Author Archives: Elliot Margison

Lord Tony Greaves calls for action to register young people and ex-pats for the referendum

Liberal Democrat peer Lord Tony Greaves used the committee stage of the European Union Referendum Bill to press the government to sort out the voting system for people living in other European countries who may be at risk of losing their chance to vote in the Referendum which is due before the end of 2017 and perhaps as early as June next year – together with some in the UK itself.

Sounds simple enough, although in this year’s general election the system had a shortfall of several million UK citizens living abroad who were eligible to vote but could not physically do so due to administrative problems in getting registered, being correctly identified and actually receiving the postal ballot paper itself.

Out of more than two million UK nationals living in EU countries, only 100,000 were able to successfully vote in this year’s general election. Lord Greaves said:

If only 100,000 were able to be on the register for the general election, clearly, the system up to now has not worked – even though the figure was increased by three times. Three times not many is still not many.

He moved an amendment to the Bill to make sure that the Electoral Commission makes special efforts to get votes on the register once the date is known – both British citizens living in the EU and those who will be missed off the register when the new system of individual registration starts a year early (something the Liberal Democrats in the Lords tried to stop and failed by just 11 votes the previous week).

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 26 Comments
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