The UK goes to the polls on Thursday for the European elections – ahead of France where voting will take place on Sunday.
But hundreds of British people living in France have reported problems with the postal voting system.
Widespread problems have been reported with the postal voting system. Photo: AFP
Many people say that their postal votes have either not arrived, or arrived so late that they will not make it back to the UK in time for the deadline – which is 10pm on Thursday.
Although it may be too late, people concerned about their vote have been advised that it may be possible to register for an emergency proxy vote.
Normally voters must register in advance for either a postal vote or a proxy vote – where you ask a friend or family member to cast your vote on your behalf – and you can only register for one.
However there is an option to get a last-minute proxy vote which is usually used if an emergency or illness prevents a person from getting to the polling station.
Because of the widely reported problems with the postal system, it is understood that some local authorities will extend emergency proxies to people living overseas.
Kalba Meadow of citizens rights group Remain in France Together (RIFT) posted online that her MEP had told her: “You could call them and ask for an emergency proxy vote. Some local authorities are allowing it.”
The emergency proxy vote can only be authorised by the local council where you are already registered to vote.
You will need to have your proxy arranged and they will have to go to your polling station to vote in the constituency where you are registered.
As polling day got underway in the UK there were widely reported voting problems for both British people living overseas and EU nationals living in the UK and the hashtag #deniedmyvote was trending on Twitter.
The British Electoral Commission told the BBC that it has no involvement in postal votes, but advised people affected to contact their local council.
You can find out more about proxy votes here.