The deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum is 7 June. Voting will take place between 7am and 10pm on 23 June. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
If you want to have your say on the future of Britain’s role in the EU, you need to be on the electoral register, which means registering to vote. You must make sure you register in the place where you intend to vote – usually using your permanent home address.
Registering online takes minutes in the majority of cases, especially if you have your national insurance number to hand. If you have more than one home – and this is particularly relevant for students – you must decide where you will be on 23 June, and use this address when you register.
You do not need to register specifically to vote in the EU referendum. If you have registered in a previous election and have not changed name or address, you do not need to register again.
Registration is different for Commonwealth and Irish citizens, and for anyone who does not intend to vote in person.
Here’s everything you need to know about voting.
Can you vote in the EU referendum?
You can register to vote in the EU referendum if you will be 18 or over on Thursday 23 June and are one of the following:
- A British or Irish citizen living in the UK.
- A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave to remain or who does not require leave to remain in the UK.
- A British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the past 15 years.
- An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the past 15 years.
Here is a full list of European Union countries, Commonwealth countries, British overseas territories and British crown dependencies (pdf).
You can’t register to vote if you’re in the UK illegally.
How do you register to vote?
If you want to vote in the EU referendum and you are not on the register, or have moved since you last voted, you have until midnight on Tuesday 7 June to submit an application.
You can check with your local authority’s electoral services team if you are worried that you may not be on the register.
In Northern Ireland, you can download a registration form to register to vote. You can call the helpline on 0800 4320 712. Some local authorities in Northern Ireland provide a telephone registration service. You should contact your local registration office to find out details.
If you are an Irish citizen living abroad who was born in Northern Ireland, you should download a special registration form. To qualify as an overseas voter you must have been listed on the Northern Ireland electoral register within the past 15 years or, if you were not old enough to register, your parent or guardian must have been registered.
Do you need to re-register to vote in the referendum?
Anyone who registered to vote for the May 2015 general election will be registered for the EU referendum.
If you have moved house and have registered at your new address, your new local authority will make sure you are removed from the register at your old address.
How do you check if you’re registered to vote?
Every local authority holds an electoral register for its area, which indicates who is registered to vote. There is no online electoral roll.
If you are not sure whether you are registered to vote, you can contact your local electoral registration office. To find the contact details for your local office, enter your postcode in the “your local area” section of the about my vote website.
If you are a British citizen, or an Irish citizen who was born in Northern Ireland, and are living abroad, you will need to contact the local electoral registration office for the address where you were last registered in the UK.
How do you vote?
Once you are registered, there are three ways you can vote in the EU referendum:
1) In person at your polling station
Most people vote in person on election day. You will receive a polling card telling you where your polling station is. Alternatively, you can check its location closer to the date of the referendum.
Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm.
2) By post
To apply to vote by post, you will need to complete a postal vote application form and ensure it arrives at your local electoral registration office by 5pm on Wednesday 8 June.
You will receive your ballot paper by post. A ballot paper can be sent overseas, but you need to think about whether you will have time to receive it, fill it in and get it back to the UK by 23 June. You should consider voting by proxy instead.
3) By proxy
Voting by proxy means nominating someone you trust to vote on your behalf. This person must be registered and eligible to vote in the referendum.
To apply to vote by proxy, you will need to complete a proxy vote application form and return the form to arrive by 5pm on Wednesday 15 June. Don’t overlook telling your proxy which way you want to vote.
Article courtesy of theguardian
Submit News Contact us with your community, business or sport news. Phone 07581350321
Breaking local news as it happens, searchable archives with photographs, the ability to instantly comment on news articles – there are so many advantages to OTS (Onthespot) News.
If you want your news read locally online then send it to firstname.lastname@example.org – relying only on the newspaper is to restrict yourself to an ever reducing audience.