Elections watchdog backs EU vote registration extension

Mark Sands
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Will politicians allow a change to legislation supporting more voter registration ahead of the EU referendum (Source: Getty)

The UK's election watchdog has called on the government to extend voter registration for this month's EU referendum after online systems failed last night.

Half a million voters were able to register yesterday, the final day to guarantee participation on 23 June.

However, a surge of applications knocked out the online systems for registration between 10.15 and the midnight deadline.

Read more: Voter registration website crashes just an hour before deadline

As a result, political pressure has been growing for an extension, and the Electoral Commission has now added its own support.

“There will be many people who wanted to register to vote last night and were not able to,” it said this morning.

“The registration deadline is set out in legislation and we have said to the Government this morning they should consider options for introducing legislation as soon as possible that would extend the deadline. We would support such a change.”

The Labour party has tabled an urgent question on registration for debate this afternoon in the House of Commons.

The debate, which will take place after Prime Minister's Questions, will be led by Labour's shadow minister for voter registration Gloria Del Piero.

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