British Expats: How to Vote in The Next General Election
In an attempt to break the Brexit deadlock, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called a general election. Voters will cast their ballots on the 12th December after MP’s supported a pre-Christmas election.
If you’re a British National living as an expatriate in the European Union, you are probably wondering if you can vote in the general election which will be held on December 12th. The answer is yes. All Brits living in the EU can register to vote. Here’s how you can do it:
Register to vote
The first thing you need to ensure is that you are on the electoral roll. If you’re an overseas voter you need to re-register on the electoral roll every year. You can check if you’re registered or not by contacting your local electoral registration office but you will get a reminder when it’s time to renew.
You’re eligible to register to vote if you’re a UK citizen and aged 18 or over and you can easily register online.
What you’ll be asked for
When registering to vote you will be required to provide certain information. Make sure that you have your National Insurance number, previous address, passport number and date that you left the UK to hand. You’ll need to provide this because you can only be a registered overseas voter for up to 15 years after leaving the UK.
You’ll be registered in the electoral district where you last voted or where you were last registered and if you want to vote in England, Scotland or Wales, you can register to vote on the website. If you want to vote in Northern Ireland, however, you can only register by post.
How to vote
If you’re voting from overseas there are two ways you can cast your vote and you will be asked this question when registering.
Depending on your personal circumstances you may either want to vote via proxy or postal. Although, if you do happen to be in the UK on the day of the election you can go and vote in person as you would if you were still living in the UK.
If you choose to vote by proxy, which means appointing someone in the UK to vote on your behalf, your vote must be cast in the last voting district that you lived in and so whoever you choose to be your proxy will need to drop off your ballot at the appropriate polling station. You will need to apply to your former local electoral office by email or post if you wish to vote by proxy.
If you choose to vote via post, you need to apply for a postal vote and then send it to your electoral registration office. You must return your postal vote by 10 pm on the general election day to the local authority or polling station.
Once you’ve cast your vote all you have to do is wait until Friday 13th December to find out the result.