(26 February 2010) Douglas Young, BAFF Executive Chairman and author of Silence in the Ranks, was an early morning guest for BBC Radio Wiltshire (programme presented from a cafe in Tidworth) and BBC Radio Solent (Portsmouth). He also contributed to a TV news package for BFBS. The subject of all three broadcasts was voting arrangements for service personnel and their husbands, wives or civil partners, mainly in the context of the fast approaching General Election 2010, but future arrangements were also touched upon.
This morning's programme came live from the Chef's Delight Cafe on Station Road in Tidworth. We were asking why it can be difficult for some people in the armed forces and their families to vote.
Guests on the programme included:
Douglas Young who wrote a report about the issue after the 2005 General Election.
Julie McCarthy from the Army Families Federation, an organisation which is campaigning for changes in the law.
Devina Worsley who lives on a UK base in Germany. She is passionate about getting the system changed after becoming frustrated when, in the past, her postal vote arrived too late to count.
The Justice Minister Michael Wills MP. Mr Wills has been working on plans to get new legislation that could allow systems like e-voting to be used. He told us that special arrangements have been made to fly postal voting forms to Afghanistan this year.
Alan Winchcombe. Alan ran several e-voting trials in Swindon and firmly believes the system could be adopted for our forces and their families overseas.