"Make Armed Forces votes count" says Kirsty Williams

April 19, 2011 2:56 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Kirsty Williams, is calling for votes received from Armed Forces personnel to be treated with urgency in the Welsh General Election and AV referendum on 5 May. In the 2010 general election only 564 votes were received from British military personnel in Afghanistan, even though nearly 10,000 were able to vote.

For the Welsh General Election and fairer votes referendum on May 5th, the Ministry of Defence, the Cabinet Office and the Electoral Commission are putting in place an initiative to facilitate the participation of Armed Forces personnel in Afghanistan by utilising existing supply flights to transport postal ballot packs. In other overseas locations, the British Forces Post Office (BFPO) has undertaken to treat all elections mail for overseas military locations as a priority.

Kirsty Williams said:

"British military personnel must have a say in the Welsh General Election and in the fairer votes referendum.

"Though I'm pleased the MoD is making the effort to prioritise postal votes, it's up to local Councils to make sure those votes are counted. I urge Returning Officers everywhere to process the postal and proxy votes of Armed Forces personnel quickly."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

In the 2010 general election, 294 proxy voting applications and 270 postal votes were received from the armed forces serving in Afghanistan.

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