What you need to know about voting in the EU elections


What is the election?

You can vote for members of the European Parliament, the body which decides EU law which then applies in Sweden and other countries in the bloc.

There are currently 751 members of the EU Parliament, including 20 from Sweden – the number of MEPs from each country is decided based on population size.

The elections take place between Thursday, May 23rd, and Sunday, May 26th, depending on what country you are in. Preliminary results are expected to be announced later that night.

In Sweden, voting day is Sunday, May 26th, and polling stations will be open between 8am and 8pm.

READ ALSO: Swedish ballot-casting not secret enough, OSCE report says

Am I eligible to vote in Sweden?

There are three categories of people who are eligible to vote in Sweden for the European elections.

All Swedish citizens who are aged at least 18 on election day and who are either currently resident in Sweden or have previously been registered resident in Sweden, are eligible.

You can also vote if you're a citizen of another EU country, aged at least 18 on election day, and registered as resident in Sweden at least 30 days before the election, as long as you do not also intend to vote in your home country. If you have a personnummer, you are registered as resident.

In this case, you need to submit a request to be included on the electoral roll (using this form) and if you do this, you can't vote in any other member state in this election. You need to be registered to vote in Sweden by April 26th in order to vote in these elections.


Am I eligible to vote in my home country?

If you are a citizen of another EU country and have not registered to be on the electoral roll in Sweden, you are usually eligible to vote in your home country.

In some cases, you may be eligible to vote only in your home country and not in Sweden. For example, in Austria, the voting age is 16 and in Greece it is 17. And a few countries (the Czech Republic, Ireland, Malta and Slovakia) limit voting rights to citizens who have moved overseas, so you may not be eligible to vote there. Other countries may have time limits on how long you can live overseas and continue to vote in your home country. The safest thing to do if you want to vote in your home country is check with your embassy whether you're eligible.

Voting cards in Sundbyberg, north of Stockholm in the 2014 EU election. Photo: Pontus Lundahl / TT

If you are eligible and choose to vote in your home country rather than in Sweden, you will need to be registered to vote with the authorities in your home country (make sure to check if you need to re-register). Make sure to do this before the registration deadline, which differs from country to country.

You will likely be able to cast your vote by post, proxy, or at an embassy or consulate in Sweden. You should also ensure you have been removed from the electoral roll in Sweden, if you've previously been included on it – to do that, fill out this form.

Again, remember you can only vote in one country.

What about Brits?

The UK was not scheduled to participate in EU elections because of the previously scheduled date of Brexit on March 29th. However, the UK and EU have now agreed on an extension and Britain remains a member of the bloc until October 31st, meaning it's legally obligated to take part in the elections unless a deal is reached before they take place.

The UK is expected to confirm its participation in the elections on Monday, April 15th, since this is the deadline for election notices to be published in the UK. If the UK does take part, Brits in Sweden will be able to choose whether to vote in Sweden or the UK. This applies only to Brits who have lived overseas less than 15 years.

However, the UK might decide to avoid participating by instead focusing on agreeing a withdrawal deal before the election date. If this is the case, Brits in Sweden will be able to vote in the Swedish EU election only if they have citizenship in Sweden or another EU country.

In order to be able to vote in the elections if the UK does take part, you need to register to vote there by May 7th, if you're not already on the electoral roll (you don't need to re-register for every election). You can do that Read More – Source