Contrary to Greece, where you enter electoral rolls automatically when you become an adult, in the UK you have to register after you submit an application yourself. When I say application, I don’t mean an official statement, forms and constricting boxes, fees, protocols, etc.
All it takes is an online form, asking the basics (name, address, date of birth, email, etc), together with your National Insurance number and passport; if you are a British national. Otherwise, your citizenship.
Nothing else. Neither photos, nor signatures.
Contrary to Greece, where you cannot vote unless you hold a Greek passport, the UK gives you the right to vote in municipal elections and EU elections. I could vote for British Members of the European Parliament while I was denied the same right by Greece.
In national elections and the referendum, however, I am not eligible to vote as a Greek/EU citizen. Keep that in mind.
So, I filled in the form, sent it, received an email with a reference number and waited.
The days passed and I didn’t know if everything was OK with my application. I forwarded the email I had received to my local electoral office, asking them if I had been added to the electoral rolls or if my application was still pending.
When I clicked SEND, it was afternoon. I received a reply within less than 24 hours:
Thank you for your email, I can confirm your details were verified and updated to the Electoral Register on 1st April 2016. As an Australian National you are eligible to vote in the EU Referendum.
Exactly. Just because I also happen to have the Australian citizenship, I cannot vote as an EU citizen in the referendum for UK remaining in the European Union, but I can vote as an Australian due to the Commonwealth. The funniest thing is that I have never visited Australia.
Conclusion is all yours.
Stefanos Livos was born in Athens in 1984, grew up in Zante and lives in London. He studied Psychology and Journalism at the Panteion University of Athens, but he is currently working as Learning Coordinator for the NHS. When he is not working, he tries to find the time for writing while juggling cooking devices, vacuum cleaners and social media. His biggest worry: his days are passing by so fast.