A recent appeal from EU in Brum to extend the deadline for EU citizens from 24 member states, to allow them to return form UC/1 in time to vote in the Euro elections, sadly fell on deaf ears within our government, despite the efforts of a few supportive MP’s.
As expected, thousands of non-British EU voters from 24 countries were turned away from the European election polling booths in the UK on 23rd May, including many from Birmingham.
Some people simply didn’t know about the form (in some cases the council told them incorrectly they were registered and could therefore vote). Some didn’t receive their form in a timely manner because councils (including Birmingham) were too slow sending them out. Some completed the form but their local council didn’t receive it in time. Some completed the form and returned it on time, but their local council failed to process it in time. Some fell foul of administrative mistakes made by their local council. Whatever the reason, people turned up at polling stations expecting to vote and found their name crossed out
Meanwhile in other European countries, British citizens were denied a UK postal vote because their local council sent out voting forms by the slowest possible method, which meant they did not arrive sufficiently early that they could be returned on time.
Since the government’s inadequate preparation for the European elections would appear to be in contravention of European law, The 3 Million, a group that campaigns on behalf of non-British EU citizens, is investigating legal action. They are seeking evidence, so if you were affected by this disenfranchisement you can help them by sending information through their website DeniedMyVote
Whether you were directly affected or not, please spread the word.
Also, please add your name to a government petition created by EU in Brum, calling for a public inquiry:
Again, please spread the word. They are already more than half way to getting a response from government. 100,000 signatures will ensure it is debated in Parliament.
The requirement for an EU citizen to complete an extra declaration that they will not vote in their country of origin varies between member states with the UK easily being the most bureaucratic. Citizens from Eire, Malta & Cyprus do not need to do it at all. Non German EU citizens voting in Germany are not required to fill in a form but are given a warning they commit an offence if they vote twice. Non Dutch EU citizens voting in the Netherlands fill in a form once when they first register to vote.
No person should be denied their democratic right to vote and all effort should be made to enable them to exercise that right.