We’re living in France and left our Essex home in 2015, though our sons still live in it. I’m sure we’re still entitled to vote in that constituency although our Normandy property is our principal residence and our home.
I applied to re-register for a vote and was sent a postal-vote application form to fill in. This asks for our “registered address” in UK (“the address where you are registered to vote”), and we don’t have one (although we still own the property there). We have no plans to return to UK to settle there, and don’t want our names on the electoral register in our former town…
What are we supposed to do? I’ve written to the Electoral Registry people in our former District asking for clarification. Anyone have prior experience and/or advice?
Thanks, Sue. I emailed the Electoral Office in Essex and they got back to me immediately saying they agreed the form was confusing. The registered address is now called the “qualifying address” but they haven’t got round to changing the form.
They said to put the French address where I want them to send the postal ballot, so I’ll just do as they say and hope it arrives on time…
I believe there are two electoral registers-an open one and a closed one. The closed one has to have names and addresses but is not available to the public. The open one is available to everyone. You can opt not to have your address shown on that one.
Really helpful link David, thank you. I’m now registered to vote and I will nag my two eldest children to do the same. And Sue is right. You have a simple tick box to choose ‘closed’. Very simple and now I get my say too!
I’d suggest you ring the Council and change your vote to a proxy - there’s a good chance the forms won’t arrive in time here. (I know from experience over several elections!). My Council emailed the relevant forms over within the hour. I then contacted the political party of my choice and asked them to find me a proxy in that voting region - of course they are going to bend over backwards to assist since it’s an extra vote in their box, and you can be confident they will place the vote as you want (friends and family can’t always be relied upon!). Anyway, I emailed the form back and got a reply from the Council by the end of the day. Much easier and a co-operative Council official can make all the difference with efficiency!
Sandy, thanks for that suggestion which makes a lot of sense. I doubt my vote will make a difference though, as ‘my’ constituency is one of the many that never changes hands under first-past-the-post. But I vote nonetheless to help maintain morale amongst constituency party members, and because the franchise is still something people have struggled and died for.
The address which entitles you to vote in UK elections is your last main address in UK and this is the address to which they are referring.
You can download a form to get yourselves on the electoral register, www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and then you need to apply for a postal vote.
You can do all of this on line.
Your local council should confirm, if asked, that you are both on the register and that you have a postal vote and also the date when postal votes are being sent out.
Make sure that you apply for a continuing postal vote.