A BRISTOL CAFE OFFERS HELP FOR HOMELESS TO REGISTER TO VOTE

BBF | Arnolfini Café Credit: Twitter

A CAFE is helping hundreds of homeless people to vote- and throw a free hot drink into the process.

The staff of a cafe in Bristol’s city centre are helping people without a home in the registering to vote and allowing them to use the Cafe’s address for the registration.

According to the Electoral Commission, those without a fixed address can register using an address “where you spend a lot of your time or have some connection”.

Bristol City Council, as stated by The New European, said the move was perfectly legal, and that it supported the cafe’s initiative.

Bristol East MP Kerry McCarthy tweeted: “Great initiative from Arnolfini – no-one should lose their right to vote because they don’t have a place to live.”

The workers and management at the Arnolfini Cafe Bar have made it clear that they are not advising people how to vote, just trying to assist people into voting and helping them the opportunity for their voices to be heard.

Domhnaill Barnes, head of operations at the cafe’s owners the Bristol Beer Factory, said, as reported by The New European “about half a dozen” people had taken the cafe up on their offer, and he was expecting more as word of the initiative continues to spread.

Mr Barnes said other organisations around the country had been in touch expressing an interest in setting up similar schemes.

Crisis, the national charity for homeless people, said many homeless people believe they are ineligible to vote. Jon Sparks, chief executive for the charity indicated that without a safe and secure home of their own, many people experiencing homelessness think they are not eligible to vote but “this is simply not the case.” adding that there are options of registering under an address nearest to where the homeless person is rough sleeping.

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Written by

Cristina Hodgson

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