UPDATE 22 February: The Government again confirmed in Defence Questions today, in answer to a question from Andrew Rosindell MP (Conservative), that emergency measures are being put in place for postal voting from Afghanistan. See Have all service personnel been given all the information to ensure they can cast their vote?
- Are you likely to be on Op HERRICK at the time of the next General Election? The Government has revealed in Parliament that planning is in progress to give you a better chance of successfully voting by post. If this affects you, we suggest you wait out for further info to be issued soon through your unit, and which we will repeat on this website.
- The three Service Family Federations and the British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF) are actively liaising with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence and the Electoral Commission. Members of Parliament have also been consulted.
Elections: Postal Voting — Question
Lord Rogan (Crossbench) My Lords, a special section of the electorate, namely our Armed Forces personnel serving overseas, are in many cases disfranchised by the short time between nomination and polling day. Will the Government at least consider some special arrangement whereby these personnel will no longer be disfranchised by their postal votes?
Lord Bach (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice; Labour) ... A lot of work has been going on and there have been debates in this House. We are still actively attempting to make sure that our soldiers and personnel from other services who are serving in Afghanistan have the chance to vote by post. Each of them can vote by proxy if they want to, but it is thought that many would rather vote by post. There is a scheme which will work within the existing electoral timetable and legislative framework, subject of course to operational priorities, because of the time saved by using the regular military supply flights to Afghanistan. A great deal of work is going on to make sure that our troops in Afghanistan will be able to vote.