Thursday, June 13, 2024

This is an ARCHIVED article at Information and links may well be out of date.

The Government responded on 16 March to a written question "To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recent efforts they have made to ensure Armed Forces personnel posted overseas are able to vote in the General Election." Government spokesman Lord Wallace of Saltaire (LD) confirmed this significant improvement in electoral arrangements:

"The Government has extended the length of the electoral timetable for UK Parliamentary elections from 17 working days to 25 working days and removed the restriction on issuing postal votes prior to the eleventh working day before the day of the poll. Combined, these steps will allow Armed Forces personnel posted overseas more time to receive, complete and return their postal ballot packs in time for their vote to be counted.

In addition, the Government recently announced funding of an additional £9.8 million to maximise electoral registration. A proportion of this funding has been allocated to encouraging Armed Forces personnel to register to vote. The Government is also providing pre-paid envelopes for Armed Forces personnel based overseas to return their postal votes." HANSARD SOURCE

The question was asked by Lord Roberts of Llandudno. Lord Roberts has taken a longstanding interest in service voting, often in cooperation with his fellow Lib Dem peer, the late Air Marshal Lord (Tim) Garden. Ministerial reply to previous PQ from Lord Roberts about service voting (Jan 2015).