top of page

Key Issue

Failure by the UK Government to Provide its Overseas voters with a secure and timely voting


The UK Government still expects each local authority to handle overseas voting by post. After the close of nominations, and then also after a local authority has printed the ballot papers and prepared the voting envelopes, there is barely a two-week period to get the postal ballots out to the Voters and for the recipients to return them. The international postal system combined with that of many individual countries, will simply not deliver the ballot paper to the voter and back to the returning
officer before the election is over. This forces people to ask other people to complete their ballot for them by Proxy. This is complicated to arrange, for example he may not know of anyone still living in his former constituency and in arranging a proxy within the UK which is allowed this in turn may need to be a postal proxy vote. Ultimately the Overseas voter cannot be sure whether the Proxy has actually voted and indeed there is no certainly as to how their Proxy has voted.

What the Forum says

The UK Government must be encouraged to provide a certain and secret voting mechanism in line with what almost all outer countries provide for their citizens.

It could be by using its embassies overseas to distribute ballots and to collect them. Alternatively, it could provide an electronic voting system for people living overseas.

Or failing that providing either of the above alternatives at least allow for the late delivery and counting of postal ballots.

By far the best answer is to introduce constituencies for Overseas voters which will solve all issues here.

bottom of page