Brit expats in France losing chance to vote again

Published:  22 May at 6 PM
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Expats living in France are afraid their EU election postal votes won’t be counted.

Due to the political instability all too common nowadays, interest in the EU MEP election amongst expats living overseas has received a boost, but many now fear their postal votes won’t count. The problem seems to have been due to a bad choice of postal service by councils looking to save money on the UK Royal Mail’s costs. BBC coverage of the issue uncovered that voting papers were being sent by the Adare postal service to British expats in France by way of the Netherlands, meaning a good number arrived too late.

The issue is significant to British overseas voters who experienced the same problems during the Brexit referendum, and is causing anger due to the vote’s close connection with the seemingly never-ending Brexit debate. Those who feel strongly enough have the option to travel back to their UK constituency and attempt to vote in person, but for many expat retirees there are costs and health issues to consider.

According to independent media reports, hundreds of British expats in France are likely to have been affected, with one retiree saying she received her voting paper last Friday, filled it in immediately and attempted to re-post it to the given address for Calderdale Council. She was told by the local postal service there was no chance of it arriving in time. Her husband’s voting paper never arrived, leaving the couple unable to make their choice known.

Another Briton told reporters her voting paper had taken 16 days to reach her, adding that a friend has flown back to the UK with his and his entire family’s emergency proxy votes simply to ensure they have a voice in the crucial vote. Many Brits living in France are now calling for an investigation and accountability for the entire mess.
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