Voters are being reminded to make sure they are ready to take part in the EU Referendum on Thursday 23 June.
Across the Harrogate district:
- There are 120,531 eligible voters
- 165 polling stations will be open
- 489 polling station and elections staff will be on duty
Recent research carried out for the Electoral Commission found that 35% of voters hadn’t yet planned what time they would be voting and the Commission is recommending that everyone makes sure they plan when to vote so they don’t miss out on the day.
All polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm. Voters who arrive at a polling station after 10pm will not be allowed to cast their vote, although any voter who arrives at the polling station before 10pm and is in a queue will still be able to vote.
The Commission also found that the most popular time for voting was between 5pm and 8pm with 19% of respondents planning to vote at this time, while a further 29% planned to vote before mid-day.
The question on the ballot paper will be ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’
Voters will be instructed to put a cross in the box for their preferred outcome – ‘Remain a member of the European Union’ or ‘Leave the European Union’.
Wallace Sampson, Counting Officer for the Harrogate district, is encouraging local residents to:
- Plan what time they will cast their vote at the polling station, leaving plenty of time before the 10pm deadline as anyone that arrives after 10pm, by law, will not be able to vote.
- Read and bring their poll card which should have come through the door. It says where their polling station is. It’s not compulsory to bring the polling card in order to vote, but it will speed up the process in the polling station.
- If voting by post, make sure that they send their postal ballot back in plenty of time as postal votes that arrive after 10pm on 23 June will not be counted. If they forget to send their postal ballot back then they can hand it in at any polling station in their council area on polling day
- Mark their ballot paper with one ‘X’ only in the box beside the option they want.
Wallace Sampson, Counting Officer for the Harrogate district, said:
Putting a cross in a box might seem simple, but there are plenty of things voters need to consider in order to be ‘referendum ready’.
Polling stations are open from 7am until 10pm and the busiest time is usually in the late afternoon – when parents come with their children after school – and early evening when people come to vote after work. Voters who can be flexible, may want to avoid the peak times.
Your poll card will tell you the location of your polling station, and you will find more information on how to take part at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk. Voters can also get in touch with the team here at Harrogate Borough Council with any further queries.
Ben Brook, Head of the English Regions at the Electoral Commission, said:
The Electoral Commission has sent an impartial voting guide to every household in the UK which is full of information on what to expect on polling day and how to take part.
On 23 June, voters across the UK will get the chance to have a say on an issue of real importance, and we want everyone to feel confident in casting their vote.
The Electoral Commission advises voters not to take photos inside their polling station as they could potentially breach the secrecy of the ballot requirements.
There is more information on the Electoral Commission’s website at: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or you can call Harrogate Borough Council on 01423 500 600 and ask for the Electoral Services team.