British expats around the world have complained that they’ve not received their ballot papers in time for their postal votes to count in Thursday’s general election. Reports from as far afield as France, Brazil and the United States emerged this week of the problem, which has left expats “damn cheesed off” according to one campaigner. Brian Cave, 82, who has lived in south eastern France for 17 years, runs a blog focusing on expat voting rights.
He said: “There is prima facie evidence accumulating that large numbers of citizens abroad have not received any ballot papers for the election. They are disenfranchised. The electoral registration officers in various constituencies have not sent out the papers in time so that they can be returned in good time before May 7.”
Mr Cave said this amounted to “gross incompetence” and suggested: “If the numbers of voters who complain that they were unable to vote because of this management error exceed the margin by which the supposed ‘winner’ gained the seat, then the election should be declared void and rerun.”
He said he’s received 17 complaints from as far afield as Germany and Rio de Janeiro, affecting UK constituencies from North Yorkshire to Surrey. Expats are able to vote in their old UK constituency.