Go go go!
In order to vote you have to be registered. The deadline was previously Tuesday 7th June but has just been extended due to a rush of last-minute voters crashing the website. So if you aren’t already on the electoral register, get in there now so you can have your say!
Register to vote here What will I need? Your National Insurance number (and your passport if you’re a British citizen living abroad.)
Don’t know if you’re registered? Just contact your local electoral registration office and they will tell you. How long does it take? Just 5 minutes (no time at all)
What if I'm already registered? You don’t need to register again in order to vote in the EU referendum if you live in the UK and both of the following apply:
1. You were registered to vote in the May 2016 elections or the 2015 General Election 2. You still live at the same address
It takes less than five minutes to vote, yet thousands of young people have abandoned attempts to register to vote in the EU referendum. People aged 18-24 are twice as likely not to sign up.
The most common reason? People are being asked for their National Insurance numbers as part of the registration process. Many of these people are unable to remember theirs or can’t find it.
Don't let this stop you. You can find your National Insurance number on your payslip, P60 or on your student loan form. However, if you still can’t find it you are given the option on the site to request to provide another form of identity.
According to the campaign, Bite the Ballot, out of 3,800 clicks to a government sign-up page between 23-27 May, just 10 people successfully registered. That figure is far too low.
The EU Referendum is taking place on Thursday 23rd June 2016. This is the public vote determining whether we as a country are in or out of the European Union, potentially ending our 40 year EU membership.
The nation – and even the Conservative party – are divided on the subject, splitting off into ‘In’ (David Cameron) and ‘Out’ (Boris Johnson) support teams, with news of further clashes emerging each day.
Something that both camps can agree on however, is the importance of voting.
Hillary Clinton described voting as ‘the most precious right of every citizen’ – it’s your choice if you want to exercise that right, but if you want to have a say on your future then voting is your most powerful tool.
Depending on who you listen to, a Brexit (British EU exit) could be ‘a leap in the dark’ spelling a decade of uncertainty or the start of a brand new Britain able to function outside of Brussels control. Either way, the outcome of the June vote will have big implications on your future and if you can vote, you should.
We have fought for so long for the right to vote, a privilege that so many people are still deprived of, let’s not take it for granted.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.
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