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Overseas Electors

What has changed?

In the past, British citizens were only eligible to vote in UK Parliament elections if they had previously been registered in the UK and living abroad for less than 15 years.

From January 2024, there is no longer a time limit. Voters that have previously lived or been registered to vote in the UK now have the right to vote in UK parliament elections.

 

What are the eligibility rules?

British citizens, which includes eligible Irish citizens and citizens of Crown Dependencies, may register as overseas voters if they are now living abroad, providing they:

  • were previously registered to vote in the UK, either before they left the UK or as an overseas voter; or
  • were previously resident in the UK.

Overseas British citizens must apply to register as a voter using the address where they were last registered to vote in the UK or, if they have never been registered, the last address at which they were resident in the UK.

If you were too young to have registered to vote in the UK before you left, you will also need to include your parent's or guardian's details and a copy of your birth certificate.  

What if voters have been registered at more than one address in the past?

If an applicant has been previously registered at more than one address, they use the most recent address at which they were registered.

 

How do voters register?

You can apply online at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

You must provide your personal identifier's which are used to verify your identity. This includes name, date of birth and national insurance number. 

If you do not have a national insurance number, please provide documentary evidence on your application when prompted to avoid any delay to your registration and proxy or postal application.

If you were never previously registered to vote and are applying based on your last UK residence, please provide documentary evidence of your residence at the address when prompted to avoid any delay to your registration and proxy or postal application.

 

How can overseas electors cast their vote?

Registered overseas voters can apply to vote by proxy or by post. You can also vote in person if you will be in the UK on polling day, but you must have valid voter ID to do so. 

It is important that you arrange your voting method in advance of an election to ensure you can cast your vote.

 

Applications to vote by proxy or by post can be made online:

www.gov.uk/apply-proxy-vote

www.gov.uk/apply-postal-vote

 

Voting by Proxy:

Voting by proxy means you nominate a person to vote on your behalf at your designated polling station.  If your nominated proxy cannot attend your polling station, the appointed proxy can apply to vote by post (postal proxy vote).

Your nominated proxy:

  • must be registered to vote and qualify to vote in the election (UK Parliamentary election)
  • may act as a proxy for a maximum of four electors of which no more than two can be for 'domestic' electors - i.e. not an overseas elector nor a service voter.
  • must have valid voter ID if voting in person at the polling station.

 

Voting by Post

Please ensure you can receive and return your postal ballot pack before the close of poll. 

  • Depending on when you apply for it, your postal vote pack will be sent out between 12 and 6 working days before polling day.
  • Your completed postal vote pack must arrive at the return address by 10pm on polling day to be valid.
  • Postal votes are delivered by Royal Mail in the UK and local mail delivery services internationally. If post is likely to take longer than six working days to reach you and be returned to the UK, a proxy vote may be a better option.

 

Deadlines to apply by Post or Proxy

At an election there are statutory deadlines to apply for a postal and proxy vote and to change or amend an existing postal or proxy vote.

Key dates for UK Parliament Election on 4 July 2024

Deadline to register to vote

Midnight Tuesday 18 June 2024

Deadline for new postal and postal proxy applications

5pm Wednesday 19 June 2024

Deadline to change or cancel an existing postal, proxy and postal proxy vote

5pm Wednesday 19 June 2024

Deadline for new Proxy applications

5pm Wednesday 26 June 2024

 

Postal Ballot Pack issue dates
1st of issue of Postal Ballot Packs for electors registered at 7 June - Applications received by 5pm 7 JuneIssued on Thursday 20 June 2024
2nd Issue of Postal Ballot Packs for all Electors - Applications received by 5pm Wednesday 19th JuneIssued on Thursday 27 June 2024

 

Last modified on 08 June 2024

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