European Parliament: Elections

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 25th June 2019.

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Photo of Afzal Khan Afzal Khan Shadow Minister (Home Office) (Immigration)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what support he provided to local authority electoral registration officers to ensure that EU citizens had sufficient time to return their declaration forms to vote in the 2019 European elections.

Photo of Kevin Foster Kevin Foster Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales, The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office

The Government took all the legal steps necessary to prepare for the European Parliament elections and put in place all the legislative and funding elements to enable Returning Officers to make their preparations required for the polls on 23 May. We also worked 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 5 April the Electoral Commission published guidance for Local Returning Officers and EROs on the upcoming European Parliament elections. In this the Electoral Commission 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 how to prioritise the despatch of overseas votes). This latter point covers UK citizens living in EU countries.

On 3 May the Electoral Commission published guidance advising EU citizens to avoid registering to vote using unofficial registration sites. In this guidance, they further stated that “any EU citizen who wants to vote in the European Parliamentary election in the UK must also print, complete and return a declaration form stating that they will only vote in the UK.” This guidance also included a link to the Your Vote Matters website where the form could be downloaded.

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