UK Fails To Encourage British Expats To Vote

By Fiona Moore, for 05 August, 2014

The UK Electoral Commission has said that it expects that a new online registration process will increase the numbers of overseas Brits signing up to vote, after the target for this year's Euro elections was missed by more than two-thirds.

The Commission had hoped that 25,000 expats would download the required form, although in the end there were just 7,079 downloads from outside the UK. However, there were 87,000 clicks on the Commission's online advertising, which included a special campaign aimed at British expatriates in the top 10-20 countries with a high British expatriate population.

The Commission speculated that, for many potential voters, the process of downloading and printing the form, and then finding another British passport-holder to be a counter-signatory "was too onerous a task."

Along with its online advertising, the Commission created radio fillers for expatriate radio stations, and worked in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, expatriate groups such as Votes for Expat Brits, and the overseas networks of British political parties to create awareness. PR materials were distributed by consulates and embassies, and there was a designated Overseas Registration Day.

The new online registration system will be available in time for next year's General Election. The Electoral Commission said it will monitor its impact.

Tags: Expatriates | United Kingdom | Expat Services | Expats | Welfare |


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