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War Hero
How does voting work for service personnel. Is it done through a standard postal ballot or is there a specific system designed for use by forces personnel?

Does your vote count towards the constituency you are based in or that which your home address is in if different?

How long prior to an election are you required to register and is it made simple for those of you deployed?


War Hero
Super Moderator
This from DIB 2010/24


• The next General Election will be called at any time soon - a General Election has to have been held by 3 June 2010.

• To exercise your right to vote in UK elections, you must be registered. The MOD and the Electoral Commission, the independent elections watchdog, encourage all Service personnel to register to vote.

• Individuals may choose to register to vote in one of three ways:

- As an Ordinary Voter: all Regular and Reserve personnel based in the UK can register in the same way as ordinary electors by filling in and returning the annual canvass registration form. Ordinary voters must re-register annually.

- As a Service Voter: this option is open to all Regular personnel (including spouses or civil partners) and is particularly suitable for personnel posted overseas or likely to be posted abroad in the near future. Service Registration currently lasts for three years.

- As an Overseas Voter, although registering as a Service Voter is the recommended option.

• Registration forms, for both Service Voters and Ordinary Voters, and details of how to vote, can be obtained from the Electoral Commission website - see Related www links.

• The main ways to vote are in person at a polling station; by post; or by proxy (someone in the UK voting on your behalf).

• Service personnel based overseas generally have insufficient time to receive a postal ballot and return it in time for polling day, and therefore the MOD and Electoral Commission continue to encourage appointing a proxy as the best way to vote.

• An additional Service Voting and registration campaign is being run specifically for those who will be in Afghanistan during the forthcoming election period. MOD, Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Electoral Commission are working closely together to make suitable provisions for Service personnel in Afghanistan - including the fast tracking of postal voting forms. However, due to electoral timeframes and operational priorities, and to be sure of having their vote count, personnel are being encouraged to vote by proxy.

• This specific campaign will contribute to the ongoing work with the MoJ and Electoral Commission to explore ways of improving voting arrangements for overseas voters and identifying a comprehensive solution that can be implemented wider.

• Unit Registration Officers are advised to remind all personnel and their families of the need to register to vote and to ensure personnel are clear on what they need to do.

• Full details (and resources for Unit Registration Officers) are contained in DIN 2009DIN01-173, 'Electoral Registration - Members of the Armed Forces and their Spouses/Civil Partners' - see Related documents.

Hope that helps


War Hero
Yes, very comprehensive. I was just making the appropriate plans for the forthcoming election, I shall alter my registration to vote by proxy.

Many thanks

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