UK government may face court action after EU citizens denied the right to vote

Mar 2012
New Hampshire
Looks like a mess..

The government is facing calls to launch an urgent investigation into the treatment of EU citizens in the European elections after many people reported being denied their democratic right to vote.

Voters across the country told of their devastation at finding their names crossed off the register due to clerical errors by local councils. Experts said the situation was a “scandal we knew was coming” and that the government may have a case to answer in court.
The affected voters said they felt they were being “silenced” as this was the only election they had a right to participate in, being ineligible to vote in the referendum or general elections.

Anneli Howard, a barrister who specialises in EU law, said the government was at risk of being sued. She argued there were multiple breaches of EU treaties, including article 20 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which states that EU nationals have “the right to vote … under the same conditions as nationals of that state [of residence]”. “If EU citizens are being asked to fill out additional forms that UK nationals are not, that’s discrimination,” she said. The treaty had “direct effect”, meaning EU citizens could go straight to court.

The Electoral Commission said it would be reviewing the treatment of EU citizens in the election but Moraes said they should have done more to avert the scandal.

UK government may face court action after EU citizens denied vote