The UK Government, via the British Embassy and Consulate in Portugal, has recently published guidelines urging British expatriates to register as an ‘Oversees Voter’. Whilst this guidance was not connected to any particular event, it is of course now timely advice in light of the referendum scheduled for June on the UK’s EU membership.
UK nationals who have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years can register as an overseas elector, to be able to vote in UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK-wide referenda, and European Parliamentary elections.
You can apply to register to vote at gov.uk website, a process which take about five minutes to complete. However if you are unable to register online, you can download and post back paper forms. But remember to return your completed form as far in advance of the deadline as possible. The actual deadlines for registering to vote and applying for an absent vote will be set once the date of the referendum is known. Use the two links above to take you to your preferred registration method.
In order to register you will need to know your National Insurance number and date of birth, and have your passport to hand if you have one. If you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still register, but you may have to supply more information to show who you are.
Even though the referendum is still some time away, it’s best to register sooner rather than later so you can be sure you’re registered in time. It is important to remember if you are not registered you can’t vote in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union when it takes place.
This information is provided by the British Embassy in Portugal, and is reproduced on their behalf by afpop