Independent staff association for regular, reserve and veteran UK armed forces personnel

Polling day latest: Voting from Afghanistan

(6 May 2010) The Lancashire Post has a story 'Troops to have say electronicallyTroops to have say electronically' which is widely understood to mean that British troops in Afghanistan have been given the chance to vote electronically in today's General Election. We do not believe that such a thing has happened, however. We think the story is prompted by the fact that the final batch of specially-adapted service voter registration forms (which incorporate postal or proxy voting applications) were delayed in Afghanistan due to the volcanic dust cloud and that the Ministry of Defence, acting in consultation with the Ministry of Justice, Electoral Commission and local electoral officials, arranged for these registration forms to be transmitted electronically to electoral registration offices across the country.

It was always clear that there was no guarantee of successful postal voting from Afghanistan, particularly from the more forward or remote locations. The volcanic ash problem should, on the face of it, have had little or no effect on the forwarding of the actual postal voting packs to Afghanistan or the return of completed ballots via an airfield in Southern England. At this stage BAFF has mixed, unconfirmed reports of the success or otherwise of the special voting operation.

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Welcome to British Armed Forces Federation - BAFF - independent all-ranks staff association for members of any branch of the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, British Army and Royal Air Force, including the reserves. All current UK service personnel of any rank are eligible to join and, as BAFF is not a political organisation, to take an active part in its activities if they wish. Former regular or reserve forces personnel are also very welcome.