Residents of Banburyshire are urged to ensure they have registered to vote in the forthcoming referendum on whether Britain should stay within the European Union or leave.
Individuals have until midnight on Tuesday, June 7 to ensure they are included on the electoral roll. They can do so by going to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
Campaigning on both sides of the debate is heating up in the last few weeks of the campaign and the young are being targeted especially.
Research shows young people across Britain are twice as likely as others not to be registered to vote in the EUreferendum, even though they will live longer with the results of any change.
A spokesman for the campaigning organisation Bite the Ballot said: “There are 7.5 million people not registered to vote. These are mainly young people, private renters and members of the BME (black and minority ethnic) community.
“Young people can decide the future of this country, if they register to vote and #TurnUp to vote on June 23.
“As a youth-led, grassroots democracy movement, Bite The Ballot aims to empower young people in the UK to believe in the power of their individual and collective voice and bring about the changes they want for their future.
Banbury’s MP Victoria Prentis added her voice to the appeal to the young to register.
“This vote will determine the future of our country.
“As young people who will live, work and raise a family in the UK in the years to come, I think it is really important they take this opportunity to have their say on how our country is governed.”
Mrs Prentis said everyone should claim and cast their vote.
“It is really important to remember that at the forthcoming referendum everyone has one vote, whether he be the Prime Minister, the editor of the Banbury Guardian, or someone who lives locally.
“I would encourage all those who haven’t registered to do so. It is relatively quick and easy online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote or you can contact Democratic Services at Cherwell District Council on 01295 221 587,” she said.
“The outcome of the referendum will determine the future of our country and so we should all have the opportunity to cast our vote to either Remain or Leave on Thursday, June 23”
Those unable to attend a polling station in person can apply for a postal vote. Alternatively they can register for a proxy vote to allow a nominated person to vote on their behalf.
This might apply to people away on holiday or unable to be in the area on referendum day. Deadline for postal votes is 5pm on Wednesday, June 8 while applications to have a proxy vote is 5pm on June 15.
Michael Eavis, organiser of the Glasonbury Festival this week urged visitors to the event – which takes place over polling day – to ensure they have applied for their postal or proxy vote in time and that they use it in good time.
Sue Smith, counting officer for Cherwell District Council said: “It’s particularly important that young people who are or will turn 18 by June 23 also check they are registered to vote if they haven’t received a poll card, especially if they are voting for the first time. Although there are three weeks to go until polling day the registration deadline is only a week away so people need to act quickly or may lose their entitlement to vote.”