British citizens living abroad are now eligible to register to vote in UK general elections, regardless of how long they’ve been living outside the UK. A new law has removed the previous 15-year time limit.
Supporting the awareness raising campaign of the Electoral Commission, Knowsley Council is calling on residents to spread the word and to tell friends and family living abroad to check if they are eligible.
Those that have previously lived in or been registered to vote in the UK now have the right to vote in UK parliamentary elections (known as “general elections”).
They can register online at www.gov.uk/registertovote and they will need to confirm their personal information every three years.
Applicants will need to provide details of the address and time they were last registered or resident in the UK. Knowsley Council will then need to verify an applicant’s identity and past connection to the area.
More information is available on the Electoral Commission’s website, along with a post code lookup tool that helps voters living overseas find the contact details for their local authority, using the postcode of the last place they lived in the UK.
A frequently asked questions document has also been produced which outlines what the changes are, eligibility rules and how voters can register.
Many voters living abroad choose to vote by post or proxy. Applications for absent votes can now also be done online. You must be registered to vote in the UK before you can apply.