There is a campaign by the UK Electoral Commission which aims to encourage British citizens living overseas to register to vote ahead of the UK’s EU referendum whenever that will be – we don’t know the date yet.
The Electoral Commission has asked the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to encourage British nationals living overseas to register to vote. Turkey is one of the priority countries the Commission has identified, based on the number of British residents thought to be there.
Last year saw the first UK General Election where people could register to vote online. The Electoral Commission hopes that the new online process will encourage more UK nationals living overseas to register to vote in the forthcoming referendum and also in future elections.
Estimates show that there may be as many as 5.5 million UK nationals living overseas, but currently there are just tens of thousands on the electoral registers. To register as an overseas voter, UK residents overseas must have previously been registered in a UK constituency within the last 15 years.
Alex Robertson, Director of Communications at the Electoral Commission said: “A lot of people aren’t aware that it’s possible to register as an overseas voter. We need to challenge the misconception that once you’ve moved overseas you can’t take part. Many people can and now it’s easier than ever to take the first step by registering online.”
“That’s why we are urging UK nationals who are now living abroad to take five minutes to visit www.gov.uk/register-to-vote and make sure they will be able to have their say.”