AFP — Thousands of EU citizens who are not eligible to vote in Britain’s referendum have mistakenly received polling cards and postal votes, the election regulator said Friday.
The Electoral Commission said that so far, it had found 3,462 ineligible electors had been affected but that none of their votes would be counted even if submitted.
The commission said the error was down to software used by some local authorities in England and Wales.
Six local authorities were yet to report back, meaning the total figure could be higher, the regulator said.
“The software provider has resolved the issue which means that, if any postal votes have been issued to these electors, they will be cancelled,” the commission said.
“None of these electors will be shown as eligible on the electoral registers to be used at polling stations.”
Some citizens of other European Union countries can vote in the June 23 referendum on whether Britain should stay in the bloc or leave.
British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens aged 18 or over and resident in the UK or Gibraltar, plus Britons abroad who have lived in the UK in the last 15 years, can cast their vote.
Therefore Irish, Cypriot and Maltese citizens are the only non-British EU citizens who can have their say in the referendum.
The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by parliament to regulate party and election finance.
It sets standards for well-run elections and is responsible for the conduct and regulation of referendums.