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Electoral Registration

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what procedures are in place to facilitate the electoral registration of servicemen and women serving overseas; and what steps are being taken to increase the proportion of armed forces personnel who register to vote. (115355)

Provisions in the Electoral Administration Act 2006 allow all Service personnel and their spouses or civil partners who choose to register as Service voters to remain on the register for three years, without having to renew their registration. This helps Service personnel abroad in particular as it is covers the typical length of an overseas tour. In addition, Service declaration forms are distributed each year, as part of a combined information leaflet, to all military units in the UK and abroad, at the same time as the annual household canvass.

The MOD works closely with the Electoral Commission and the DCA and runs an annual information campaign each autumn, culminating in a "Service Electoral Registration Day" which is held within military units. These activities are designed to encourage Service personnel and their families to register and to vote.