Following on from numerous press reports (see here, here and here, with analysis here), the EU Rights Clinic has started receiving complaints from EU citizens who were refused their right to participate in elections to the European Parliament.
EU citizens have reported being turned away from polling stations throughout the UK on 23 May 2019 even though they had registered on the electoral roll.
It appears the reason for this was that councils had not been able to process registrations on time given that EU citizens were required not only to register on the electoral roll, but also to submit Form UC1 containing a declaration that they would only vote in EP elections in the UK.
This was an additional formality that did not apply to British citizens wherever they might live.
The imposition of such an additional formality is clearly discriminatory given that Article 22(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU provides that “every citizen of the Union residing in a Member State of which he is not a national shall have the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament in the Member State in which he resides, under the same conditions as nationals of that State”.
The complaints received by the EU Rights Clinic are presently being analysed with a view to submitting an official complaint to the EU institutions.
We also invite you to lodge an official complaint with your local electoral registration office.
If you have been affected, please do get in touch to share your experiences with us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title “EP elections 2019” – please include your full name, post code and council where you voted, as well as details of your experience.