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Postal voting gripes!


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Grrrrr, I am so angry and need to let off steam. We moved here three years ago and informed our local council (we still own a property in the UK) and got our names down for postal voting.

In the first council elections a few years ago, we didn't receive any voting slips and rang up to ask why. The answer was that the council hadn't received the voting slips until just a few days before the actual election so had "decided" not to send them out. Rant, rave, illegal, etc., - but I had a jobsworth. I rang the Electoral Commission to complain and found that there is a maximum time for councils to send out slips, but no minimum time! So effectively councils can post our the voting slips the night before the election (who would receive them in the next days' post .. no-one, of course!).

So I made a stink about that, and wrote to the Elec. Commission and the council to complain. Now to last year's government vote .... slips arrived here the day before the actual election, having been posted five days beforehand. Of course I couldn't get them back in time and rang, again, to complain. I was told that nominations for candidates didn't close until 3 weeks before the actual vote, after which the council has to get the slips printed, etc, hence the delay. Oh, and they are posted out in alphabetical order as opposed to getting all overseas ones out first. Again, another letter to complain.

Now to this current AV voting. My husband got his slip on Saturday - I still haven't received mine. But with Easter post, etc., our post won't be collected until tomorrow and there's a slim chance it will get back to the UK by next week. Possibly it will but, all the same, it's a bit tight. And as there are no nominations to worry about, and the wording of the AV slip is a national thing that has been agreed in advance, why didn't the council post them out sooner?

We will probably sign up for proxy voting when the next lot come along. But I wonder at the effectiveness of the Electoral Commission and whether we overseas voters are being deprived of our democratic right.

Rang over, phew, calm down, calm down ... but I get so narked over this. Anyone else experiencing the same?
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The AV voting slip was with the other ballot paper in the case of my mothers postal vote, if other councils have also included them I guess the previous reasons for lateness still apply.

(The form my mother had was badly designed in that in order to get the return address in the 'window' it had to be folded in such a way that it left half of the envelope empty........and half very bulky, very odd)

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You have no right to vote in UK local council  or EMP elections if you live in France ie that is where you are residents. You can vote in the general elections and I'm not sure about the AV one that is coming up and it could be that you cannot vote for that either, although I am sure that it is easy enough to look up.

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/UKgovernment/Politicalpartiesandelections/DG_073241

 

You should now be on your local electoral register in France where you can vote in local council elections and for your EMP, which is what you are losing out on in the UK.

 

To add. In spite of not having the internet we 'knew' this and voted for 20 years in the UK in general elections, and then we 'expired' and they also reduced the 'right' to 15 years. We also 'knew' when we got the right to vote in France and that which elections we could and couldn't vote in in France and in the UK too. HOW we kept our eye on this, I cannot remember as please remember that we didn't get UK tv for donkey's years nor did we pick up english newspapers either. But we certainly had our eye on the ball.

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It looks as if the system is not really designed to give you postal votes if you live abroad, so proxy is really the best way as you've sumized yourself:

All overseas voters can vote by post or by applying for someone to vote for the candidate of their choice (otherwise known as ‘proxy voting’). If you are an overseas voter , a postal vote will be sent to you about a week before the election. If it would be difficult for you to receive and return a postal vote in time, consider voting by proxy.

A proxy vote means you ask someone you know and trust to vote on your behalf. They can go to your polling station, or they can apply to vote for you by post. Find out more about postal and proxy votes in ‘Voting at an election’.

 

Also according to this the AV vote doesn't sem to come under the remit of the Electorial Commision :http://www.iwradio.co.uk/newscentre/national-news/av-row-electoral-body-powerless-to-act-15978614


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We previously lived in Wales and have received and returned our AV ballot forms.Slight niggle in that we are unable to vote in the Welsh Assembly election, which in my mind is a kind of Parliamentary election. We can vote here for the European election but not the cantonals.And after 15 years we will be disenfranchised. Needs sorting out-promises have been made but when?
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So you are saying that any second, third home owner say with a house in France and a appt in Greece should be able to vote in these countries.[8-)] This means that the rich can buy the right to vote in other countries, and I do not like that idea at all, not one little bit.

I have never minded the way the system works to be honest. If  anyone lives in France for 15 years and feels strongly enough to want to vote in national and cantonal elections, well they can request french nationality and then they will get to vote in France.

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Sorry, I should have stipulated that you would still have to be a citizen.

I haven't lived in the UK for 12 years, I have no assets or money or other interests there, so I believe I should lose my voting entitlement. Until I return that is.

If I had interests there (especially if still paying tax there), then I believe I should continue to have the right to vote.
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I've voted by post.  In the small print, it stated that the pre-paid postage only related to posting within the UK.  So I had to buy a stamp for the envelope, which looks as if it didn't need one.  I wonder if anyone else noticed?

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Interesting thread.  We are registered to vote in the UK by using a proxy vote, but had not been able to find out whether it included the referendum.  If some of you have had postal forms it seems that our vote will be used. So now need to make sure proxy will vote as we wish!

We even emailed the Electoral commission but got no reply - if they are not involved they could have replied to that effect.

We are registered to vote here in France too for local elections and we did vote when the last one was on.

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As I understand the Italians have a member of parliament for those living in Britain to look after their interests. For those who worked all their lives in the UK need someone to look after their interests-pensions etc. At the moment after 20 years, even though you are a tax payer in a country you are almost totally disenfranchised. Can't be right.
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I would actually disenfranchise everyone over 75. Please bear in mind that I am not young. The reasoning isn't complicated and quite easy to work out.

 

15 Years now to vote in national elections when abroad, used to be 20 Years.

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Far from it.

Too fit, too needy, and wanting a lot of money when too many of the young, (who are our futures, genetically speaking), are poor.

I was surprised a few weeks ago when the students were rallying against the increase in university fees that something along these lines was not said  to Cameron and all the 'rich' who have not a clue how the other half live. Please Prime Minister, remember when you are in your dotage that it will be us with the power and as you are impoverishing us now, we will remember and it will be us in who decide what happens to you and your money.

 

I often read and hear said that the young are egoists, but I find that the old are worse. Generally speaking ofcourse and not refering to any specific individual, as everyone will say, not me.

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Whether you get a chance to send in a postal vote depends on the constituency you last lived in in UK

My mother used to live in the Fareham constituency before joining us here in France 4 years ago. She gets her postal vote in good time and has voted in the last General Election and in the AV referendum.

We were last registered as living in Tower Hamlets where there is a huge amount of Postal Voting by "ghost" voters who live, oddly enough, by the hundreds in houses belonging to local political figures and their friends and families, but who are never actually seen coming and going. These "ghost" postal voters always get their voting papers in good time.

Too bad, however, if you live abroad like us. We either get our papers way too late (like posted to us the day before the election) or not at all.

Last I heard, this transparent vote-rigging in the constituency was going to be investigated. I did e-mail the Prime Minister after the last General Election to complain about my, probably deliberate, disenfranchisement.

I still haven't had any AV referendum voting papers, though.
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[quote user="idun"]

I would actually disenfranchise everyone over 75. Please bear in mind that I am not young. The reasoning isn't complicated and quite easy to work out.

 

15 Years now to vote in national elections when abroad, used to be 20 Years.

[/quote]There was no right to vote if you lived abroad up until 1980. It was brought in by the Thatcher Goverment because they thought it would benefit them - their assumption being that ex-pats were more likely to vote Conservative
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