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Overseas electors

On the 16 January 2024 the rules for overseas voters changed.  If you are a British Citizen living overseas who has previously lived in the UK or been registered to vote in the UK, you can register to vote. 

A number of changes to voting from overseas now apply: 

  • You can register to vote if you previously lived in the UK but were not registered to vote. 
  • You can register to vote as an overseas elector no matter how long ago you left the UK or were last registered to vote in the UK.
  • Your overseas declaration is now valid for three years, lasting until 1 November in the third year after it takes effect (for example, if your declaration takes effect on 1 March 2024, it will expire on 1 November 2026).
  • You can now register online (not available in Northern Ireland).

If you are an overseas voter who registered to vote before 16 January 2024, you will need to renew your  registration when your declaration expires.  If you applied for a proxy vote before 31 October 2023, this will expire on 31 January 2024 and you will need to reapply for a proxy vote. 

If you have a long-term postal vote that you applied for before 31 October 2023, this will now expire on 31 January 2026. The electoral services team at your local council will contact you before your postal vote expires.

Elections in which overseas voters can vote 

As an overseas voter you are only eligible to vote in UK Parliamentary Elections and Referendums (if the referendum franchise includes overseas voters).

To find out more about overseas voter registration visit the Electoral Commission information for people voting if you live overseas

Register to vote as an overseas elector

When applying, you need to provide the last UK address you lived at or were registered to vote at. You also need to provide your National Insurance number and date of birth. These are used to verify your identity.

Register to vote

How to vote from overseas

  • Proxy voting: If you are not based in the UK you can appoint a proxy (someone else) to vote on your behalf. As an overseas elector we would advise that you apply to vote by proxy if possible. Your appointed proxy will need to attend the polling station you were last registered to vote at, so make sure that the person you appoint is familiar with where you would have previously voted. If they wish to, they can however apply to vote by post as a postal proxy voter. They should contact us by emailing or 01257 515132 should they wish to do so.

Apply for a proxy vote

  • Postal vote: If you are registered as an overseas elector you can apply to vote by post. Before applying consider if there will be enough time to receive and return your ballot papers by polling day. If you have opted to vote by postal vote and it does not arrive in time or gets lost in the post, you cannot then change your method of voting. By law, all postal votes must be posted out, we are not allowed to email them to electors.

Apply to vote by post


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