The Electoral Commission has been reminding UK Service personnel that they need to make sure they are registered to vote before the deadlines in April if they want to take part in the elections on Thursday 4 May.
Figures from the Armed Forces Continuous Attitude Survey reveal that only 80% of the armed forces are registered to vote, and that this drops to only 75% of personnel below officer rank.
Of the personnel who are not registered, 20% said this was because they have “not got around to it”.
Emma Hartley, Head of Campaigns at the Electoral Commission, said:
“The polls on 4 May are an opportunity to have a say on who makes the decisions about vital public services. Whether they’re based in Birmingham or Brunei, there are different voting methods available so that Service personnel can take part in these elections.
“It’s quick, easy and can be done online, just head to gov.uk/register-to-vote. The registration deadline is fast approaching – don’t leave it until it’s too late!”
The registration deadline in England and Wales is midnight on Thursday 13 April. In Scotland, the deadline is midnight on Monday 17 April.
The deadline for applying to vote by post is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April; for applying to vote by proxy it is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April.
The following elections are taking place in Great Britain on Thursday 4 May:
Scottish council elections
Local government elections in Wales
Local government elections in some areas in England
Local authority mayoral elections in some areas in England
Combined authority mayoral elections in some areas in England
Service personnel who are based overseas or expected to be posted abroad in the next year can register as a ‘service voter’. This allows members of the armed forces to be registered at a fixed address in the UK while they are serving overseas.
Members of the forces serving overseas are strongly encouraged to apply to vote by proxy (where a trusted person is nominated to vote on behalf of another) but they can also apply to vote by post.
More information on registering and voting as a member of the armed forces can be found on the Commission’s website.