With the registration deadline, to vote, of Monday April 20 just one week away, the UK Electoral Commission has urged UK citizens who are living overseas to register to vote in the UK General Election.
It is important for any UK citizen overseas that wishes to register for a postal vote to do so as quickly as possible so that they can receive and return their postal ballot packs in good time before polling day. Estimates show that there could be as many as 5.5 million UK citizens living overseas. Not all will be eligible to register as overseas voters but the most recent figures showed that there were only 15,849 overseas voters on the UK electoral registers.
Since the introduction of the new online registration portal in June 2014, tens of thousands of UK citizens from all around the world have logged on to use the system. In comparison, ahead of last year’s European Parliamentary elections 7,079 overseas voter registration forms were downloaded, using the previous paper application form.
UK citizens who have previously been registered to vote in a UK Parliamentary constituency in the last fifteen years may be eligible to register as an overseas elector. Overseas voters can choose to vote either by post or by proxy (where a trusted person is nominated to vote on behalf of another).
Alex Robertson, Director of Communications at the Electoral Commission, said: “There is now just a matter of days left until the 20 April deadline, so we’re encouraging UK expats to join the many others who have already registered to vote online. It takes just a few minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and is far easier than the old, paper based process. There’s been a great response so far and we don’t want anyone to miss out on having their say on polling day.”
The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 20 April.