U.K. Looking to Extend Voter Registration Deadline for Referendum

A banner encouraging people to support a local Brexit campaign hangs on the side of a building in Altrincham, Britain May 3, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble
A banner encouraging people to support a local Brexit campaign hangs on the side of a building in Altrincham, Britain. (Reuters/Phil Noble)

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government is looking at passing emergency legislation to extend the deadline for voters to register to take part in a June 23 referendum on EU membership, a minister said on Wednesday.

The government website crashed shortly before the Tuesday midnight deadline, prompting calls from senior politicians and Britain’s electoral watchdog the Electoral Commission to extended the registration period.

“We are looking at legislative options … We need to make sure that we get the details of any emergency legislation exactly right,” Matt Hancock, a minister for the Cabinet Office department responsible for the issue, told parliament.

Hancock said the website was back up and that people should continue to apply to register to vote, but legislation was likely to be needed in order to ensure those registering after the deadline will be allowed to vote.