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Elections: Armed Forces

Volume 714: debated on Tuesday 10 November 2009

Question

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they propose to ensure that military personnel overseas who are registered for postal voting receive their ballots in sufficient time for them to be returned to be included in constituency counts. [HL6244]

Postal votes cannot be issued until the close of nominations, which for a UK parliamentary election means 11 working days before the poll. For this reason the Electoral Commission recommends proxy voting as the best way to ensure service personnel can cast their ballot, and the Commission recently issued guidance to all military personnel to encourage their participation in this way. However, it is important that service personnel have the opportunity participate in the democratic process, and my right honourable friend Michael Wills MP has written to all MPs inviting them to a meeting to discuss ways in which the registration and voting arrangements for service personnel can be improved.