Good News Expats, You Can Vote Online
At the moment British expatriates have no easy way to vote in elections. In fact the process is tedious. Requiring expats to fill in a registration form, and then post it to their electoral office in the United Kingdom. Then once they have been put on the electoral register, they can arrange to vote by post or by person or even put in a proxy vote.
However, this is all about to change, which should put a smile on those expats who would like to express their political view. Not only will expats find that they have one less form to fill in, I could almost hear everyone breathing a sigh of relief, but British voters will be able to register their vote online once the scheme comes into play. This makes more sense, since we live in the digital age.
Currently the Cabinet Office is working on online registration, and trying to persuade those five million Brits who are able to vote to sign up. The fact that voting has moved towards being digital, and with almost everyone having an internet connection, there should be no problem with these expat Brits voting. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if the scheme was rolled out for everyone living in Britain. It would be much more convenient, simpler and efficient. The only issue that could arise is that of identification, but even that isn’t a difficult issue to solve.
Volunteers needed to test new online system
The rules at the moment mean that British expatriates are able to vote in any general or European parliamentary elections for up to 15-years after moving abroad. After the 15-years has passed these British expatriates lose their voting rights. This is a touchy matter, but it doesn’t appear as if it is about to change. John Waterworth, of the Government Digital Service has said: “The qualification we have as to who can and cannot vote is not changing.”
At the moment the scheme is in its testing phase. Therefore work is being done to find any expat volunteers who would be happy to be part of this process, and help fine-tune the new system. Currently Thursday October 31, and Tuesday December 17 have been scheduled as testing days for those that may be interested. The two days are open for any Brits living abroad. During which expats will be briefed about the process and will be able to try it out, giving their feedback which will definitely help get the scheme ready to be rolled out.