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Key Issue

Recommendation for a better way to provide Representation for UK Overseas voters.


Currently the overseas voters list is an additional list of voters being maintained by each local authority with the responsibility for running elections. It merely contains the names and addresses of voters who live overseas that are entitled to vote in the particular parliamentary constituency due to the fact of being registered as a voter there before they left to go and live overseas. The MP would appear to have a responsibility to these voters to look after their issues but due to the
demands on their time and the immense geographic spread of the voters, by and large these votes end up being forgotten. In addition, overseas voters who have not registered to vote clearly have
no MP who is responsible to look after their interests.

At the other end of the spectrum the overseas voters have a wealth of overseas experience which is not being tapped into by the UK Government.

In addition, by organizing the vote in this way and it is impossible to provide a timely process to get postal ballots our and back in time. The current administrative process for 650 parliamentary constituencies is huge and unnecessary headache for a huge number of local authorities so to do.

What the Forum says

The modern and also efficient answer is to properly represent the UK overseas voters by establishing constituencies specifically for those that live overseas. Overseas voters would then only need to be registered in each country with checks made to ensure no dual voting right exists
back in the UK. Then the overseas voters will elect an MP dedicated to representing them and the UK parliament has the benefit of MPs who will convey a wealth of international experience to the United Kingdom. This will be similar to what the French and the Italians have done in setting up
dedicated constituencies for overseas voters, something that has been done fairly recently i.e. within the last 20 years.

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