I seem to have a knack for being abroad whenever voting hits the UK, and unfortunately this year is all the same. Last year when Brexit happened I was in a rural village of Cambodia and although I knew ahead of time that I wouldn’t physically be able to make it to the voting booth, I still didn’t get to vote.
Why you ask? Well after applying for a postal vote three times in the months leading up to Brexit, I received reassurance that I would be provided with a vote, but with never any follow through. I know I wasn’t alone, even just in the small part of Cambodia, I was surrounded by a good 15 other British people who all experienced the same problem I had. This year I refuse to take any chances, I’ll be getting my vote and making my voice heard on June 8th and so should you. I will show you how to get a proxy vote which from my past experience I would highly recommend, but I’ll also show you how to get a postal vote if you want to take your chances. Don’t accept being abroad as an excuse to lose your democratic right.
The site for this is of course Gov.uk. For those who don’t know, a proxy vote means you assign someone you trust to cast your vote for you. This can be absolutely anyone, so long as they are allowed to vote in the election themselves. The most obvious choice would be a close relative like your parents or siblings, but if not there’s the option of asking a good friend.
You need to apply for the vote at least 6 working days before the general election but I would advice just getting it done as soon as possible. Move it up to the top of your priorities.
Once you have filed out the online application that is a downloadable PDF file on the website, you will then need to print it and send it to your local Electoral Registration Office. Have no fear, if you do not know where that is, just enter your postcode and the website will tell you exactly where it needs to go.
It’s a very simple process and all being well should give you your vote.
So this is how postal votes are suppose to go, the website states that you should get your application in before the 23rd May so again, it’s vital to just put this to the top of your agenda and get it done.
Click the PDF and download the application form, fill it out and send it back to your local Electoral Registration Office.
Supposedly your ballot paper should be sent to you at least 4 working days before the general election, if this is not the case, you should contact the Returning Officer at your local council for them to send a replacement.
When you send your ballot to be counted you will need to provide your date of birth and signature also to confirm who you are, if you do not then your vote won’t be counted.
Hopefully this article will help you get your vote and at the very least remind you that you have a way to do it even if you are not in the country. Remember democracy only works because we have the right to vote, don’t let your vote go to waste and don’t be another silent voice. Use your vote and use it wisely because it is your part to play as a citizen of the UK.