Your preferred voting method from AFG or BFPO location?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by hackle, Feb 5, 2010.

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  1. Proxy voting

  2. Postal voting

  3. Some form of electronic voting

  4. Some other method (please give details)

  1. As (almost) everybody knows by now, if you are on Op HERRICK at the time of the forthcoming General Election, or stationed at some other BFPO location or resident there with a serving spouse or partner, as a service voter you have the choice of a PROXY or POSTAL vote. Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, already much discussed on ARRSE.

    For future elections, would you use some form of electronic voting if it was available? Would you use electronic voting in preference to proxy or postal voting? Please use the poll to indicate your preferred method of voting if the choice was available.

    Perhaps you have your own ideas on remote voting methods, in which case do fire away, but the main effort is to find out gut feelings on electronic voting.

    Questions about electronic voting and how it might work would be welcome, as are your views for or against.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is an urgent RFI. I'd really appreciate max polling and discussion by midnight Sunday 07 Feb, although the poll will continue beyond that. My thanks to ARRSE, as always, for its role in this non-politically-partisan campaign - BAFF, ARRSE and the Service Voting campaign of 2005

    yours, D.Y. (BAFF)
  2. Although targeted at the military, I would like electronic [with safeguards - ie, a unique voting number] to be extended to all eligible voters residing outside of the country [like me!]
    As I suspect most people living abroad would not vote for the present incumbents then I think this will wither in the long grass.
    As a point of interest, would electronic voting require an act of parliament?
  3. I and my team received the papers for the 1970's referendum on the EU membership delivered to a remote jungle location all those years ago and they were returned on time. I would have though that in this modern day and age there should be no problems with ensuring those that have the vote....................... can. [and should]
  4. Rings a bell... I think you were quoted in Silence in the Ranks. Keep going... you could find a place in the next edition! ;)
  5. Tricky one this. If you have moved away and don't plan to come back, then should you have the vote? If you are overseas for a specific period (i.e. a tour or working offshore for a fixed period) then I can understand this.

    You could otherwise end up with the ludicrous situation where the chavpensioners on the Costa Del Sol are simply voting for the party that will allow them to get free UK healthcare and do this by closing schools / getting rid of police etc. for the next generation.
  6. Bazzinho1977, I exiled myself when Labour came to power, and If one pays UK tax [like I and the majority of ex service pensioners abroad do], incidentally whilst taking proportionally very little from the 'welfare' pot, and therefore allowing the residents of the UK more] then it matters not how many years abroad .................. If one is a British citizen then one is only allowed to vote in national elections in the UK and not in the country of residence..... No taxation without representation where have I heard that before?
  7. You have heard it before because that is what caused them uppity yanks to team up with the dastardly French (and, I don't doubt it, Mel Gibson) and kick us off our own land.

    But paying tax is not the only condition for getting a vote - otherwise every visitor who paid VAT would get a vote and every ltd company would get a vote. And then would they get a vote in proportion to the tax they pay?

    It is one of the conditions for paying taxes. There must be others as well - do you get what I mean. I am not having a pop here by the way - I just think that (although not expressing it very well) no country needs people who have no "skin in the game" lobbing over their own random views on how things should be run when they don't impact them.

    You know - a bit like Scottish MPs voting on the NHS and Student Loans, for example.
  8. Electronic voting for armed forces personnel is very topical right now across the pond. A very recent New York Times editorial argues that the interenet has an important role to play in facilitating overseas military voting by providing forms and information, even the ballot forms themselves, but that the technology is not yet adequate to be used for returning the completed ballots to the States.

    BAFF link: Internet voting, still in infancy, says US newspaper

    What do you think?

    Don't forget to vote in OUR poll once your mind is made up!
  9. Bazzinho1977 ..... let me put it another way...... Having been born in the UK, served in it's armed forces for 27 years and a further 13 in another government organisation, always paid and am still paying my taxes, feel I have earned as much right to vote as you or anyone else. I certainly would not give the NATIONAL vote to anyone, [Irish et al.,] who lives in the UK who is not British. That's it from me on this particular topic as I don't think I have anything to prove and I don't want to move the tread away from its focus.
  10. Don't want to de-rail your thread Hackle, but in response to Baz's pop:

    What other conditions should apply?

    Many servicemen did serve most of their careers overseas and chose to remain there afterwards (possibly to work or stay with their wives/families). They retain British Citizenship, have served their countries, paid and continue to pay taxes, often remain liable for reserve service and in some cases continue to serve in the TA and support Service life overseas. Why shouldn't they be given the opportunity to vote?

    Most other countries value the votes of their ex-pats, often going to great lengths to ensure they get given a chance. Previous UK governments have also tried harder. It is the current shower seem to have decided to dis-enfranchise ex-pats of all types. It appears to be for purely part political ends.
  11. If I had a choice of an effective secret vote from overseas what method would I choose?
    Difficult one for me to answer. The easiest would be to opt for electronic voting, however I don’t think there is a secure method of electronic voting in use yet. It could be several years at huge cost to implement an electronic system and money is tight.

    Postal voting works for many countries but they usually allow a reasonable length of time for ballots to be received and returned in time to count. The very tight timescales of our system mean those opting to vote by post from overseas often find they receive postal ballots too late to be returned in time to count.

    If blank ballots could be prepositioned at bases throughout the world then that would be a postal vote without the time delay of printing, dispatch, delivery. It works for other countries, would be cheaper and requires less legislation than electronic voting.

    I definitely would not choose proxy voting. Other countries facilitate their citizens abroad with secret votes and it is about time our country did too…

    So if I have to tick a box it will be for a postal vote with the caveat that the general election timetable would need to be extended (whether postal ballots were pre-printed with candidate’s names, or blank) for whatever system is eventually decided upon. (Not to detract, but if one group is enfranchised that would be a step in the direction of enfranchising others, as happened in Canada?)
  12. Thanks guys. As you will have worked out, this thread about electronic voting for service voters has not come out of the blue, but is related to current urgent consultations involving the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Defence, Electoral Commission, the Chief Executives of the three Service Family Federations and myself, representing British Armed Forces Federation (BAFF). As already reported, the Government has also been consulting interested MPs on a cross-party basis.

    I mention this because I see that the Army Families Federation (AFF) has made an announcement today over on Rear Party - LINK and I confirm that we are talking on the same net.

    Please help to spread the word about this thread and poll and also the AFF Voting Survey. Thanks!
  13. Sorry - I am with you. Rather than derail the thread I had responded to exile1s point in a PM. However, as it affects servicemen, I will stick on.

    So my personal feeling is this - for people to have a vote they must

    1. Pay taxes (this is a necessary condition)
    2. Be a citizen (i.e. feel that they belong to that country)
    3. Probably, not have the same rights in any other country.

    So for ex-servicemen living overseas, they would certainly pass number 1. For number 2 they could show that the fact they have served their country. For number 3, most of them (I would imagine) don't have voting rights in other countries.

    (This has all sorts of other consequences for other ex-pats, I know).
  14. I'd say a secret paper ballot system as in the UK but with some staff officer/SNCO acting as the returning officer at each camp/FOB