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More Brits in Bangladesh can now vote in UK general polls

by The Bangla Herald

British citizens living abroad are now eligible to register to vote in UK general elections regardless of how long they have been living outside the UK.

A new law has removed the previous 15-year time limit, said the British High Commission in Dhaka today (29 May).

Supporting the awareness raising campaign of the UK’s Electoral Commission, the British High Commission Dhaka is calling on British citizens living in Bangladesh to check if they are eligible.

The Commission is the independent and impartial organisation that oversees elections in the UK.

Those who have previously lived in or been registered to vote in the UK now have the right to vote in UK parliament elections. They can register online at www.gov.uk/registertovote and will need to confirm their personal information every three years.

Anyone on a UK electoral register is also considered a permissible donor to UK political parties and campaigners.

British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Sarah Cooke, said, “A change in UK law means that more British citizens living abroad are now eligible to vote in UK Parliament elections. It’s important that eligible people are made aware of the changes so that they can register to vote and cast a ballot when the time comes.”

“If you used to live in the UK or know anyone who did, let them know they may be able to have their say at the next UK general election. It only takes five minutes to register, and it can be done online at gov.uk/registertovote. It’s also now possible to apply online to vote by post or proxy,” she added.

Applicants will need to provide details of the address and time they were last registered or resident.

Local authorities must be able to verify an applicant’s identity and past connection to the area.

UK Parliament elections cover UK parliamentary general elections, UK parliamentary by-elections, and recall petitions. Eligibility for other types of election has not changed.

Just over 230,000 people were registered as overseas voters in the 2019 general election. Many voters living abroad choose to apply for absent votes.

Applications to vote by post or proxy in Great Britain can now also be done online.

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