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Should we be forced to vote in General Elections?

PUBLISHED: 11:25 20 April 2015 | UPDATED: 17:19 23 April 2015

Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Wire

People are being urged to register to vote in the general election ahead of the deadline at midnight tonight.

Anyone who submits an application after the cut-off will not be able to have their say on May 7.

According to the Electoral Commission, there have been more than 1.7 million applications to register to vote in the past five weeks, with almost 470,000 online applications coming from 16 to 24-year-olds.

But its research also suggests there may be as many as 7.5 million unregistered voters.

Celebrities and politicians are among those who have taken to social media platforms in an 11th-hour attempt to get people signed up.

Satirist Armando Iannucci, who created the political sitcom The Thick of It, held a Twitter forum yesterday to answer questions about why people should vote.

Actor Ralf Little posted on his account: “Feel disillusioned? Even if you only vote to keep out the person you hate most, it all counts.”

Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves also reminded their Twitter followers to register in time.

Meanwhile, reality star Joey Essex has been filming a special political edition of his new show Educating Joey Essex in the hope of getting more young people interested in politics.

Jenny Watson, Electoral Commission chairwoman, said: “This is your last chance to register to vote if you want to make your voice heard on 7 May. It takes just a few minutes to apply to register online, so do it now.

“We don’t want anyone to miss out, but if you miss the deadline on 20 April and then try to vote you will be turned away from the polling station on election day. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.”

To register to vote, visit www.gov.uk/registertovote or return a paper application in person to your local council headquarters before the deadline.

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