Voting Rights and long distance ballots

Pancake

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Curious what the voting regulations are in your countries for those living out of the country of their citizenship. Can Citizens of your country who live elsewhere vote in your National, regional or municipal elections? Are there any stipulations to that (eg: length of time they’ve been gone, property ownership, applying for Citizenship in another country, etc). Also, for those countries that allow it, how do they determine which riding those votes apply to or which Candidates are on their ballot? Is it based on their last address when they lived in the country?

I ask because Canada is making some changes to their rules and I realize I don’t really know much about what other countries do.

Edit to add. Yes, I know I could google it, but I thought this might be an interesting opportunity to make use of our multinational community. When previous comments about VVO being US centric came up, some suggested they would like opportunities to learn more about other countries so when this came up, I figured I’d toss this question here for the benefit of anyone like me who also might not know. Real answers from real people in their own words often provide more context to me about how people feel about things than a wiki link.
 
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Chin Rey

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Can Citizens of your country who live elsewhere vote in your National, regional or municipal elections
I'm Norwegian and here the answer is yes, they can. You can vote in advance at any voting station in Norway, at any Norwegian embassy or consulate abroad and also at several other locations internationally. If you are unable to get to any voting station at all, you can ask them to come home to you and collect your vote.


Also, for those countries that allow it, how do they determine which riding those votes apply to or which Candidates are on their ballot? Is it based on their last address when they lived in the country?
Something like that, yes.
 
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Sid

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Can Citizens of your country who live elsewhere vote in your National, regional or municipal elections? Are there any stipulations to that (eg: length of time they’ve been gone, property ownership, applying for Citizenship in another country, etc).
Here in the Netherlands there is a mandatory registration of the adress where you live in the country and the date of birth, marriage, devorce, and date of death (when reached that point in life of course). These data are used for things like optaining ID cards, passports, paying taxes and these data are used to send you the required voting pass. For every election you get a new voting pass in your mail.
At the polling station you need the voting pass plus your ID card, drivers licence or passport to identify that you are the person mentioned on the voters pass.

In The Netherlands everyone with the Dutch nationality can vote for national elections.
If you live outside the country and you still want to vote you have to register at a special registery office in The Hague. Then it is possible to vote by mail.

For regional votes you have to have the Dutch nationality and live in the region to be able to vote.

For municipal elections eeverybody who lives in that community longer than 5 years can vote, no matter what nationality. Everybody with a Dutch nationality can vote if they are registered in that community on the day of election.

For the elections for the European parliament you have to be a citizen of the EU. I don't know if voting by mail is possible in this case.

In the Netherlands voting is a right, not mandatory (like for instance in Belgium).
For all elections the minimum age to vote is 18 years.
 

Bea McMahon

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As many of you may know, voting policies in the U.S. are determined at the state level. That makes things complex to start with.
Things get even more complicated when you add in the facts that low turnouts traditionally favor the Republican party, and the unpopularity of the policies supported by that party. Along with racism, that has resulted in efforts to make it more difficult to vote.
Here in Michigan, a lot of that has been going on the past few years. In November, we elected a voting rights activist to be the Secretary of State, whose duties include matters related to voting. We also overwhelmingly passed an initiative, adding eight voting protections to our Constitution, including one making it easier to vote absentee. Before, you had to fit into one of several categories before you could vote with an absentee ballot, which allows you to vote without going to your assigned voting place.
I know it is possible to vote absentee if you are living out of the U.S., but I have no idea how that works - again, it will depend on the policies of the state of residence.
 

Archer

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I don't know of any states in the US that allow non-citizens to vote, and in fact you have to be registered as a resident of that state and local precinct to vote in each election. Some places have requirements that you vote at least every 2 years or so to maintain active status. You don't have to be present on election day to vote in most places, but some states require a "valid" reason to vote absentee. In many places, absentee ballots are only counted if the vote tally is close enough that those votes might affect the outcome. And here in North Caroline, there is a huge controversy with a local candidate actually paying someone to go around collecting absentee ballots and either destroying them or filling them in with his own name.
 

Pancake

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Thanks everyone.

Previously Canadians living abroad could vote in National Elections if they had been away less than 5 years and stated their intention to return one day. A new bill proposes removing both those restrictions and there is a bit of controversy over it.

Personally I don’t know that it’s necessary, but I’m not opposed to. I don’t think there are enough Canadians living abroad for more than 5 years who still want to vote to make a difference, so it took me by surprise to have it added but I don’t see any harm.

The other part of the bill includes limiting individual and organizational campaign donations to $70,000, and limiting the preelection campaign period to 50 days, both will have bigger impact than the absentee ballot part.

ETA also new regulations about campaign ads, including limiting falsehoods and inaccuracies. Going to be interesting to see how that’s interpreted and enforced.
 
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Pancake

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Sid are there critics of allowing non Citizens to vote in municipal elections in your country? I can imagine our small, but vocal, anti immigration groups glomping on to something like that.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Myficals

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Australians retain eligibility for 6 years after moving overseas. Longer than that requires that inform the Electoral Commission so they can remove you from the rolls. As for the actual vote itself, postal options are available, or you can vote at Embassies, High Commissions and what not.

Of course, on top of the standard complications, there's the added wrinkle that voting is normally a legal requirement for Australian citizens. If you are travelling or based overseas, you can get dispensations, but you do have to actively seek them out, otherwise, you can get fined (of course a lot of folks do see the $50aud fine as an acceptable tax on non-voting)
 

Sid

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Sid are there critics of allowing non Citizens to vote in municipal elections in your country? I can imagine our small, but vocal, anti immigration groups glomping on to something like that.
We have this rule for many years already. If we had to implement it now, there would be critical voices over here as well, I guess.
On the other hand, when you live 5 years legally in our country you can apply for the Dutch nationality and vote for everything from there on.

Rotterdam has a mayor with a double nationality: he is Dutch and Moroccan. His appointment (we don't choose our mayors they are appointed) was not well received by our far right creep Geert Wilders and his followers.
But point is, one can not give up the Moroccan nationality. It is against Moroccan laws. And it would be a bad form of discrimination if he could not become a mayor because of that.
 
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Lori Claremont

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I'm honestly not sure how the Canadian government can get around the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 3, which reads:

3. Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

That doesn't say "if they remain in Canada" or "if they intend to return to Canada", it's also not subject to the Notwithstanding Clause...