European Movement W&M held two voter registration events over the weekend - at Wimbledon and Tooting Broadway - and the reception was really positive. We distributed leaflets explaining clearly how to register, and held lots of revealing conversations.
In the immediate vicinity of our Tooting street stall alone, the plant seller was already registered, but the pair promoting Paintball Adventures, from South Africa and Australia, didn’t realise that they were eligible, as Commonwealth citizens. We showed them how easy it is to register on the app GetVoting. The whole process took less than five minutes.
EU citizens from countries other than UK, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus need to fill out an extra form if they register on the government's website, and we met passers-by from Denmark, Spain and Slovakia who didn’t realise that this was the case. However, with the GetVoting app you don't need that extra paperwork.
One passer-by had no permanent address, but as the registration website explains, it’s possible to register using a temporary address, such as a hostel.
It was good to be able to explain how the registration system works, but the exercise highlights the lack of work by Government to promote participation in democracy for everyone who is entitled. Instead it falls on volunteer groups such as ours to do what we can.
With the results of the council elections in other parts of the country sinking in, there was a lot of support expressed in conversation for parties that are supporting a People's Vote. However, even the Brexit Party supporters we met were, somewhat ironically, looking forward to the chance to take part in the EU vote!
The registration deadline is midnight on May 7th, so we all need to do everything possible to spread the word about the registration process, particularly online.
- On the 9th of May we will have a Europe Day social and planning event at The Alex in Wimbledon and then
- an election awareness event on Northcote Road, Battersea on Saturday the 11th and
- another in Wimbledon on Sunday the 12th of May.
Please join us if you can, and stay tuned for further events as election day draws nearer!