EU elections: are you too late to register?
You may be running out of time if you still need to register to vote in May’s European Parliament elections! Why all countries can’t have the same deadline I don’t know, but here’s the run down:
If you’re living in Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Croatia or Sweden you’ll need to run and fill out those registration forms at your local council office asap as your deadline is fast approaching!
Meanwhile if you’re in France: bad news! French voters had to register all the way back in 2013. It’s also too late to register if you’re in: Luxembourg, Spain, Belgium, Greece, Finland, Austria, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria or Denmark. So hopefully you’re either already on your local voting register, or weren’t trying to get on it (but you really should you know because…democracy).
Germany, the UK, Hungary, Poland and Ireland apparently all still have time. This isn’t guaranteed though, as every local council may have its own (earlier) deadline than these official ones – the deadline here in Dublin, Ireland, is actually this Saturday. Luckily I got my forms in today so I should be good!
See the full list of national deadlines below, but as mentioned above be sure to double check with your local council to see what their arrangement is as it may be sooner. If you’re in the UK you can check here to find out exactly how much time you have and how to register. If you’re in any other EU country check your local government website.
Of course, if you’re already on the electoral register for the country you will be voting in then you’re sorted! Just don’t forget to vote (some time between May 22nd and 25th, depending on your country). Another option is postal vote – a few countries will let you vote in the EU election by post if you’re living abroad.
Why should you care? The European Parliament is the only directly elected EU institution. It represents over 375 million EU citizens. And you can only vote for it once every five years. Which, incidentally, makes it shameful the member states can’t coordinate their registration dates better, but hey that’s still no excuse not to be registered.