Denied a Vote - BFPO takes 11 Days for EU to UK

#1
The election was called on Tue 6 April, I dutifully went on line and downloaded the Service Person Voting form, after talking to my election office I was told that they would only accept a paper copy, some offices were happy for a FAX. I filled in my form and posted it first class via BFPO from Europe on 8 April. It needed to be in 16 April to count. I mistakenly believed that 9 days would be plenty, this is before the Volcano so no Get Out Clause for BFPO there. It took 11 over days to reach the Electoral Office who then sent a reply to my UK address informing that my form was received to late to count for the National Election.

Obviously I am not happy, I have talked to the Electoral Office and they are very polite but can do nothing.

I wonder how many Servicemen/women on overseas posts have had a similar experience, barring in mind that if you doing a Postal Vote their is only a limited window to get the form back. If my experience of 11 days before the Ash backlog is anything to go by, I would not be surprised if lots of Service Voted once again do not count.

Even if I had posted on 6 April the day the election was called my form would not have arrived in time. Well down BFPO and well done Labour for cutting the support to overseas personnel down so much that it hardly functions. :evil:

Rant Over!
 
#2
Deliberate policy to stop soldiers voting against the government responsible for the deliberate underfunding that led to so many preventable deaths.

Good enough to fight and die to bring democracy to Afghanistan... but not good enough to be allowed to exercise your democratic right in the UK.
 
#3
I'm with you on this. Interestingly we received a personal (to us) reply from Dominic Grieve's office when we highlighted the issue to him (Funnily enough Beaconsfield being what it is I suspect that a large number of his postal / proxy voters could be forces abroad) maintaining quite clearly that a Conservative Government will change this mess that is Forces Voting from abroad. We have kept the e-mail and will see if we need to hold him to it at the next election.
 
#4
InVinoVeritas said:
Deliberate policy to stop soldiers voting against the government responsible for the deliberate underfunding that led to so many preventable deaths.

Good enough to fight and die to bring democracy to Afghanistan... but not good enough to be allowed to exercise your democratic right in the UK.
:roll:
 
#5
Ops_Offr said:
I'm with you on this. Interestingly we received a personal (to us) reply from Dominic Grieve's office when we highlighted the issue to him (Funnily enough Beaconsfield being what it is I suspect that a large number of his postal / proxy voters could be forces abroad) maintaining quite clearly that a Conservative Government will change this mess that is Forces Voting from abroad. We have kept the e-mail and will see if we need to hold him to it at the next election.
I was having issues too.. fortunately i've managed to book a flight and use up some leave in order to vote.

I was thinking Lib dems as i recently suffered a serious head injury whiich has left me insane.
 
#6
Did you think about voting by proxy? Would that not of been a safer bet?
 
#7
Moon_Monkey_Spunk said:
Did you think about voting by proxy? Would that not of been a safer bet?
A proxy bomb would seem more appropriate.
 
#8
Even if I had asked for a Proxy the 11 days to deliver the registration form would have still meant that my form was late and therefore invalid.

But as the Post states the Rant is not Proxy or Postal, it is the fact that even from Europe let alone some Sandy place BFPO is not able to get a registration form over in the required time.
 
#9
Moon_Monkey_Spunk said:
Did you think about voting by proxy? Would that not of been a safer bet?
Sorry - tell us again why being a Serviceman should result in you losing the right to a participate in a secret ballot to elect your government?

Why should you have to discuss/disclose your choice of candidate with your family/friends etc?

What if your political views differ from your friends/family?

Why should a Serviceman be expected to impose on someone else to vote for them?

Why has this government bent over backwards to allow some parts of the community to have easier access to postal votes particularly when they mostly live in densely populated cities with easy access to polling booths?

Why could it be done for over a million troops spread all over the liberated world in 1945, but not now?

Why can every other major and some minor countries provide a decent voting system for all its citizens/subjects?
 
#10
Duke_of_Kaos said:
Even if I had asked for a Proxy the 11 days to deliver the registration form would have still meant that my form was late and therefore invalid.

But as the Post states the Rant is not Proxy or Postal, it is the fact that even from Europe let alone some Sandy place BFPO is not able to get a registration form over in the required time.
But there is nothing to say you actually have to wait for an election to be called to apply for a postal vote - you knew one was coming this year. My standing application is in and I tick the box (okay, go online and fill in the 'no change' page) every year when the ERO sends me the family declaration.

Got my form this morning. Back in the post by 10am.
 
#11
I'm appalled by this - you guys have clearly been disenfranchised, be it deliberate or simply by cock-up. Since both the electoral system and the BFPO postal system are both the responsibility of the government, it amounts to vote rigging, and we can clearly declare the results of the election unlawful. Not that it seems to have bothered UK politicians in elections "elsewhere" as long as they go the result they wanted. Oh well - it's a good excuse for a military coup - we haven't had one of those in a while. Operation "Putsch" anyone?
 
#12
You are correct, but being a good Soldier, I called the Electoral Office before the Date was announced and explained that I was in the Forces overseas, I told that I was registered to vote at my UK address but was now posted over seas. I was then told that I could not register for a Postal or Proxy until after the date had been announced. Hence why I waited.

When I popped back this weekend and found rejected letter I went to my Local Office were they explained that he National Advice line was wrong, great to hear that but no use if you have been given the wrong advice as the cut off date is final even if you were given duff info.
 
#13
Duke_of_Kaos said:
Even if I had asked for a Proxy the 11 days to deliver the registration form would have still meant that my form was late and therefore invalid.

But as the Post states the Rant is not Proxy or Postal, it is the fact that even from Europe let alone some Sandy place BFPO is not able to get a registration form over in the required time.
I am very sorry to hear that you will be unable to vote in this election. But you didn't really need to wait until the General Election was called before submitting your registration application.

In earlier elections, you would already have been too late to register once the election was called. I realise that no information campaign is going to reach everyone and that serving people have had a lot of other things on their minds other than electoral registration.

However, the MoD and the Electoral Commission have been running an annual registration campaign for a few years now, with increasing publicity in recent months, including here on ARRSE. Further proof of the benefit of logging into ARRSE as regularly as possible! ;)

A special registration effort was made this time for personnel who are going to be in Afghanistan at the time of the General Election.

Registration as a service voter now remains valid for five years (instead of one year at the time of the last General Election).
 
#14
The last election they couldnt even get my postal vote out to NI in time, despite the council sending it to me 10 days early. This time I have registered to vote in person (lucky to have a UK posting).

I still dont see why we cannot have a polling system in every theatre, even if it is done 24hrs early to allow for counting etc.

Its just another part of the broken covenant.
 
#16
Duke_of_Kaos said:
You are correct, but being a good Soldier, I called the Electoral Office before the Date was announced and explained that I was in the Forces overseas, I told that I was registered to vote at my UK address but was now posted over seas. I was then told that I could not register for a Postal or Proxy until after the date had been announced. Hence why I waited.

When I popped back this weekend and found rejected letter I went to my Local Office were they explained that he National Advice line was wrong, great to hear that but no use if you have been given the wrong advice as the cut off date is final even if you were given duff info.
Can you possibly give further details of this? Was it the Electoral Commission you originally called? Did you have access to the internet available at the time, if so did you try looking on the internet?
 
#17
Duke_of_Kaos said:
Even if I had posted on 6 April the day the election was called my form would not have arrived in time. Well down BFPO and well done Labour for cutting the support to overseas personnel down so much that it hardly functions. :evil:

Rant Over!
And one of Labour's earliest pieces of legislation changed the rules for expat voters so that you cannot vote if you you have not registered for 10 years unless you move back to the UK, and you can never vote again after 15 years.

So it gets worse if you leave the Army and are expatriate. But it does seem disgusting that Forces personnel might be excluded from postal voting whether it's intentional or not.
 
#18
Duke_of_Kaos said:
You are correct, but being a good Soldier, I called the Electoral Office before the Date was announced and explained that I was in the Forces overseas, I told that I was registered to vote at my UK address but was now posted over seas. I was then told that I could not register for a Postal or Proxy until after the date had been announced. Hence why I waited.
That is despicable. But they are not the only bit of HMG who refuse to take any responsibility for their errors - HMRC and UKBA pull the same tricks, regularly.
 
#20
Sorry cannot get worked up by this. For the last 12 months and indeed before that, we have routinely been advised on orders to get our postal registrations in. The author simply had his head in is ARRSE and didn't bother in time.

Admin is not a place in China!!
 

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