Overseas Voters Bill (HC Bill 49)




Make provision to facilitate an increase in the registration of voters resident
overseas who are eligible to participate in United Kingdom Parliamentary
elections; to extend the criteria for eligibility to register as an overseas voter
and to enable those registered as overseas voters to cast their votes through
use of the internet; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Duty to facilitate participation of electors resident overseas

It shall be the duty of the Electoral Commission so far as is reasonably
practicable to—

(a) identify the names and addresses of British citizens resident overseas
5who would be able to participate in United Kingdom Parliamentary
elections if they were registered to vote, and

(b) facilitate the registration of those identified in paragraph (a).

2 Criteria for eligibility to register as an overseas voter

There shall be no restriction placed upon the eligibility of a British citizen
10resident overseas to register to vote or vote in UK Parliamentary elections
based solely upon the length of time that such voter has been resident overseas.

3 Internet voting

(1) The Secretary of State shall bring forward regulations to enable British citizens
resident overseas who are duly registered on the electoral register to
15participate in UK Parliamentary elections to cast their votes through the use of
the internet.

(2) The regulations under subsection (1) above shall include provisions to prevent
identity fraud and to ensure that only those eligible to vote can vote.

Overseas Voters BillPage 2

(3) Regulations under this section shall be made by statutory instrument and may
not be made unless a draft of the regulations has been laid before, and
approved by, a resolution of each House of Parliament.

4 Commencement, extent and short title

(1) 5This Act shall commence on the day on which it receives Royal Assent.

(2) This Act extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

(3) This Act may be cited as the Overseas Voters Act 2015.