Today, I asked the Cabinet Office Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, during an Urgent Question, what action the Government plans to take to extend the registration deadline for the European Union referendum.
This Urgent Question was granted following the website that people use to register to vote crashing last night. This occurred as 525,000 people registered to vote online yesterday and the servers could not handle the last minute demand. As set out in the European Referendum Act, yesterday was the cut of day for people wishing to register to vote for the EU referendum.
The Prime Minister, and the Minister responsible, have both urged people to continue to try to register to vote as they are investigating if they can extend the cut-off date due to the failure of the website. This would require legislation, but all sides of the House of Commons stated they were in favour of such measures.
I asked the Minister what guidance the Government would give to people wishing to register to vote by post. The Minister said that the Government will outline their full response and details in legislation they may be bringing forward.
The message is clear from the Government that people should continue to try and register to vote for the EU referendum, which takes place on the 23 June 2016.
I urge everyone, who hasn’t already done so to visit https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote so that your voice is heard in this once in a generation ballot. Whether you believe we should remain in the EU, as I do, or think we should leave you cannot have your say unless you register to vote.
UPDATE: The Government have confirmed that the deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum has been extended until midnight on Thursday 9 June 2016.