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Analysis

EU citizens who haven’t registered to vote, don’t despair!

by Luke Lythgoe | 05.05.2019

EU citizens can still register to vote in the UK for the European elections. The deadline to post the necessary forms to their local electoral office has passed. But they can still deliver their documents by hand – and in some places, even scan and email them.

It’s incredibly important that as many EU nationals from other countries living in the UK have their say in this vote. They weren’t allowed to vote in the 2016 referendum which threw their futures up into the air. May 23 is their best chance to have a voice on Brexit, at a time when everything hangs in the balance – not least after Thursday’s local elections which the Tories and Labour seem intent to misinterpret as a reason to get on with Brexit.

Worryingly, a recent study found that 7.9 million people eligible to vote on May 23 have not yet registered to vote. Many of those will be EU citizens who call the UK home – alongside other groups at risk of being missed off the register, such as young people or private renters.

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What EU citizens need to do

The deadline to register is Tuesday, May 7. EU citizens (apart from Irish, Cypriot and Maltese nationals) need to go through an extra hoop that Brits don’t need to go through. They must:

  1. Register to vote online at: gov.uk/register-to-vote
  2. Submit a simple form (download here) notifying their local electoral office that they wish to vote in the UK – not another EU country.

The second stage – which Brits, Irish, Cypriots and the Maltese don’t need to do – is the tricky one. Sending the form by post now means it won’t arrive in time to make the deadline. But you can still hand-deliver the form to you local electoral office. Use this helpful online tool to find out where to deliver your form.

The process for EU citizens living in Northern Ireland is slightly different. The Electoral Office for Northern Ireland explains how and has a different form to download.

As well as registering, tell your family and friends to do the same – and make your mark on May 23.

Published and promoted by Hugo Dixon on behalf of Referendum Facts Ltd., Millbank Tower, 21-24 Millbank, London SW1P 4QP

Edited by Hugo Dixon