To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what guidance was issued to the Government by the Electoral Commission on the time required to ensure (a) EU citizens living in the UK and (b) UK citizens living in the EU would be able to vote in the EU parliamentary elections; and on what date his Department received that advice.
Government officials worked closely with Returning Officers and the Electoral Commission and other agencies such as the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) and the Association of Electoral Administrators (AEA) to support the smooth running of the polls on 23 May.
Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) are under a statutory duty to ensure people who are eligible to vote in elections have the opportunity to do so. For the recent European Parliamentary elections that included making sure relevant citizens of the EU who are resident in the UK and registered to vote in local elections were made aware they needed to complete a voter registration and declaration form (commonly referred to as a UC1 or EC6 form) in order to enable them to vote.
On 5 April, the Electoral Commission published guidance for local returning officers and EROs on the upcoming European parliamentary elections. This guidance reminded EROs to prepare and issue UC1 forms to EU citizens on the electoral register. It also encouraged EROs to agree plans and timings for postal vote despatch, including plans on how to prioritise the despatch of overseas votes. Overseas voters include UK eligible citizens living in the EU.