Today (4 February 2016) is Overseas Voter Registration Day which is a day on which voter registration amongst UK nationals living overseas is encouraged, led by the UK Electoral Commission and supported by expat community hubs and embassies and consulates from around the world.
In the 2015 General Election, the highest number of overseas voters were registered. The 106,000 overseas electors on the register was three times the number that were on the register ahead of the previous general election in 2010.
How British citizens living in Kenya can register to vote in UK elections
UK nationals who have been registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years can register as an overseas elector, to be able to vote in UK Parliamentary General Elections, UK-wide referendums, and European Parliamentary elections.
To remain eligible to vote, you have to sign an annual declaration once you are registered to renew your registration every year.
So if you were registered to vote for the 2015 General Election you will have to renew your registration with your local Electoral Registration Officer in the UK or register again.
You can apply to register to vote in five minutes at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
In order to register, you will need to know your National Insurance number and date of birth, and have your passport to hand if you have one. If you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still register, but you may have to supply more information to prove who you are.
If you can’t or don’t want to register online, you can still download and post back paper forms. But remember to return your completed form as far in advance of the deadline as possible. The actual deadlines for registering to vote and applying for an absent vote will be set once the date of the referendum is known.
You can choose how you wish to vote, either by post, by proxy (voting by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf), or even in person at your polling station.
Although the date of the European referendum has not yet been confirmed, it’s advised that those wishing to vote register sooner rather than later, so you can be sure you’re registered in time.
It is important to remember if you are not registered you can’t vote in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union when it takes place.