A nationwide picture is emerging of EU citizens in the United Kingdom being denied their democratic right to vote in the European parliament elections because of administrative errors by local councils.
Reports are coming in from across the country of EU nationals turning up at polling booths and finding their names crossed out and being told by officials they are not eligible to vote.
EU nationals can vote in the UK in European elections. They have to register, like UK nationals. But they also have to fill in a form, known as the UC1 or EC6 form, saying they will only be voting in the UK, and not in other EU countries.
Local authorities have to process these forms. But there have been reports that in some areas this has not been happening properly. The EU citizens had been turned away from the polling station.
The Electoral Commission says that they have previously called for the system for EU citizens to register being simplified.
But they said they didn’t follow up on their recommendations because the government insisted these elections would not be happening following the referendum result.
An Electoral Commission spokesman said: “After the 2014 elections, Commission staff met Cabinet Office officials, together with representatives from EU citizens’ organisations, to consider options for simplifying the registration process for EU citizens.
“Following the EU referendum, the UK Government was clear that the European Parliamentary elections in 2019 would not take place.
The European Commission will monitor the situation.