As in last year's General Election, special arrangements will be made for postal voting from Afghanistan in the elections and referendum on Thursday 5th May - but the Government still recommends proxy voting from overseas if at all possible. According to a report on the 'Get Hampshire' website:

Rushmoor Borough Council will be the nerve centre of efforts to make sure the votes of those fighting in Afghanistan make it to the ballot box.

For the second year running the authority will be the ‘central point’ of an initiative, led by the Ministry of Defence, Electoral Commission, the Cabinet Office and British Forces Post Office (BFPO).

The aim is to make sure everyone in the armed forces serving abroad can still vote in the local elections and the referendum on changing the voting system on May 5.

The BFPO will send out the ballot forms to the frontline in Afghanistan and all over the world.

Once completed, the forms will be returned to Rushmoor’s council offices in Farnborough, where they will be forwarded to the relevant returning officers.

Mark Harper, minister for political and constitutional reform, said: "The brave men and women in Afghanistan are fighting to defend democracy.

"So it seems only right that we make it as easy as possible for them to take part in the referendum on the voting system and their own elections at home.

"I am pleased to be part of a joint effort by the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, the BFPO, Rushmoor Borough Council, which will provide a central point for co-ordinating the initiative, and the Electoral Commission working together to ensure our Armed Forces have their say in how the country is run."

The council had the same role for the general election last year, and hundreds of ballots arrived in the nick of time after delays.

Serving personnel have until April 14 to register themselves to vote, if they are not already.

The Electoral Commission is producing special forms for military personnel, both those going to Afghanistan and those already there, to fill out and register to vote.

They may choose to register as a service voter - this option is open to all personnel (including spouses or civil partners) but particularly suitable for personnel posted overseas or likely to be posted abroad in the near future.

This type of registration lasts for five years.

They can also register as an ‘Ordinary Voter’ if they are based in the UK and can register in the same way as ordinary electors by filling in and returning the annual canvass voter registration form. This form of registration needs to be renewed each year.

Military personnel can also register as an overseas voter - although registering, as a service voter is the option the MoD recommends.

Service personnel and their spouses or civil partners who are overseas or away from their UK residence during an election may elect to vote either by post or proxy, regardless of how they are registered.

The MoD recommends voting by proxy for those serving overseas.