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The Electoral Commission - Brits living abroad – last chance to secure your general election vote!

British citizens living abroad need to act now if they want to vote in the forthcoming UK general election, warned the Electoral Commission, the independent UK elections watchdog.

Clinton Proud, Head of Campaigns and Public Information at the Electoral Commission, called on British Citizens living overseas to register to vote now: “We know many of you still have strong connections to the UK through friends, family or work, and that you want to have your say at the election. “

“If you are not registered, you won’t be able to vote. There won’t be much time to register once the election is called, so don’t wait until then. Go to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk now to make sure you don’t miss out.”

British citizens living abroad can register as ‘overseas voters’ if they have been registered to vote in the UK at any time within the past 15 years. Voters can apply for a postal vote when they register, but will need to consider if there will be enough time for postal votes to be sent to where they live, completed and returned in only a few days.

For many people, especially those living further afield, the timescales involved will mean a proxy vote will be more appropriate. A proxy vote means asking someone you know and trust in the UK to vote on your behalf.

The Prime Minister could call an election at any time, but one has to take place by 3 June at the latest. 

/ends

For further information or photography please contact:

Electoral Commission press office on +44 (0)20 7271 0704
Email: press@electoralcommission.org.uk 
Outside office hours +44 (0)7789 920414

Notes to Editors

1. The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Our aim is integrity and public confidence in the UK’s democratic process. We regulate party and election finance and set standards for well-run elections.
2. For further information, or to download a registration form, visit our about my vote website.
3. If someone were too young to register when they left the UK, they can register in the last place their parent or guardian was registered.
4. The following figures are taken from the 2006 Institute for Public Policy Research report ‘Brits Abroad – mapping the scale and nature of British emigration’:

Britons living abroad
Country
Australia 1,300,000
Spain 761,000
United States 678,000
Canada 603,000
Ireland 291,000
New Zealand 215,000
South Africa 212,000
France 200,000
Germany 115,000
Cyprus 59,000
Other countries 1,115,000
Total 5,540,000

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