Moving soon – (how) can I vote in the EU Parliament elections?

31 posts in this topic

I currently live in Darmstadt but will be moving to Vienna on 14 March.  I'm an EU citizen (of neither Germany nor Austria) and want to vote in the upcoming EU Parliament elections.

 

The problem is that in Vienna, the deadline for voter registration is 12 March, so I won't be able to register to vote as an Austrian resident.  Even though I won't be living in Germany on the date of the election, would I still be able to vote as a German resident, perhaps with an advance or postal ballot?  I tried looking online and while I found some information on postal ballots (Briefwahl), I didn't find out whether it would be possible to obtain and cast one after leaving the country, nor whether there was any way of voting early (i.e., before my 14 March moving date).

 

(In case anyone asks, voting in my country of citizenship is not an option as I've never been registered there and don't want to travel all the way there just to cast a ballot.)

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Some further digging turns up a schedule from the Bundeswahlleiter that says that postal ballots for the European Parliament elections will be available only from 15 March.  So it is looking increasingly likely that I will be able to vote in neither Germany nor Austria… :(

 

I also found out that my country of citizenship provides for voting by post or at the embassy, so I will look into that option.

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I sorry to say but I think that you are just unlucky this time and won't be able to vote.

If you want to vote in Germany then you still need to be living here.  If you want to vote in Austria then you need to move and register there before the deadline.

 

I had a similar problem in the past with a general election in my country.  I moved abroad at short notice and was too late to apply for postal vote, and I didn't want to fly home to physically vote, so I missed out.  Just bad luck.

 

BTW:  It might still be possible for you to vote in your home country.  Although you might never have been on the electoral register you are still a citizen of that country, so you should contact them and see what they say.  You don't have to physically go there to vote as you can do a postal vote.  But normally the deadline to register is earlier than that for physical voting, so you need to be quick.

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Hmm, can you send in your application for voter registration in Austria now and just fill in Box 33 (Date) with 14th March?

That way you applied before the deadline but didn't put any false information on the application?

It might not get accepted but it's probably the easiest one to try.

 

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2 hours ago, pappnase said:

Hmm, can you send in your application for voter registration in Austria now and just fill in Box 33 (Date) with 14th March?

 

It seems not.  I wrote to the voter registration office in Vienna and got the following answer:

 

Quote

die Eintragung in die Europa-Wählerevidenz ist nur möglich, wenn Sie bereits eine Hauptwohnsitzmeldung in Österreich haben.
Diese ist laut Meldegesetz erst möglich, sobald Sie Ihren Wohnsitz in Österreich tatsächlich bezogen haben. Um sich anzumelden benötigen Sie ein vollständig ausgefülltes und unterschriebenes Meldezettel-Formular, sowie ein gültiges Reisedokument in Original, welche der Meldebehörde vorgelegt werden müssen.
Da Sie erst am 15. März 2019 nach Österreich ziehen, der Stichtag für die Europa-Wahl jedoch bereits am 12. März 2019 ist, ist es uns nicht möglich, Sie in die Wählerevidenz für die diesjährige Europa-Wahl aufzunehmen.

 

Sobald Sie eine Hauptwohnsitzmeldung in Österreich haben, können Sie den Antrag für die Aufnahme in die Europa-Wählerevidenz jederzeit stellen.
Hierfür benötigen Sie den Antrag auf Eintragung in die Europa-Wählerevidenz und das Europa-Wähleranlageblatt, sowie ein gültiges Reisedokument.
Sollte der Antrag allerdings erst nach dem 12. März 2019 bei uns einlangen, gilt die Eintragung in die Europa-Wählerevidenz erst für die nächste Europa-Wahl.

 

Meanwhile, I can't find any information at all on my own country's embassy website about voting abroad.  Unless I'm overlooking something, I'd say that they are either they are too slow getting information out to voters, too incompetent to do it at all, or actively trying to prevent expats from voting.

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Normally the embassy does not deal with such things.  You need to contact the election authority in your country.

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4 minutes ago, dj_jay_smith said:

Normally the embassy does not deal with such things.  You need to contact the election authority in your country.

 

It does according to the European Parliament's summary of national electoral rules—in fact, voting abroad at embassies is listed as an option for the vast majority of EU states.  Even if the embassy is responsible only for collecting the ballot papers (as opposed to registering voters or distributing ballots), you would think that they should at least mention this on the website, and refer enquirers to the national election authority for other aspects of the voting process.

 

I was curious about this so I checked the websites of a few other countries' embassies to Germany just now and they all do contain instructions (or links to instructions) for citizens voting abroad.  My embassy seems to be the sole exception.  (Again, either that or I am dense and can't find the information there.)

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It is an highly unusual election because it runs across multiple states - so both our EU citizenship state and any different one we live in at the time.   Therefore, the process is we can choose which one of those two we are registered in and we can naturally vote by post, no need to be on the spot.   (But not one we no longer live in).

 

As it is coming round, I have heard people getting letters here (Germany, I do not think it was in DA specifically) asking are they gonna vote here or in their home state.

 

If you register in Vienna, you should be able to vote - check when you register.  I voted in an election here recently just a few days after becoming eligible.  Indeed, not only that, I ran it :lol:.  Entitlement to vote is usually pretty absolute.  From running them,  I can say we have process to add newcomers and exclude leavers (based on registration) since forms and notifications were sent.     Also worth saying that postal vote numbers are large, it is not an unusual or rare way to vote.

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Living in Berlin back the 90's I recall getting a vote in the European elections (as a registered Brit), and once again in 2004; by the next Euro election in 2009 I was living back in the UK for several years, but came back to Germany again in 2015.

 

The Brexit extension makes it looks like voting in the Europawahl here in Berlin is an option after all in May.  As I've been angemeldet for the past 3 1/2 years, my understanding is that I'll get a voting confirmation by post like everyone else; or do I need to formally apply to make absolutely sure I'm on the Wählerverzeichnis?

 

Also (in theory) I would have the choice to cast a single vote  *either* in the UK (where I am still registered for a postal vote, voted in the last UK general election) *or* in Germany. I guess the default setting is the latter, and if for whatever reason I wished to cast my Euro vote in the UK, I would have to take active steps to ensure this before the cut off date.

 

I think Brexit has addled my brain!

 

 

 

 

 

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^ 14th April the local Amts compile a list of everybody who is allowed to vote. They then send out initial voter notifications to the addresses of the voters. If you don't receive a letter by end April, you were probably not on the list/have an old address. You need to act fast. The closing date for self-registering to vote (application form) is May 5th. Soon after May 5th, they send out follow-up letters containing voting slips, and instructions.

 

NOTE: If you initially anmelded your apartment at the einwohnermeldeamt and put a cross in the box that you DON'T want your details passed on to other organisations (e.g. telephone directory, political parties) this might influence if you are included in the voters list - not sure exactly.

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As a UK national who has been living in Germany for 3 years, do I get a choice whetehr to vote in the Euro  elections in either Germany or the UK? Obviously for General Elections, there is a right for 15 years after setting up abroad to still vote in UK elections.  I still have a permanent address in England.

Given the toxicity of the election in the UK, feel my vote would have so much more relevance if cast there. :)

 

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My understanding is that yes, you do have an either/or choice whether to cast your vote in the UK or Germany. I wrote to Electoral Services where I used to live in the UK, and where I had already (re) registered as a British citizen living abroad, to ask about the procedure. Hopefully I will receive a reply soon.

 

My thinking is probably similar to yours, that this time round my vote could be more effective if I cast it in the UK, especially as the combined vote of UKIP and the Brexit Party could add up to almost 30% of the total.

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May wants BREXIT before the European elections, so what to vote for? As a Dutch citizen in Germany I already received a letter from Landeshauptstadt Munich several

weeks ago where I can register myself as a voter for the upcoming elections. Britain was supposed to leave 29th of March, so you probably didn't get such letter.

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26 minutes ago, john_b said:

My understanding is that yes, you do have an either/or choice whether to cast your vote in the UK or Germany. I wrote to Electoral Services where I used to live in the UK, and where I had already (re) registered as a British citizen living abroad, to ask about the procedure. Hopefully I will receive a reply soon.

 

My thinking is probably similar to yours, that this time round my vote could be more effective if I cast it in the UK, especially as the combined vote of UKIP and the Brexit Party could add up to almost 30% of the total.

 

Thanks. I think I'll give my last UK local authority a ring just to confirm. Not that I'd want to, but the system does seem open to abuse if people get multiple votes when they have lived in different countries. 

 

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https://neweuropeans.net/article/2697/vote-denied-2019-why-hundreds-thousands-eu27-citizens-uk-may-not-be-allowed-vote

 

This article in New Europeans suggests that there is a choice where to vote. Although it is directed at catching Europeans from the other 27countries  living in the UK from slipping through the net, it seems clear that they have a choice (hence the form to confirm they are only voting in the UK). 

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On 16/04/2019, 00:54:04, alexunterwegs said:

 

Thanks. I think I'll give my last UK local authority a ring just to confirm. Not that I'd want to, but the system does seem open to abuse if people get multiple votes when they have lived in different countries. 

 

 

I got the following reply from the UK:

 

Quote

We can confirm that you are eligible to vote if the European elections take place. You have a postal vote in place and the ballot papers will be posted to you shortly

 

So if you are already registered, it should be an automatic process. By the same token, I expect that I would also receive ballot papers here, but legally am only eligible to cast a vote in either the UK or DE, not both.

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On 17/04/2019, 17:20:39, john_b said:

By the same token, I expect that I would also receive ballot papers here, but legally am only eligible to cast a vote in either the UK or DE, not both.

 

Curious if anyone has received ballots papers here yet - my (German) wife already received hers, but I haven't received anything yet. To be on the safe side, I dropped off the form "Antrag für Unionsbürger
auf Eintragung in das Wählerverzeichnis zur Europawahl 2019" at the Rathaus earlier today, although that particular office had already closed at noon. Technically the cut-off date is Sunday 5th May, will be curious to see what happens next.

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Mine arrived last week.   Did you hear that in the UK only 300 EU citizens have sent form needed for them to vote in the EU elections in the UK?  As well as having to be on the electorial register for the local council elections, they have to jump through an extra hoops sending form in to say they are voting in the UK and not in country of origin.  

 

https://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/voter-registration-shambles-for-eu-citizens-1-6016023

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