Has your UK postal vote come with right envelope?

Some Britons in France have received envelopes for return of postal voting ballots franked for UK, not international, postage

Some Britons in France intending to vote by post have received the wrong envelopes for return of ballots, with just over a week to go before the UK’s general election, Connexion has been told.

A reader has forwarded the image shown above of a pre-franked first class envelope that one Briton in Oise received for use as their ‘envelope B’ (return envelope) – this is not correct for posting in France and may arrive too late for the election, or not at all.

Pre-franked envelopes for sending in France should say on them Réponse payée – Grande-Bretagne, and be marked ‘By airmail’ or ‘Par avion’. 

An example of a correctly-franked envelope

The envelope must also include the country name at the end of the address (preferably in French, eg. Royaume-Uni or Angleterre etc.. as appropriate).

This is an issue which has occurred in previous elections with regard to certain UK councils’ electoral services.

If you are affected this time, please let us know including a photo of the envelope you received, if possible.

You can email us at news@connexionfrance.com.

In the meantime if you have received a reply envelope with the wrong franking on it we would advise immediately taking it to your post office to pay for appropriate postage to the UK; also if necessary amend the address in pen.

It is important to send back ballots as soon as possible, and it is also urgent if you have not received one yet, and are expecting one, that you contact your former UK council’s electoral services office to tell them this and to ask if they have a solution. In the past some councils have said that it may be possible to arrange an emergency proxy vote if all else fails.

The issue does not arise if you have already arranged for a proxy to vote for you in your former UK constituency, as has been recommended by campaign groups for Britons abroad in the EU and the UK’s Electoral Commission as being a more reliable way to ensure your vote counts, especially due to the volume of Christmas post in the UK at this time of year. 

Today at 18.00 French time is the last time to request a proxy vote, however the closing date was November 26 if you were changing or cancelling an existing proxy, postal or proxy postal vote.

A similar problem that has sometimes occured in past elections or the Brexit referendum is UK councils posting out postal ballots with incorrect postage for France, causing them to arrive too late for people to send ballots back.

Previous articles

Group offers last-minute help to find a proxy 

Time running out for proxy vote in election 

Wrong postage on ballot packs [2015 article] 

Ballots late around world [2015] 

UK postal ballots arrive late or not at all [2019 EU elections] 

Low-cost post meant papers came too late [May 2019]

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