Changes in elections law for ex-pats

Former Dudley borough residents who now live abroad could have more opportunity to vote in parliamentary elections under changes to the law.

Up to now, people living abroad would have to prove they lived in Dudley borough within the past 15 years to vote for Dudley borough members of parliament.

A new law has dispensed with the 15-year rule which means more people now living abroad could have the right to vote in general elections.

People living abroad are being urged to check their eligibility online.

People can register online and will need to confirm their personal information every three years. 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. More information is available on the Electoral Commission’s website .

These changes apply to UK Parliament elections covers UK parliamentary general elections, UK parliamentary by-elections and recall petitions only, and is part of the UK Government’s Election Act, passed in 2022. Just over 230,000 people nationally were registered as overseas voters at 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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