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Where in the UK should I register as a service voter?

Most civilian voters can only register in the place where they are currently living. Members of the regular armed forces and their husbands, wives or civil partners have a wider choice, however.  Depending on individual circumstances, a regular armed forces member may be able to register:

  • As an ordinary voter for the place in the UK where they are currently living
  • As a service voter for the place in the UK where they are currently living
  • As a service voter for the place in the UK where they would be living if they were not in the armed forces
  • If they cannot say where they would be living if they not in the armed forces, they can give their last UK address before they took up the post.

Another option for some stationed overseas is to register as an overseas voter. Overseas voters can only vote in UK and European parliamentary elections, but not (for example) the Scottish Independence Referendum on 18 September 2014. 'Overseas voter' registration may be suitable for some in long-service posts overseas. More about overseas voter registration for British Citizens living abroad.

Registering in a constituency does not mean, of course, that you physically have to vote in the constituency. You can arrange either a proxy vote (recommended for most voters stationed or deployed overseas) or a postal vote.

This unofficial note does not cover all situations. If in doubt, consult the local authority's Electoral Registration Officer, or your Unit Registration Officer. In case of difficulty, BAFF members are welcome to consult BAFF.

Tags: Armed forces voters - Service voters

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