British citizens living abroad can register as overseas voters if they have been registered to vote in the UK at any time within the past 15 years. Yet of the estimated 5.5 million British citizens living abroad, less than 13,000 overseas voters are currently on a UK electoral register.
Britons living overseas can vote by post or arrange for a proxy to vote for them in a UK Parliamentary election and the Commission has launched a campaign to encourage British citizens abroad to register to vote ahead of the next general election.
A general election could be called at any time between now and June 2010, so the Commission is recommending that voters register as soon as possible. Voters can apply for a postal vote when they register, but for many people, especially those living outside Europe, the timescales involved will mean a proxy vote will be more appropriate
British citizens living abroad who have registered to vote in the UK at any time within the past 15 years can register as an overseas voter. If someone were too young to register when they left the UK, they can register in the last place their parent or guardian was registered.
To register, go to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk for information and download a registration form.
Information provided by The Electoral Commission in the UK; September 2009