EU citizens stopped from voting in UK after confusion over registration forms

EU citizens stopped from voting in UK after confusion over registration forms

Complaints about ‘complicated’ declaration with ‘no purpose’ as foreign residents of UK are turned away from polling stations.

EU citizens living in Britain have been stopped from voting after confusion over a series of registration forms. Prospective voters arrived at polling booths around the country on Thursday only to find that while they were able to vote in local elections, officials would not give them ballot papers for the continent-wide elections.

Although they are not permitted to vote in general elections, people born within the European Union can cast their vote in local and EU elections where they live.

Dozens of people have taken to social media to complain after being refused ballot papers by election officers. One Portuguese councillor said the system was “broken”.

Writing on Twitter, @poleinbelfast wrote: “Me and friend have been told to vote in Poland in EU elections, even though I had votes in the last 3 elections in the UK.”

Dominic Zapaman, tweeting under the handle @zapaman, said: “My wife is German was denied vote in EU election here in NW! Why? Has lived here 20yrs! Where is her vote?”

Susanne Kendler, head of the voter registration organisation LetmevoteUK, described the process as “confusing” as registering for EU elections required a second set of forms to complete the process.

Kendler said they had received numerous questions from people who could not find the forms they needed to register. “It may seem simple to some, but wasn’t so for all. Many people will have just gone to register through their councils as they did before.

“Our understanding is that some confusion may have come from the fact that while people can register all members of a household on one form, the confirmation for EU citizens to vote in the EU elections here have to be individual. That may have caught people out, as they thought they already registered.”

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