IDS: "Lax" Electoral Commission provisions may give referendum votes to non UK-citizens

Mark Sands
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A voter places his voting card in the ba
Will non-UK citizens be able to vote in this month's crucial referendum on EU membership? (Source: Getty)

Former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has blasted the Electoral Commission over fears that UK resident EU citizens may be able to vote in this month's referendum.

The franchise for the 23 June vote excludes EU citizens resident in the UK, however, Duncan Smith and Tory backbencher Bernard Jenkin have now raised fears that some still may be able to vote.

In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, the pair said that some EU citizens have received polling cards informing them that they have a vote.

And they added that the Electoral Commission is "abdicating responsibility”, claiming that there are no checks to make sure that voters accurately declare their nationality when registering.

A spokesman for the Electoral Commission told City A.M. that it has experienced "issues" with a supplier for some local authorities, although they added that this has now been resolved.

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“We believe the British public will be as shocked as we are to discover that the integrity of the franchise for this long-awaited referendum with profound consequences for the future of our nation is being protected in such a lax manner,” Duncan Smith and Jenkin wrote.

“It is not good enough to expect people to report their friends, family or neighbours to the police if they believe they have been sent a polling card in error.

“Many of these people will have applied for a vote in good faith for one of the other elections in which they are entitled to vote (e.g. local elections or elections to the European Parliament) and could make the honest mistake of casting a vote in this referendum illegally.”

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The pair have requested a response from Cameron by noon on Friday.