How to register to vote in the EU referendum
** If you’re a citizen of a Commonwealth country (that’s all us Aussies & Kiwis), you’re entitled to vote in the upcoming EU referendum. You need to register by the 7th June – see below for details on how to register.
Getting all political is not really my thing but when it comes to the possibility of the UK exiting the EU, it does have a pretty massive effect on many Aussies who, like me, are lucky enough to live and work in the UK on an inherited EU passport (thanks Mum & Dad!). It also has an effect on every expat living in the UK – whether it be job security, peace and democracy, ease of travel, or at the very least a healthy & stable exchange rate to send money home.
The good news is, if you have a Commonwealth country passport (Australian, New Zealand, Canadian, etc. View full list here) and are living in the UK, as a part of the Commonwealth you are entitled to vote in the upcoming EU referendum.
You only have until the 7th June to register – so do it right now! Here’s how…
The referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union is on Thursday 23 June 2016.
A referendum asks you to vote on a question. For this EU referendum the question is:
Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?
How to Register
If you live in England, Scotland or Wales, you can register online any time at gov.uk/register-to-vote. It only takes about 5 minutes.
Make sure that you register using your Australian/Commonwealth Passport, this will ensure that you’re able to vote in the EU referendum. Even if you’re living here on an EU passport, you can still register to vote with your Australian/Commonwealth.
Remember you need to register before the 7th June!
Not sure if you’re registered or not? Contact your local electoral registration office – just put your post code into this website to get the right phone number: http://www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/uk-voters
My little case study:
I have two passports – Australian and Polish. I’m living in the UK on my Polish passport, therefore don’t have a UK VISA on my Australian one, but I’m still eligible to vote.
As I was originally registered to vote on my Polish passport, I had to call my local electoral registration office and change my nationality to Australian on their records. I only had to email them a copy of my Aussie passport, and my nationality was updated overnight. Easy!
You are eligible to vote in the EU referendum if:
You can vote in this EU referendum if you are registered to vote in the UK, are 18 or over on 23 June 2016 and are:
- A British or Irish citizen living in the UK, or
- A Commonwealth citizen living in the UK who has leave (permission) to remain in the UK or who does not require leave to remain in the UK
- A British citizen living overseas who has been registered to vote in the UK in the last 15 years
- An Irish citizen living overseas who was born in Northern Ireland and who has been registered to vote in Northern Ireland in the last 15 years
If you’re note sure if you’re eligible, give your local electoral registration office a call, or comment below and I’ll do my best to help out as much as I can.