Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Overseas voters debate

On 2 March 2011, Tory peer Viscount Astor tabled a short debate on voting arrangements in place for British citizens living abroad and members of the armed forces.

British citizens living abroad can vote in general and EU elections for up to 15 years, so long as they are registered.

Armed forces members serving abroad can register as a service voter, as can their husbands, wives or civil partners.

They must renew their service declaration every three years.

Soldiers may also vote by proxy, through a family member residing in the UK.

Around 65% of the 9,500 troops in Afghanistan during the 2010 election were registered to vote.

But voting arrangements in place for those living abroad have faced criticism for being too complicated.

Individuals have to register with the UK constituency where they last lived, prove that they lived there, and provide a witness declaration.

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