The Electoral Commission has reported to the Parliamentary Parties Panel (PPP) on 20th November, 2013 the results of a consultation into boosting the registration of overseas electors. As a potential overseas voter (not disqualified by the 15-year-rule), shouldn’t you make sure that you are already registered to vote via the Electoral Commission website: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk?
To get the 15-year-rule removed, it is critical to our campaign to get the overseas voter registration rate up above 100,000 (compared with the current 30,000 which is equivalent to less than half of an average constituency).
Electoral Commission report to PPP
We [the Electoral Commission] have been working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and political parties to develop our approach, which is set out below.
We will run an online registration campaign targeting British citizens living overseas in the countries with the highest number of British expats (Australia, USA, Spain, Canada, Ireland, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, and the UAE – we’re reviewing the list now with the FCO).
Our previous campaigns have shown that online advertising is a cost-efficient way of reaching British citizens living overseas. Based on this, we will advertise on specific websites that we know are commonly used by British citizens overseas, such as the BBC and the websites of British newspapers.
Our campaign will also include advertising that is triggered in response to people using Google search terms that indicate an interest in UK elections, and advertising aimed at people who originally set up email accounts in the UK but are now accessing them overseas.
We will also look at creating non-date specific radio adverts which have a long life span and can be played when required by overseas radio stations aimed at expats, such as Talk Radio Europe.
We will be providing a range of online resources for parties, consulates and embassies and others with links to the expat community to use. We will be organising an overseas ‘registration day’ to encourage voters to take action and aiming press releases/interviews/articles and blogs at media frequently consumed by the expat community. We will begin the campaign in mid-February to allow more time for the partnership work to deliver results and to take account of the additional time overseas voters will need to post forms to the UK.