#DeniedMyVote was unlawful – help us challenge the disenfranchisement, discrimination and disrespect.




• A systemic disenfranchisement of eligible voters occurred in last Thursday’s European Elections in the UK. EU citizens going to vote were denied their vote all over the country.
• A similar thing happened to British citizens living in the EU who have either never received their ballot papers to vote by post or received them too late to be able to vote.
PMP Magazine was one of the first media in the UK to raise the alarm on the day and to contact the Electoral Commission for comments.



Thousands of EU citizens went to the polling station on 23 May 2019 and saw their names crossed out. Equally, British citizens abroad waited in vain for their ballot papers. They all have as much right to vote as you do, and they need your support. We have witnessed one of the largest systematic and openly discriminatory denials of the right to vote.

Our right to vote is a fundamental right in a democracy. the3million and British in Europe want to hold the Government to account and we need your financial support to do it.

All of us have the right to equality and non-discrimination. In European elections, we have the right to choose where to vote, whether in our country of birth or where we live. Our voting rights matter, they are part of our fundamental status as citizens and part of our legal and constitutional heritage, protected by EU law. The time has come to stand up for them.

“Our voting rights matter, they are part of our fundamental status as citizens and part of our legal and constitutional heritage, protected by EU law. The time has come to stand up for them.”





What happened on polling day?

Hundreds of EU citizens have contacted the3million and British in Europe to tell us their stories of disenfranchisement, of being turned away from the polling stations (despite having completed all formalities), of councils failing to send or process their forms in time, or simply not having been made aware of having to fill an additional form in the first place.

On the day of the vote, over 100,000 people used the hashtag #DeniedMyVote on social media, showing the strength of feeling about this mass failure by the Electoral Commission, the British Government and local councils.


Why do we need your support?

We need to act fast, so the3million and British in Europe are exploring the options for a legal challenge to hold the Government to account and we need your financial support to do it.

What is likely to be needed is a judicial review test case to expose the discrimination in all its forms and clearly rule that it was unlawful.

We are assembling a team of experts with a real passion for human rights including Dinah Rose QC plus Anneli Howard and John Halford. Given the scale of the problem, we need to raise £20,000 for this initial investigation. If the test case challenge goes ahead, we will then need to raise over £100,000 to cover the risk of paying others’ legal costs and those of our own lawyers at reduced rates.

We will also identify how people denied the right to vote can bring claims of their own if the test case succeeds, to seek compensation for unequal treatment, emotional distress and out of pocket expenses.


What can you do?

- Please support us in taking action. If you support this Crowdfunder you support the fundamental principle of democracy.

- If you were one of the citizens denied a vote, please be counted and fill our short questionnaire at: https://www.the3million.org.uk/deniedmyvote


#DeniedMyVote was unlawful – help us challenge the disenfranchisement, discrimination and disrespect.🔷




Written by Nicolas Hatton (the3million) and Jane Golding (British in Europe).


 

Did you know the3million is the leading non-profit organisation of EU citizens in the UK? We are grateful of your support, as we simply could not have campaigned for citizens’ rights over the last 24 months without you. If you can afford it, please become a paying supporter today to allow the campaign to continue for the next 24 months and beyond if necessary.

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[This piece was originally published on the3million newsletter. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

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(Cover: Flickr/Ungry Young Man. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)



     

THE AUTHOR

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the3million is the largest group of EU citizens in the UK, with a team of 50-ish active volunteers working on advocacy, policy, legal, media, social media, grassroots and events.