The upcoming Eu referendum is one of the most important British political events in recent memory. Its result could have a huge impact on the future of the UK as well as on Europe. It is also a rare chance for the British people to directly practice democracy and vote on an issue rather than simply practicing the indirect democracy of electing representatives (MPs).
Did you know that if you are abroad – either living or travelling – you can still vote in the referendum? With the vote taking place on June 23rd however, time is running out to register to vote from abroad, and if you plan to take part it is important to get organised sooner rather than later.
Whichever way you intend on voting, this guide will help you get through the registration process so that your vote is counted.
To be eligible to vote in the referendum you must be over 18, a UK citizen (or commonwealth citizen living in the UK), and must be on the electoral roll. If you have not previously registered to vote and be put on the electoral roll you can register by clicking here. The process only takes about five minutes.
It is important to note that you must provide a UK address when you register to vote. If you still have a UK address despite being abroad then this is not a problem, however if you have not previously registered and do not have a British address you will not be able to register.
Once you are registered you can vote either by post or by proxy.
To vote by post, you must print off and fill in this form. This form should be sent to the electoral registration office local to the address with which you registered to vote (which can be found here). This form must have reached them by 5pm on the 8th of June.
You will then receive a ballot paper which you must fill out and post back to an address which will be provided with the ballot. This must reach them by 10pm on the 23rd of June or it will not be counted, so allow plenty of time for the international post to get it there.
The second option is to vote by proxy. This means authorising someone you trust to vote on your behalf. This person must be over 18 and a British citizen and must vote at your local polling station (local to the address you provided when registering to vote).
First you must print off, fill in and return this form and ensure that it reaches your local electoral registration office no later than 5pm on the 15th of June. Once the process is completed, you tell your nominated person how you wish to vote and they will be allowed to vote for you.
Voting from abroad is not a difficult or time consuming process. Both the postal and proxy voting forms are very short and it is just a case of making sure they are sent off in time. Hopefully this guide has made it clear how to go about it and you will all have your say on the future of our country!