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Servicemen set to miss out on election warns Farron

February 24, 2010 12:00 AM

Changes to voting rules which would ensure local servicemen and women from South Lakeland serving abroad have the opportunity to vote in the forthcoming General Election are required urgently, according to local MP Tim Farron.

Current regulations mean that there are only 11 days in which postal ballots can be printed, dispatched and returned in order for them to be included in constituency counts. Mr Farron is concerned that this could leave thousands of people serving in the armed forces overseas unable to register their vote. Tim is backing a Liberal Democrat motion calling for the General Election timetable to be brought into line with that for local elections, where candidates are nominated 16 days before polling day. It is hoped that this change would help ease logistical difficulties. Tim has been an active campaigner on forces issues for many years and last month signed up to the Royal Legion's pledge to "do his bit" for veterans.

Commenting, Mr Farron said:

'The men and women of our armed forces serving overseas risk their lives on a daily basis. It is only proper that they should be able to exercise the democratic rights that they are fighting to protect.

'The Government has asked more and more of our service personnel for many years. Changing election rules so that forces votes can be counted is the least that Ministers can do to recognise the sacrifices they make on our behalf.'