View Full Version : Why can't I vote

fatter albert
2nd May 2005, 17:47
Throughout my years in the Air Force, and at University before that, I have for each election, whether local, European or general, been able to successfully apply for a postal vote.

This year I applied as usual several weeks ago, but I have just been told (far too late for me to do anything about it) that I am not a registered voter and thus will not be able to vote next week.

Anyone else in the Forces encountered anything similar?:confused:

2nd May 2005, 17:57
A few years ago, can't remember when, they introduced annual renewal for service voters. Renewal is in Feb, so if you weren't registered / let your registration lapse / suffered from a system failure somewhere, you're stuck for this election. Best re-apply soonest on the forms from SHQ


fatter albert
2nd May 2005, 18:02
Well no-one told me, which means I haven't told any of the 100+ people who have worked for me since this apparent development. :*

...and what about the local and European elections last year when I had no such trouble?

2nd May 2005, 18:25
...and what about the local and European elections last year when I had no such trouble?
Dunno, but it is usually a) a regular item in SROs and b) one of the forms PSF give you when you are posted in.


2nd May 2005, 20:58
I looked into to applying for a postal vote, but the small print said something about the voting form being sent out 1 week before the election, so it had to get here, be completed and sent back within 1 week. I don't know about Europe, but that just ain't possible living over the other side of the Atlantic, so my vote is wasted :(

tony draper
3rd May 2005, 08:25
I read somwhere that local councils make cash out of selling the electoral register to advertizers junk mail producers pollsters ect.

3rd May 2005, 08:45
Perhaps it's just my nasty suspicious mind but maybe it's to do with the fact that service voters are, in general, perceived to be Conservative supporters. Hence no real will to fix the problem. Something similar was done during the devolution referenda when Scots and Welsh people domiciled outside their native land were not permitted to vote because ( my nasty suspicious mind tells me) they would probably have voted "no". It would certainly have sunk Welsh devolution and with at least 1.5m Scots living in England it could easily have scuppered Scottish devolution for a second time. The Labour party would not have got the "right" result.

F**k politicians and their bureaucrats, especially lefties.

3rd May 2005, 09:39
No Winswinger, I can confirm it was also bloody hard to vote from distant shores when the Conservative Government were around.

3rd May 2005, 10:02
Hmm the spectre of postal rigging has arisen in the dodgers universe....Ones grandmother received her postal vote paperwork with NO ballot paper in, on further investigation several people in her old folks home also had the same issue. It would appear then that our election here will be none fairer than Comrade Bobs in Zimbabwe...

Nil nos tremefacit
3rd May 2005, 10:20
The Electoral Roll is not covered under the Data Protection Act. It is a public list of people entitled to vote. Democracy couldn't function if nobody knew who was entitled to vote. A secret register of voters is something more akin to the Zimbabwean model.

Anybody may buy a section of the Electoral Roll. It is not a cheap option, but nor, for the commecially minded, is it expensive. Local councils are entitled by law to charge a fee to recover costs, but do not sell names on a commercial basis.

The concerns of Cheerio were noted a couple of years ago and the new system allows you to have your name removed from the 'for sale' version of the Electoral Roll. Not many people know this.

The full Electoral Roll is available at the local council offices and anybody may walk in during working hours and inspect it, but may only make handwritten notes. Local versions for wards etc can be found in libraries. Most people just check for one or two names.

Full copies are also available to local branches of political parties registered on the Electoral Commission web site (one copy per constituency party). At election time any candidate is entitled to one full copy for election purposes only. I have the full copy for the Witney constituency since I am a candidate in the General Election. As a Town Councillor I am also entitled, as are all councillors, to a copy of the Electoral Roll for the ward I represent.

It is a criminal offence for me to photocopy any part of the roll and pass it on, but if I feel so inclined I can copy all 73000 names and addresses by hand or by typing them up. The copies released to politicians are for political purposes only and cannot be sold on to any other body nor used for any other purpose other than distributing leaflets, canvassing for votes or telling at polling stations etc.

The other exceptions are police who can have full copies for address checks and the credit reference companies. Credit companies do not give credit to people who are not on the Electoral Roll. This has led to recent allegations of fraudulent entries being made by illegal immigrants and asylum seekers who seek credit.

If you inspect the Electoral Roll you will see that certain people are only entitled to vote in certain elections based on whether they are EU citizens, Commonwealth citizens etc. Peers may not vote in Parliamentary Elections.

The new reforms also allow for a 'rolling' registration. Under the old system the register was updated annually and couldn't change. If you moved you voted at your previous address. Now you can continue to register throughout the year. The full register is updated twice a year, but amendments are attached as necessary. You could have registered to vote up to about 6 weeks before the election and been on the list.

Hope this is helpful.


4th May 2005, 06:41

It was also bloody hard to vote from distant shores when the Conservative government was around

Perhaps that was why. The bureaucrats who administer this sort of thing are part of the "payroll vote" so have a vested interest in the return of a Labour government. However, I do remember newspaper reports and photos in 1997 of numbers of Labour politicians going abroad on trips to holiday/ex-pat communities to cultivate the ex-pat vote.

4th May 2005, 07:17
Something - dare I say it - positive :

I registered to vote from abroad, as a UK national living in a central european cheese and chocolate empire. Well we were somewhat sceptical as up until last week there had been no sign of any voting form.

But lo and behold it turned up in good time and I did my bit ahem, to oust Blair.

Sorry for those of you the system failed. I was lucky and very impressed. It was the Leeds constituency who managed my postal vote.

Curious Pax
4th May 2005, 11:55
In order to apply the tar brush equally: the rules for who could vote from abroad and how were relaxed under the Conservatives in the early 90s, at the same time as they put a lot of effort into getting a group called (I think) Conservatives Abroad running. Unsurprisingly the group's aim was to ensure that as many Tory voters as possible were registered - one of the rule changes was to allow greater flexibility in determining which constituency to vote in, so Labour marginals could be targetted.

The theory was that those working abroad, and bothered about voting were more likely to be Tory voters - which in an unscientific straw poll seems to be borne out here.

At the time Labour were up in arms about it, but I guess that they have since decided that they do OK out of it too, as I don't believe any of the rule changes were reversed post 1997.

4th May 2005, 12:13
Vote early, and vote often....

4th May 2005, 13:44
None of it matters anyway. Here's the result: Lib Dem 23%, Conservative 37%, Labour 128% - and it's the postal votes wot swung it :}