Military Voting

military voting cover imageMilitary Voting is a report exploring barriers to elections for British military personnel posted overseas. In particular, it focuses on barriers to voter registration, information on elections, and the act of voting.

The report builds upon a policy roundtable held at Newspeak House on 7 July 2017 with various organisations including the Royal British Legion, the Army Families Federation, and the Electoral Commission, as well as existing research and new data.

Download and read the report here.

Publication date: 1 August 2017.

The report sets out 6 recommendations, including:

  • The Government should initiate pilots of online voting with a view to an online voting option being in place for military personnel overseas at the 2022 General Election.
  • The Government should explore methods of tracking the number of military personnel overseas that are on the electoral register.

The report contains forewords from Labour MP and former British Army Major, Dan Jarvis, and the Conservative Peer, Lord Lexden OBE.

Dan Jarvis MBE MP said:

“In a democracy, it is essential that every citizen has the ability to get involved and have a say. Unfortunately, in our existing system, many Armed Forces personnel have limited access to the democracy they defend. The troops who put their safety before our own to bravely fight for our democracy, should never be denied access to it.”

Lord Lexden OBE said:

“It is unacceptable that our courageous troops who have uprooted their lives to defend ours are forgotten by our electoral system. We must explore the possibilities of new technology and learn how best we can harness them for the good of our democratic process in order to include these often forgotten voters.”