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EU referendum: Registration closes tomorrow

Registration for the electorate in the EU Referendum closes tomorrow and those who miss the deadline will not be allowed to vote on June 23rd.

Returning Officer Paul Martinez underscored the importance of meeting this deadline and added those already registered for last November’s General Election would automatically be included in the register.

The EU Referendum is now less than three weeks away and the vote will ultimately decide whether or not the UK and Gibraltar will remain inside the European Union.

Those who are eligible to vote include British and Irish citizens living in Gibraltar, and commonwealth citizen living locally or overseas who has been registered to vote in Gibraltar in the last 15 years.

“It is very important to register because if you are not registered you can’t vote,” Mr Martinez said.

“The effect is around 300 or 400 people have registered. We had a very comprehensive register for the general election there was over 23,000 people in the register. We made a big effort for the actual general election to have as comprehensive a register as possible.”

“We went down each and every household in Gibraltar. We sent a form to each household and physically went to every household who had not returned that form.”

He added the register must have comprised of around 97% of the local population during last year’s General Election.

But more people are eligible to vote at the referendum, so a larger turn out is expected.

“Namely the Irish and Commonwealth are not eligible to vote in a general election,” Mr Martinez said. “In general elections only British citizens and residents of Gibraltar can vote.”

“For the referendum the way that the UK enacted the law, which applies to both Gibraltar and the UK, it is Commonwealth and Irish nationals who are eligible, so therefore, for example, if you are an Australian you are eligible to vote in the referendum.”

The register used for the referendum is an updated version of the European parliamentary elections register that was used for the last European elections in Gibraltar.

For Gibraltarians living abroad, the cut-off date to be entitled to vote is 15 years, meaning locals cannot vote if they have lived abroad for longer than this period of time.

Mr Martinez added it is crucial that those living abroad for less than 15 years who were registered to vote for a European Parliamentary election in Gibraltar apply to register for the referendum.

Local students still in UK universities at the time of the referendum can apply for postal or proxy vote or they can register to vote at their closest polling station.

Those registered would receive a poll card telling them what polling station to attend. Poll cards are not a necessity when voting but if you lose or do not receive the card contact the Gibraltar Parliament to find out where your polling station is.

Forms for registration can be downloaded from the parliament website www.parliament.gi where information on how to apply is also available.

Once filled out the forms should be scanned and sent via email to parliament@parliament.gi. Recent utility bills and proof of identity should also be emailed.

The final deadline is tomorrow.

The application deadline for postal votes is 5pm on June 8th and for proxy votes the deadline is June 15th.

You must be registered to vote before you can apply for postal or proxy vote.