JenniferScott published All you need to know about voting in the EU referendum
It is almost time to cast your vote in the EU referendum, but what do you need to do to in order to vote? We have all the information you need here.
The campaign has started for the referendum deciding whether Britain remains a member of the European Union or goes it alone.
The next nine weeks will see politicians vying for your vote and trying to get you on their side.
But this is a decision for you and you alone to make, whether that be to stay in or get out.
So, here is all you need to know about voting in the once in a lifetime election.
How do I register to vote?
First things first, you must register. If you are already on the list, you will have received your polling card for the upcoming police and crime commissioner election through the post – or you can check by calling your local council.
But if you haven’t, you need to head to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
The online process is very simple and only takes about five minutes. You will need your National Insurance number to hand, so make sure you find your old card or payslip before you get started.
If you prefer, you can register by post. You can either download application forms from the same website or contact your local council to get copies. For Nottingham City Council, call electoral services on 0115 876 4111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. To check your local authority, visit www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
Remember that this will take longer though, and you must be registered by June 7 to be eligible to vote.
Who can vote?
There are three main criteria you need to meet to be allowed to vote.
Firstly, you must be 18 or be turning 18 before voting day.
Second, you must be a British, Irish, Commonwealth or European Union citizen, or a citizen of a British Overseas Territory or British Crown Dependency – a full list of these countries can be found on the city council website.
And finally, you must be a resident at the property you are registered at. If you need to change your address, go to the same website for registering to vote and update your details before the deadline.
What will happen on the day?
The process will be like most other elections. Your polling card, that will be delivered to your house, will have the address on where you go to vote – it is normally a local school, church or community centre.
It will then be a case of getting yourself there between 7am and 10pm on polling day, Thursday, June 23, to cast your vote. Anyone in the queue before 10pm will still be allowed to vote.
Don’t worry, it is very easy to do, and there are lots of people on hand to answer any questions. The only one they can’t help you with is which way to vote!
The question will read: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?” Voters will need to mark an X in either the ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ box or the ‘Leave the European Union’ box.
What if I cannot make it on the day?
There are other options for voting if you are out of the country or don’t think you can make it to your local polling station.
The first option is to vote by post, which means you will be sent a ballot paper and have to send it back before the deadline. The deadline to apply for this is 5pm on June 8.
The other option is to vote by proxy – get someone else to cast your vote for you. They will have to be registered to vote though. The deadline for this is June 15.
Both of these options are available online or have their own application forms you can download or request from the council.
When do we find out the result?
After voting closes, the count will begin immediately.
The country has been split into 11 regions to collect the local totals from each council, and collate a regional total.
This will then be passed onto the chief counting officer, who will tot the numbers up and announce them at an event in Manchester on Friday, June 24.
The two campaigns
The in vote…
Britain Stronger in Europe has been designated as the group campaigning for the country to stay as a member of the European Union.
It’s most high profile backers include the Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as the majority of Labour MPs, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, the Alliance party, the Green Party and the SDLP in Northern Ireland.
It is being run by former Marks and Spencer chairman Lord Rose, and its biggest funder so far is Lord Sainsbury.
The campaign’s key points claim that there will be a better economy, better leadership and better security if we remain in the political alliance.
It says for every £1 we put into the EU, we get almost £10 back in investment.
For more on their campaign, visit www.strongerin.co.uk.
The out vote…
The Vote Leave campaign will be campaigning for Britain to get out of the European Union.
Millionaires including Peter Cruddas who backs the Conservatives and John Mills, who backs the Labour Party, have made large donations to the group fighting for Brexit.
The main campaign point they believe in is that there needs to be a new deal between the UK and the EU based on free trade and co-operation, but removing the control of law that the organisation has.
It also says it wants to claim back British seats in large institutions, such as the World Trade Organisation.
Follow all of our coverage of the EU referendum and vote in our weekly poll at www.nottinghampost.com/eu.