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On Thursday May 7, 2020, Londoners have the chance to elect a new Mayor of London. Incumbent Labour candidate Sadiq Kahn is running to continue his time in office, whilst challengers include Shaun Bailey of the Conservative party, Siobhan Benita of the Liberal Democrats, Sian Berry of the Green party, among other names including former Conservative Leadership candidate Rory Stewart. (A full list of candidates who've announced they'll be running is available here from the BBC website).
With many Americans living in London, you may be wondering if you're eligible to vote. According to the Government, to vote in the London Mayoral Elections, you must:
★ be registered to vote
★ be 18 or over on the day of the election (‘polling day’)
★ be a British, Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or an EU Citizen
★ be resident at an address in Greater London
★ not be legally excluded from voting
This means that unfortunately, if you are a US Citizen residing in the UK through a visa, you are ineligible to vote. However, if you are a US Citizen with dual UK nationality and are resident in Greater London, you are eligible to vote. Similarly, you should be eligible to vote if you have a dual Irish Citizenship, or are a dual citizen with a qualifying Commonwealth nation.
Unlike the 2019 General Election, the Electoral Commission has confirmed that EU Citizens are eligible to vote in the coming London Mayoral Election providing they are resident at an address in Greater London. This means you should be eligible to vote if you are resident in Greater London, and, for example, have dual Citizenship with the US and a country within the European Union.
The London Mayoral and Assembly Elections use a different form of voting to First Past The Post, which is used for General Elections. As such, if you are eligible to vote, check out the Electoral Commission website at www.electoralcommission.org.uk/i-am-a/voter/types-elections/mayor-london-and-london-assembly for more details on how the vote works.
If you have any questions about eligibility, go to the Electoral Commission website for more information and contact details.