Squaddies being denied a vote in the 51st State

Our own minature Dubya is trying to ensure that the ones f*cked around most in his neocolonial adventures have no means of redressing him over it.*

From the Independent:
Andrew Tyrie, a Tory MP, claimed last night that many soldiers being sent to Iraq will be denied a vote in the general election in Britain because of changes in the electoral rules. Troops were registered to vote for five years but, under changes in 2000, they have to re-register annually for the right to vote.
* this is probably untrue(!) but there is a serious prospect that troops may not be able to vote , particularly if they are running through the hundred-and-one things to do pre-deployment or if they are in the sandy place or elsewhere, where it may not be easy to download a form from the MOD website or to visit the clerk!
every serving soldier, especially those deployed overseas, should automatically be considered 'registered' to vote.

Liberal and Socialist governments often try to disqualify the military overseas vote, or suggest it should only be counted in a close race.
I tried to vote in 97 as I was about to depart for a Bosnia tour. I was told by the RAO that I had to register in theatre If I was to vote there. After I arrived and tried to register I was told that I had to register in theatre 4 weeks earlier than my arrival date. I often wonder what the percentage of troops who actually get to vote is. I'll bet quite a large sum that it's well below their civillian counterparts, and I bet it's not for lack of trying either.
Maybe we should ask for a block vote....that would make the spineless twits sit up and take notice :)
How bloody typical is that!!

The people who volunteer to go out and put their lives on the line to defend our democratic rights are those with some of the least (seems to be getting less yr by yr) democractic rights.

This gets right under my skin!

without the good folks of the armed services, dodgy geezers like blair wouldnt be able to etch out his place in history, and yet what does he do to thank them??
Given the current state of affairs and a general election coming up, what is the army doing about it? Are they sending out details about how to register to vote with payslips etc, putting the details into orders, onto unit noticeboards?

If not, why not?

Is there anyone out there in ARRSE land who works in a welfare officer role that could a. tell me whether this happens or b. make a promise to boost the idea up the chain?

Disenfranchising the very people who deserve the vote in this country has to be wrong

Half of them may not want to vote but the powers that be should be doing all they can to give them the opportunity.

Rant over
I think you're entitled to a proxy vote if you're stationed out of the UK, and a postal vote if based within the UK but out of your own constituency. There must be some RAO who knows.......come in, please.
You guys have to register to vote in each election? 8O
This was discussed on BFBS2 this week and is featured in this weeks Sixth Sense. See www.sixth-sense.co.uk

I'm not clever enough to turn thse into links so you'll just have to cut and paste...

Yes you do have to register annually. This is not a problem in UK coz your council writes to you to check you still live there annually when it updates its electoral roll. Overseas is a bit more tricky.

Your RAO should have a good supply of form F/Vote/33 which is the form to register as a Service proxy or Postal voter. Or go to the Elctoral Commission websire which is www.aboutmyvote.co.uk

As for the block vote, how about we have a couple of MPs? Each constituency is based and redrawn on the size of it's population, approx 100,000 per constituency. We could become a constituency worth at least 2 MPs. Then you'd know which one to finger with the awkward questions. And who would be the logical choice for Defence Secretary?
This from the electoral commission's website:

If you are overseas serving in the armed forces or with Her Majesty's Government then you will be entitled to vote in General, Local and European Elections in the UK. In order to register as a service/crown voter you will need to complete a service declaration each year you are abroad. This is available from your unit or from electoral registration officers. You need to register at an address where you have lived in the past or where you would live if you were not posted overseas. You can apply to vote by post or proxy. Postal votes are sent out approximately one week before polling day, so if you are not likely to be able to receive and return a postal vote in that time, it would be better to appoint a proxy

Service personnel and their spouses resident in the UK may register in either of two ways. They may be included on the annual register of electors form which is sent to every household in the autumn or they may register as service voters. Both forms of registration last for one year and must be renewed in order to remain registered. Electors registered either way may apply to vote by post or proxy.

Similar threads

Latest Threads