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Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 10:58 UK

Election 2010: Overseas voters 'denied ballots'

Hundreds of UK voters living overseas have been contacting BBC News to complain that they were denied the chance to vote. Below is a selection of their stories. Send us your comments.

Read our Q&A about the voting issues here .

Alyx Dow, Singapore
Alyx Dow says many in Singapore did not receive postal ballots

Both my fiance and I live in Singapore and we are registered in Streatham - but neither of us were allowed to vote.

Despite getting our request into our council well in advance of the deadline, we still haven't received our postal votes.

I've seen forum posts from other expats here in Singapore who are also wondering where their voting forms are.

I wonder how many thousands of overseas voters are wondering why their voices can't be heard?

I am incredibly frustrated. I checked online and it said my ballot should have arrived a week ago. Every day since I have been checking my letter box - and every day, nothing.

I did all the proper preparation and I have been denied my vote.

James Schuldenfrei, Paris
James Schuldenfrei struggled to vote from Paris after his form was lost

We spent weeks waiting for a postal vote to arrive here at in Paris, only to find out that it arrived at my old address in the UK.

Apparently, unlike every other country, the UK doesn't allow its citizens abroad to just go and vote at the embassy, but prefers to rely on the risky postal system.

My ballot paper never arrived so I managed, after to speaking to supervisor after supervisor, to organise a last minute proxy vote - with my mother in the UK. However, when my proxy went to vote they were turned away.

Eventually, after several phone calls between bureaucrats, they found my form, so my proxy was finally allowed to vote.

Often the ballot papers do not arrive enough in advance for them to get back to the UK in time. The system is totally unworkable and is depriving many British citizens of their right to vote on account of a technicality. I'm sure I'm not the only one affected in this way.

I'm very disappointed. I felt as if I was being denied my right to vote.


I am British, and missed my chance to proxy vote, as the British embassies overseas do not publish information about overseas voters' rights to vote or the deadlines. I believe embassies should take on the work and become polling stations to allow overseas Brits to vote. Watching from overseas, my heart goes out to all those who have been denied their democratic right to vote in the election. I would urge anyone to voice the opinion that with so many voters denied the right to vote the election result should not stand, and another election should be held with correct staffing levels to meet the demand.
Louise Davies, Singapore

I am a British soldier posted in North America and registered as a postal voter. I received my local election polling card on Thursday morning and have still not received my polling card for the national election. I have been denied my vote and I strongly suspect that the literally thousands of other soldiers posted abroad, including those on operations at the moment, will also not have been able to cast their vote. Good news for Labour as the armed forces traditionally vote Tory. Ironic that those people who risk their lives to protect our right to determine our government, have that right taken away from them.
Ed, HM Forces, USA

I am working abroad at the moment and I always vote, so I registered as an overseas voter by proxy. Even though I rang up my home council and the British embassy here in Egypt to check what I needed to do, it took them until Wednesday 5 May to tell me there was a problem with my forms as I was no longer registered to vote at my home address and I would not be allowed to vote. Yet there was nothing on the website that I could see that said I need to be registered to vote in the UK as well as overseas and as a proxy voter.
Leila, Egypt

It's a scandal that so many people seem to have been disenfranchised by being locked out. My wife and I live in France and applied to vote in plenty of time. I telephoned our UK electoral registration office in Barnet and was told we were registered and that election papers had gone out over a week ago. We have still not received ballot papers and are disenfranchised. Very unsatisfactory electoral situation. There are a large number of British citizens in this area and talking to a few it would seem we are not alone in not having received any polling papers.
Colin Morley, France

In a quick survey of friends in Geneva we find that only one of seven friends who submitted the relevant forms in time to meet deadlines have actually been able to vote. Proxies have not been permitted at polling stations and postal voting forms have simply not been provided. We are disenfranchised without explanation.
Alan Kikuchi-White, Geneva

I am in the army posted to Germany and vote by proxy. When my proxy went to vote for my wife and me for Luton North she was told we were not on the list and was told they would ring the council to find out more and would call her back. After waiting to be called and my wife and I worrying that we would be unable to have our say in our first general election it transpired that we had done everything correctly on our end but the council had made a mistake and not put us on the list.

In the end they allowed our proxy to place our votes as we had done everything correctly and it was the council who were in the wrong and had messed up. Apparently this seemed to be the case for a lot of people in Luton,a As many of my friends who live in Luton who have registered recently have been involved in confusing situations which have stopped them from voting. I can't help wondering just how many people have been affected by this.
Chris, Germany

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