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Electoral Commission confirms EU citizens cannot vote at the EU referendum
Following reports that EU citizens have been given poll cards and / or postal ballot packs from their Electoral Registration Officer, an Electoral Commission spokesperson said:
“Parliament decided that those who are entitled to vote in UK Parliamentary General Elections, as well as Peers and citizens of Gibraltar are entitled to vote in this referendum. This means that EU citizens – unless they are British, Irish or citizens of Cyprus or Malta – are unable to vote at the referendum. Where an EU citizen holds dual nationality, they will be able to vote at the referendum if they also hold a nationality that would make them eligible to vote.
“Anyone who applies to register must state their nationality as part of their application and this information is collected by their local Electoral Registration Officer (ERO). EROs are required to mark on their register who’s an EU national so that they do not receive poll cards for elections or referendums that they’re not eligible to vote in.
“Anyone who has evidence that someone who’s ineligible to vote at the EU Referendum has received a poll card should forward this to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will follow it up with the relevant Electoral Registration Officer.”
In the case of a person providing false information on their registration application:
“As part of the registration application process, all applicants are asked to give their nationality. It is an offence to knowingly give false information on a registration application. A person who knowingly provides false information could, in England and Wales, face an unlimited fine and/or up to six months in prison. If anyone has evidence that an offence has been committed, they should contact the police.”
In the case of a person receiving a poll card when they shouldn’t have:
“A poll card does not entitle someone to vote. In order to be able to cast their vote, a person must appear on the electoral register and be shown on it as being eligible to vote. A person’s eligibility is always checked by polling station staff before issuing a ballot paper and if they are not eligible, no ballot paper will be issued.”
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