still be able to vote.

Local authorities in Cardiff, Swansea, Vale of Glamorgan, Neath Port Talbot, and elsewhere put the message out that there was growing concern from those who had not voted yet.

In Broad Street, Cardiff, Natasha Wynne said she had been waiting in line for 40 minutes as 9pm approached and there were "well over 100 people" in front of her in the queue still.

There were similar scenes elsewhere in Cardiff too. In the final hour of polling, with the light dwindling, there were reports of 90-minute waits at the polling station in Ararat Church in Whitchurch.

The queue in Whitchurch in the last hour of polling

Several people posted on social media that some stations in Clwyd South also had long queues as well as a number of other areas in Wales and across the UK.

The effect of the pandemic has meant this election is like no other. Normally, the counting process starts at 10pm on the night of the election but this year the counting will begin on Friday morning.

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The Electoral Commission, which oversees elections, said staff had to be kept in smaller groups than usual and breaks offered regularly for those wearing face coverings. Those in charge of election counts can limit the number of people attending from political parties which will limit the amount of information that comes out about how a party is expecting to fare.

The first results are expected to start coming in on the afternoon of Friday, May 7.