Council tells man he will not be eligible to vote until EIGHT days after EU referendum

David Howarth
David Howarth

A Crawley man was furious when he was told he would not be eligible to vote until eight days after the EU referendum.

Pound Hill resident David Howarth, 29, raised concerns after he received a letter from Crawley Borough Council which stated he would be added to electoral register on July 1. The vote is on June 23.

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Mr Howarth, an ex-Mole Valley councillor, tweeted: “Very kind of @crawleybc to add me to the electoral register for AFTER the referendum!?”

He was told he would be registered to vote when he called the council but raised fears the confusion could discourage others who were sent the letter to vote in the referendum.

The former Lib Dem councillor said: “Councils do a fantastic job but when things do go wrong they could be disenfranchising people which is unacceptable.”

He said the ‘ridiculous’ incident worsened his fears over local authorities being unable to cope with a surge in the number of people registering to vote for the referendum.

The Government has extended the deadline for registering to vote in the EU referendum to midnight today (Thursday June 09).

Mr Howarth, who was on Mole Valley council from 2010-2014, claimed the council blamed the error on an anomaly of electoral law for credit checking purposes.

A spokesman for Crawley Borough Council said: “We apologise for any confusion caused by the incorrect date on these letters. It will not affect anyone’s right to vote on 23 June. Those entitled to vote have been or will be sent poll cards with information on voting at the referendum.”

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