Center for Fundamental Rights

One among many

Rules applicable to the voting rights of Hungarians living abroad are not considered exceptional in the European Union

The Center for Fundamental Rights examined the decrees of member states of the European Union that apply to parliamentary elections. Based on the analysis of the laws and regulations, the Center for Fundamental Rights concluded that outside of Hungary, 24 EU member states ensure voting rights for its citizens abroad, even if they do not possess a domestic address. Similarly to the Hungarian regulatory framework, in 22 member states, active registration is required for those living abroad; in 17 member states, there is an opportunity for registration by postal mail. Additionally, in the majority of European Union countries, there is an opportunity in 16 of them for the foreign resident voter to convey his/her vote to the authorities by mail, via the postal service. Based on the research, it can be determined that the opportunities pursuant to Hungarian law that are provided for Hungarian citizens living abroad concerning registration and voting by postal mail are not considered exceptional at all in the European Union. In certain countries, active registration or mandatory voting is enforced in the case of domestic residents, while elsewhere the technical and security conditions of registration to electoral lists and voting by postal mail from abroad are much looser than within the Hungarian regulatory framework. There is an example for member states where in variance with Hungarian regulations there is no opportunity to appeal individual decisions by the electoral authority.

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