Prioritise Armed Forces votes – Swinson


Jo is calling for votes received from Armed Forces personnel to be treated with urgency in the Scottish elections and Alternative Vote referendum on 5th May.

In the 2010 General Election only 564 votes were received from British military personnel in Afghanistan, even though nearly 10,000 were able to vote.

For the referendum and elections next month, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Electoral Commission are putting in place an initiative to facilitate the participation of Armed Forces personnel in Afghanistan by utilising existing supply flights to transport postal ballot packs.

In other overseas locations, the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) has undertaken to treat all elections mail for overseas military locations as a priority.

Jo said:

“Military personnel from East Dunbartonshire must have a say in May’s elections and referendum and on who runs the country they are fighting to protect.

“Though I’m pleased the MoD is making the effort to prioritise postal votes, it’s up to local Councils to make sure those votes are counted. I have written to Returning Officer Gerry Cornes urging him to process the postal and proxy votes of Armed Forces personnel quickly.”

Notes

In the 2010 general election, 294 proxy voting applications and 270 postal votes were received from the armed forces serving in Afghanistan.

For further background on Liberal Democrat support for Armed Forces Voting, see EDM 862 from the 2009-10 parliamentary session: http://www.edms.org.uk/2009-10/862.htm


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