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Time running out for British expatriate voters.

Dubai With the UK general elections approaching on May 6, expatriate voters in the UAE have just 10 days left to get their postal and proxy voting registrations posted back to the UK.

As there are no polling booths in the UAE, votes have to be sent by post to the voters' previously registered constituencies.

Those wishing to vote should first register as an overseas voter, by filling in the respective application form, then post this back to their UK constituency with either a postal or proxy vote application form.

A British citizen that has registered to vote in the last 15 years is eligible to vote in the general elections and European Parliamentary elections.

Those who were under the age of 18, and were thus too young to register to vote when they left the United Kingdom, can still register as overseas voters.

However, the aspiring voter's parent or guardian needs to have been registered to vote in the United Kingdom and the new voter will need to have left the United Kingdom in the last 15 years.

Forms

Those choosing a postal vote should first register as an overseas voter and send both this and the application form for postal voting to their previous constituency. The postcode entered on the website where forms are available (see box) will provide the address. Citizens need to make sure this reaches the address 6-11 days before election day.

The ballot will be posted to the overseas address that citizens provide on the form. This then needs to be posted back to the UK constituency.

Those choosing a proxy vote (someone voting on their behalf) also have to be registered as overseas voters, fill in a similar form and name the person they have chosen to cast their vote. The ballot form will be sent to the person they have named as their proxy voter

A proxy voter can be a close relative, defined as a spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the applicant.

Both types of registration should be completed 11 working days before an election, when changing or cancelling an existing proxy or postal proxy, and six working days before the election when applying for a new proxy vote.

Gulf News reported last week that many British expatriates in the UK were not going to vote, as they felt that the policies of Labour and the Conservatives were too similar, and they also expressed doubt over how to vote from abroad.

For more information, and application forms, log on to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

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For more information, and application forms, log on to www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Apr 14, 2010
Words:460
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