Credit where credit is due. The UK Government has tried very hard to make voting from abroad an easy process and to be fair it is. Admittedly, not as easy as the French Government who provided their citizens with the opportunity to vote in person at their Singapore based Embassy. Perhaps British bureaucracy is not quite as ready to hang up all of it’s red tape just yet.

With our team having road tested the UK website this morning, here are a few salient points that will help navigate your way through the process and pre-empt a couple of the frustrations you may encounter.

If this is your first request for a postal vote, or if your details have changed e.g. your address, you will need to complete an initial form to register and inform the powers that be, of your intent to cast your vote from abroad, either by proxy or by post.

There are a few things in the form that could hold you up so here are the 4 things you will need:

  • Your passport details
  • Your National Insurance number
  • The postcode of your previous address in the UK
  • The month and year of leaving the UK

As long as you have all of the above details to hand, this initial process really will only take 5 minutes.

If you are opting for a postal vote, a form will be sent to you via email within minutes of your request submission. Very impressed so far. This form must be completed and returned by Tuesday 23rd May and you can do so by scanning it by email so that speeds up the process. At this late stage, every little helps.

The next stage will involve the ballot paper being sent out to you – by regular mail this time. A return envelope will be provided but postage is at your own expense. (if posted from overseas). It is recommended that you allow two weeks to return your ballot paper meaning you should have it posted by Thursday 25th May. Buy those stamps today!

If these time frames are proving too tight, then you may wish to opt for a proxy vote. As with a postal vote, if this your first time, or your details have changed you will need to complete the above form after which the proxy application form will be instantly emailed to you. The difference here is that the cut off date to receive the form back is a week later, Tuesday 30th May.

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