independent professional staff association for UK forces personnel

Post-Election update on Armed Forces voting

Following the General Election, the House of Commons Library published on 08 Jun 2010 the latest update of its 20-page 'Standard Note' on Armed Forces voting. It mentions Silence in the Ranks, and notes that the Electoral Commission's report on the General Election is due to be published in July.

From the cover page of the Standard Note:

There has been considerable concern about the under-registration of the Armed Forces, especially those serving overseas, and the difficulties they face in participating in the electoral process generally. This Note gives details of recent changes to legislation, including the provisions of the Electoral Administration Act 2006, and information about measures taken to increase the electoral registration of service personnel. In March 2010 the Service Voters’ Registration Period Order 2010 extended the duration of a service voter’s registration as an elector from 3 to 5 years. Attempts were also made to find a system whereby postal ballot papers could be delivered to the armed forces in Afghanistan so that they could be returned in time to be counted at the 2010 general election but this was made more difficult by the closure of UK airspace because of volcanic ash and by a changeover of personnel in Afghanistan at this time.

The Note also gives a brief history of how the system of voting by members of the Armed Forces has changed, particularly during the periods directly after each World War.

Tags: Armed forces voters - Service voters

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