Votey McVoteface

The EU referendum is now just around the corner — and the final deadline to register for this historic vote is almost upon us. It’s very simple and easy to do online. And if you’re not registered by Tuesday 7 June, you won’t be able to participate.

There are currently 7.5 million eligible voters in the UK who are not on the register: mainly young people, private renters and members of the BME community. The impact these voters could have on the outcome of the referendum is considerable, so it’s great to see a number of initiatives springing up around the country to get people to register.

For example, Eddie Izzard kicked off his campaign this week, which will visit 31 cities in 31 days in a bid to get young people to register. Other notable campaigns include the British Youth Council’s League of Young Voters and Bite the Ballot’s #TurnUp initiative.

It seems all registration campaigns aimed at young people are keen to show the debate shouldn’t be just for the “male, pale and stale” (as they somewhat indelicately put it) — encouraging everyone to register and have their say in the debate. After all, this certainly is a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and it will impact more on young people than on anyone else.

Aside from the obvious allure of participating in the national conversation, did you know that there are other benefits to registering? For example, being on the electoral register improves your credit score – giving you a better chance at securing a mobile phone contract, a credit card or a loan! Also, the amount of money your local area gets from central government is also based on the electoral register, so the more of your friends and family who are registered, the more likely you are to see future funds for your neighbourhood.

If you haven’t registered to vote yet – it can all be done online. It only takes five minutes, and all you need is your National Insurance number. Register to vote here: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. And unlike some other recent polls, I guarantee your vote will be counted…

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