Person with dual citizenship can apparently vote twice in upcoming European Parliament elections
In Sweden one person entitled to vote receives two voting slips, another none
If one holds the citizenship of two different EU countries, either through birth or naturalisation, can one vote in both countries in the June European Parliament elections?
This question, which one would assume contains a "No" answer, was prompted in Sweden, when the postman dropped voting slips from both Finland and Sweden into the mailbox of a person with a dual citizenship.
On the other hand, just to confuse things, the person’s adult daughter did not get a slip from either country, though she also enjoys dual citizenship status.
"Yes. In principle one can! In the European elections every voter has only one vote. Those with a dual citizenship status, however, are entitled to vote in both countries”, replies Arto Jääskeläinen, Elections Director at the Finnish Ministry of Justice.
It is a question of a loophole in the election system. In practice, voting in two countries by those holding dual citizenship is not monitored in any way.
“The EU Commission is aware of the situation, but it has not wanted to interfere with it.”
From the democracy point of view, the loophole presents an obvious problem: voting is a basic right, but each person should only have one vote. This is stated in the EU decree on voting.
“At the very least this should be discussed within the Commission before the next EU election. The rules of the game should be clear even for those holding dual citizenship”, Jääskeläinen emphasises.
A citizen of another EU country who resides in Finland can only vote here if he or she has been entered in the Finnish voting register. When this is done, the right to vote in another country is revoked by a notification from the Finnish election authorities.
Then how come this other person with dual citizenship living in Sweden did not receive a voting slip from Finland?
A person living abroad is responsible for forwarding his or her address to the Finnish population register.
Around half of the 200,000 Finns living abroad have not done this, which means the slip cannot be forwarded to them. But the right to vote as such is still in force.
European Parliament 2009 Election
Ministry of Justice elections portal