The Electoral Commission - the independent elections watchdog - and the Ministry of Defence have launched a joint campaign to encourage service personnel to make sure they’re registered and able to vote in the next General Election. Information about registering to vote, including how to apply for a proxy or postal vote, and a downloadable registration form can be found at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/armedforces.
From the BBC, 16 Oct 2009 - Voting reminder for armed forces:
Members of the armed forces serving abroad are being encouraged to register to vote in time for next year's anticipated general election.
The Electoral Commission is launching an advertising campaign to inform service personnel how best to register.
The watchdog is recommending they ask a relative or friend to cast a proxy vote on their behalf although it says they can also apply for a postal ballot.
Recent surveys suggest 35% of service personnel are not registered to vote.
Jenny Watson, chair of the Electoral Commission, said it is important that members of the armed forces are not prevented from voting because they are stationed abroad.
"You put your lives on the line for our country," she said in a message to service personnel, "so make sure you have a vote on election day".
Casting a proxy ballot is the "best way" for service personnel to vote, the watchdog says.
It is advising service personnel who want to take part in the election to act as soon as possible by choosing a trusted proxy who is eligible to vote.
Postal voting is also an option - but the Commission says getting the forms back in time might be "unrealistic" given the logistical challenges involved and the fact the election is only months away.
Since 2007, members of the armed forces serving abroad have had the option of registering to vote every three years rather than annually.
The general election must be held by June 2010.
17 October 2009: Are you registered to vote?