Running electoral registration - England

Transitional arrangements for overseas electors

The commencement of The Representation of the People (Overseas Electors) (Amendment) Regulations 2023 will take place on 16 January 2024. 

In addition to the expansion of the franchise for British citizens living overseas and changes to eligibility conditions, the new provisions also change the renewal cycle for overseas electors. 

Following commencement, transitional arrangements will be in place to cover the change to the renewal cycle from every 12 months to every 3 years for existing overseas electors. 

You should ensure that applications and renewals received while the transitional arrangements are in place are date stamped to enable you to tell when an overseas elector application or renewal has been received. Overseas elector applications made online will be electronically dated and time-stamped when received into the ERO Portal (EROP). You should date stamp paper applications upon receipt so that you have an audit trail of which applications were received.

This will enable you to process the application or renewal in line with the guidance contained in this section.

Existing electors due for renewal close to commencement on 16 January 2024

Overseas electors who remain registered under the previous rules and whose declaration will expire after the new provisions commence will be able to renew using either a new-style renewal application form or an old-style full application form.

An old-style renewal form will not contain all the necessary information to enable the application to be processed if it is received after the commencement of the new regulations and must be rejected. 

A new-style renewal form cannot be processed until after the commencement of the new provisions. 

As such you may decide to send full old-style application forms to existing overseas electors who are due for renewal close to the commencement date to ensure you can process their renewal application without delay regardless of whether it is received back before or after the commencement of the new regulations.

New applications to register received but not determined before commencement on 16 January 2024 

Any outstanding old-style application to register forms or renewals from overseas electors which have been received by you before 16 January 2024 but have not yet been determined will continue to have a 12-month expiry period. Only applications received after 16 January 2024 will be on the 3-year renewal cycle.

Overseas electors with existing postal votes

Postal voting arrangements in place for overseas electors made before the 31 October 2023 will end no later than the period of registration remaining on their existing declaration (which will not exceed 12 months). You will need to contact the elector before their declaration expires to advise them that they will need to reapply for a postal vote. Our guidance on Absent vote applications made outside of the overseas elector renewal cycle has more information.

Overseas electors with existing proxy votes

Proxy vote arrangements made before 31 October 2023 for all electors - including overseas electors - will be revoked on 31 January 2024. All electors will need to reapply for a proxy voting arrangement before this date.

Diweddarwyd ddiwethaf: 13 Rhagfyr 2023