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Have you registered to vote yet? Deadline is tonight

HAVE YOU REGISTERED YET?: People can register online or visit their local town hall offices to fill in a paper form

TODAY is the last possible day to register to vote in the 2015 general election.

Anyone wishing to vote must be registered by midnight or they will not be able to.

People can register online or visit their local town hall offices to fill in a paper form. It is too late to post a paper registration form.

Millions of citizens face being turned away on May 7 because they are not on the electoral roll.

The Electoral Commission reports that 1.7 million applications to register to vote have been made in the past five weeks, most of them online.

The Electoral Commission said recent applications included almost 470,000 online applications from 16 to 24-year-olds.

However, its research also suggested there may be as many as 7.5 million unregistered voters.

A change of system has led to the number of registered voters dropping by more than 900,000 in a year, with the list of voters in the UK falling by two per cent.

The biggest falls have been among people who have moved home recently, students no longer registered to vote at their parents’ homes and teenagers voting for the first time.

The day with the highest number of online applications so far was April 16 with 110,000 applications, the same day the BBC aired the debate with opposition leaders.

The majority of those website visits were made after host David Dimbleby mentioned registration at the close of the programme.

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."

There has been consensus on a call to for black people to register to vote and exercise their democratic right.

At last month's Caribbean Question Time, Dawn Butler, the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PCC) for Brent Central, encouraged the audience to go one further and actually join a political party to help make a difference.

Her call was echoed by Baroness Lawrence, the mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, who expressed dismay that black voters did not “challenge our politicians enough”.

She added: “We don’t hold politicians to account enough…they do take black voters for granted so we have to make sure our voices are heard loudly in Westminster.”

In the audience was Simon Woolley, director of Operation Black Vote, who issued a rallying cry. “This is the tightest race in political history. General elections are a numbers game and we have numbers,” he urged.

“We mustn’t ask political parties to listen to us. We mustn’t plead with them. We must demand political, social and racial justice. This is our time. If we don’t seize it we will once again be given crumbs.”

Anyone wishing to register to vote, can do so here: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

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