Electoral Commission
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All abroad! Brits overseas encouraged to register to vote

British citizens living abroad are eligible to vote in the UK general election on 4 July but must be registered to vote by the deadline on midnight Tuesday 18 June. The Electoral Commission is calling on voters to register now and apply for an absent vote if they will not be in the UK on polling day. 

For the first time, British citizens living abroad are eligible to vote regardless of how long they have been living outside the UK. Applications can be made online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. 

Since 16 January 2024, when the 15-year rule was abolished, there have been over 100,000 applications to register to vote by UK citizens living overseas.

Applicants will need to provide details of the address and time they were last registered or resident in the UK. Electoral Registration Officers, which are responsible for the electoral roll in their area,  must be able to verify an applicant’s identity and past connection to the area. 

Craig Westwood, Director of Communications, yesterday said: 

“If you live abroad and want to have your say in the UK general election on 4 July, you should register to vote now. It no longer matters how long you have been living outside the UK, if you are eligible, you can register and have your say at the ballot box. 

“As an overseas voter you will have to prove your connection to the constituency you were last registered to vote, or where you lived if you have never been registered to vote before.

“We know that there are eligible voters all around the world, so we are calling on anyone with friends and family abroad to help spread the word, and let them know to register before the deadline.”

Many overseas voters may also wish to apply for an absent vote if they will not be in the country on 4 July. Applications to vote by post (Opens in new window) or proxy (Opens in new window) in Great Britain can now also be made online. The deadline to apply for a postal vote is 5pm 19 June and to apply for a proxy vote is 5pm 26 June. Proxy voting - when someone you trust votes on your behalf - may be a preferred option for anyone living further afield who is concerned about how long it might take to receive and return a postal vote.

To find out if they are eligible to vote, British citizens abroad can call the local authority where they were last registered to vote, or where they last lived in the UK, to check. Details of local authority can be found on the Electoral Commission website by entering the postcode of the last place they lived in the UK.

For more information contact the Electoral Commission press office on 020 7271 0704, out of office hours 07789 920 414 or press@electoralcommission.org.uk (Opens in new window)

Notes to Editors

  • Previously British citizens were only eligible to vote if they had been living abroad for less than 15 years. The UK Government’s Elections Act 2022, which came into force in January, removed that limit.
  • Those looking to vote in Northern Ireland need to fill out a paper form to register and send it to the Electoral Office of Northern Ireland. British and eligible Irish citizens can register to vote in UK general elections. 
  • The Electoral Commission is the independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK. We work to promote public confidence in the democratic process and ensure its integrity by:
    • enabling the delivery of free and fair elections and referendums, focusing on the needs of electors and addressing the changing environment to ensure every vote remains secure and accessible
    • regulating political finance – taking proactive steps to increase transparency, ensure compliance and pursue breaches
    • using our expertise to make and advocate for changes to our democracy, 
    • aiming to improve fairness, transparency and efficiency
  • The Commission was set up in 2000 and reports to the UK, Welsh and Scottish parliaments.

 

Channel website: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk

Original article link: https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/media-centre/all-abroad-brits-overseas-encouraged-register-vote

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