01 November 2006

Becoming Registered To Vote From Abroad

Last Friday I had a meal with the Chairman of Prague Conservatives James Woolf. James is a long-standing resident of Prague and a big mover and shaker in Czech business circles. Based on our chat, I reckon that if he had the time or inclination he could put together a "Big Red Book Of Czech Sleaze" to put the "Little Red Book Of Labour Sleaze" into the shade.

I'm weighing up what role I should take in the Czech branch. Social secretary and membership co-ordinator match my interests.

We discussed the low numbers of expats registered to vote and agreed that one of the most important roles of our branch is to boost these numbers. Anyway, even though I may well be in the UK by the time the next election comes around, I've decided to make a move and register, so that I can help others if they are struggling. Please see this link in my sidebar for government guidance. I'll let you know how I get on, later.

7 comments:

istanbultory said...

Yup, register to vote and encourage as many Brits in Prague as possible to do likewise. I have been registered as an overseas voter in Turkey since 2001. I am certainly one of the few here to have done so. The only difficulty is making sure that you remember to re-register every year. I along with several other Tories in Turkey are looking to mobilise the expat community on the issue. But the level of apathy is intense ....We are also working on the first ever Conservatives Abroad branch in Turkey towards the end of 2006.

Praguetory said...

Great news re the branch, but I wasn't aware of the annual re-registering requirement (I've never heard of that). My main concern is that if I get people registered now, they'll forget to inform the authorities when they move address. By the way are you registered on the Conservatives Abroad website? There's a bloke on the forums who wants to start an Ankara branch of CA - I gave him your website and suggested he get in touch.

istanbultory said...

The council where you were last registered will (or is supposed to)
send you a registration form every year. But they forget, we forget, people move, go back to the UK. It simply isn't that easy to keep re-registering...

Praguetory said...

That isn't my understanding of what needs to happen -I'm going to send a note to the Electoral Commission(info@electoralcommission.org.uk)on this as it would be a factor in our campaigning approach. Anyway, as promised I will do another post when I get things sorted.

Ellee said...

Good advice there from istanbultory, James Woolf sounds an interesting man. Good to hear he is planning his own Big Red Book.

Praguetory said...

Given that Czech is a small country (and people have been forced to leave the country for saying the wrong things) I doubt that James or anyone in his position would have the inclination to put a book together, but as someone with less to lose I think I have not been vocal enough about Czech sleaze and promise to start talking about it more.

Damon said...

Coming into this a bit late, but I tried to register to vote long-distance when living in the far east in 1999. The British Embassy advised it would be difficult to register, as it would take too long for my home UK council to post the ballot paper to me and for me to then return it before the dealine. Getting a postal vote seemed too much bother and it was the only time I did not vote, and that was for the local council elections.