Letters: A proxy vote is the answer for Brits in France

Connexion reader says it is unlikely their vote will be returned in time through the post 

Friends can cast your cote for you if you choose to vote by proxy

To the Editor,

I write regarding Christopher Bond’s letter in the June issue, asking whether the letter that he and his wife had received concerning UK postal voting amounted to still trying to deny expats the right to vote.

The answer is quite simply, no.

We received a similar letter from our electoral office based on our last address in the UK, who informed us politely that due to the vagaries of the postal services, on both side of the Channel, that postal voting was risky, and the time delays possibly made it an unwise choice.

Read more: Britons in France can vote in July 4 UK election - here is how

They suggested that we use the government website link, and appoint a proxy voter from old friends who still live in the area.

This we did, and have now been sent a confirmation of our chosen friends being legally able to vote on our behalf.

Vance Whittall, Charente-Maritime

After hearing that the election was to take place on 4th July 2024, and not having lost my vote in the UK, I thought I would be able to cast my vote without any problem.

However, on May 29, I received an email from Havant Council Electoral Services, telling me it was unlikely I would be able to return my vote in time, as the forms would not be sent out until June 13.

The email recommended that I should find someone in UK to vote for me by proxy.

I have lived in France for nine years now, have no family in UK, and now do not know anyone in the borough of Havant who can do this for me. All I can do is await the arrival of the form, and rush it to the Post Office as soon as possible, in the hope that it might arrive in time to be counted.

Now I think I know why Sunak was smiling when he announced the early date for the election.

How many people like myself will now not be able to cast their votes?

I think it is a disgrace that I and others have effectively been disenfranchised for the coming election.

Tony Silsby, Charente

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