How to vote in the Swedish General Elections from the UK

5 July 2022

On 11 September, Sweden goes to the polls to decide who they trust to govern the country for the coming four years. As a Swedish expat, you might feel far away from Swedish politics, or that the election does not affect you. However, a high voter turnout is a crucial element of any well-functioning democracy. Although there are a few differences when it comes to voting from abroad versus voting from Sweden, voting will be a piece of cake if you follow the steps outlined below.

1. Make sure you are registered to vote
The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) is the institution that keeps track of where Swedish citizens reside and, by extension, who is included in the electoral register. As a Swedish expat, you have the right to vote in national elections if you have, at some point in your life, lived in Sweden.

However, you have to re-register every 10th year, but casting a vote also counts as a re-registration in the electoral register. This means that if you have lived abroad for 10 years or more, without voting in the last two national elections, you must fill out the form “Ny address/Anmälan till röstlängd” and send it by post to The Swedish Tax Agency. You can find the form at Skatteverkets website and the deadline to do this is 12 August 2022.

2. Ensure that The Swedish Tax Agency has your correct residential address
Your voting card will be sent to the address where you are registered. When you move to another address abroad, you need to notify the Swedish Tax Agency by filling out the form “Ny address/Anmälan till röstlängd” and sending it to them by post.

You can find the form as well as more information about the process at Skatteverkets website. You can also order your voting card online from The Swedish Electoral Authority.

3. Decide if you want to vote by post or in person
Remember that you cannot vote on election day from abroad.

If you vote in the Swedish national elections from abroad, voting needs to take place in advance. This is to ensure that the votes will reach Sweden in time. There are two ways to do this:

1) Postal voting: Just like in Sweden, you can vote in advance by post. For this, you need your voting card and two witnesses signing your vote.

2) In-person voting at the Embassy or another designated voting station: If you prefer to vote in person, you can do so at a couple of designated areas during specific hours.

The Swedish Embassy in London will be open for voting between 22 August and 4 September on weekdays 3pm – 6pm, and on weekends/bank holidays 10am – 4pm. Some of the Swedish consulates around the UK will also be open for in-person voting in late August and early September. Check www.swedenabroad.se/london for opening hours at the consulates.

Lastly, remember that Swedish democracy is dependent on the engagement of all its citizens – those who reside in Sweden as well as those in other parts of the world. Given how the voting can take place with such ease even from abroad, there is no reason why you should not use your democratic right to vote and influence Sweden’s future.

 

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