Voter who has lived abroad for over 60 years able to cast ballot in General Election

The voter has lived abroad for over 60 years but can still cast their ballot
-Credit: (Image: Getty)

An overseas resident who has not lived in the UK for over 60 years will be able to vote in the General Election.

A recent change in legislation means British citizens who have been living abroad for more than 15 years are now eligible to vote.

The unnamed person, who has not lived in the country since the 1950s, will cast their ballot in one of the north-east Scotland constituencies.

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Changes in legislation for overseas voters were brought up at a recent meeting of the Grampian Valuation Joint Board.

Principal administrative officer Linda Smith told members there was an immediate surge of applications in January when the changes came in. And staff have now become proficient in dealing with applications.

Since the General Election was announced, full-time staff have worked in excess of 1,000 additional hours to make sure things are in place for Thursday’s ballot.

And the Grampian Electoral Office has sent out more than 27,000 emails to those wanting to register to vote.

Electoral registration officer Mark Adam said: “Since the General Election was announced I’ve authorised in excess of 1,000 hours of overtime to the admin staff.

“Some were getting on for 60, 70, 80 and 90 hours over the period.

“And that doesn’t include part-time staff who have increased their hours to help us out.

“In addition we’ve issued … over 27,000 emails in response to contact from the electorate, registering to vote or applying for a postal vote.

“That’s simply the amount we’ve sent by email, the amount on paper is likely to be in excess of that as well.”

In relation to overseas requests he said: “We’ve had someone who last lived in the UK in the 1950s registering to vote.

“That just shows the interest from overseas electors to be able to vote at UK elections.”

Applicants living abroad must apply on the grounds of either previously being on the electoral register or a former resident at an address in the UK.

Board convener Donald Gatt praised staff for their efforts in making sure the election process runs smoothly.