Right to vote

A CAMPAIGN to encourage British citizens living abroad to register to vote in the UK is being backed by the British Embassy in Lisbon.

It is being run in conjunction with the electoral commission to inform British citizens of their electoral rights.

Clinton Proud, head of campaigns and public information at the electoral commission, said: “There are fewer than 13,500 British expatriates on the electoral register, a tiny fraction of the estimated six million Britons living abroad.”

For those that are unaware, British citizens are able to register as an overseas voter as long as they have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years.

As an overseas voter you are not able to vote in local government elections or elections for devolved power but are eligible to take part in UK parliamentary and European Parliamentary election.

The next European Parliamentary election is on June 4, 2009 while a UK Parliamentary election could be called anytime between now and 2010 so if you would like to participate in the elections it is important to register as soon as possible.

It is easy to register and forms can be downloaded from www.aboutmyvote.co.uk/overseas and once you are registered you can choose to vote by post, by proxy or in person if you are in the UK at the time.

Clinton Proud added: “We want to reach people wherever they are on the globe and remind them that however far away  from the UK they are, they still have their chance to vote back home.”

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