From Iceland — 4 Out Of 5 Immigrants Did Not Vote In Last Municipal Elections

4 Out Of 5 Immigrants Did Not Vote In Last Municipal Elections

Published December 2, 2015

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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Only about 20% of immigrants who could vote in 2014 did so, data from Statistics Iceland shows, but voter participation in general was very low.

Kjarninn reports that 239,734 Icelandic residents were eligible to vote in the 2014 municipal elections, comprising just over 72% of the population as a whole. Of those, only 158,616 actually voted, or about 66.5% of eligible voters.

This marks the lowest level of voter participation in municipal elections so far. However, immigrant participation was even lower – only 21% of foreigners eligible to vote actually cast ballots in 2014.

Age also played a part in voter participation. Less than half of Icelanders aged 20 to 29 voted, while the greatest level of participation was amongst the elderly. 82.8% of those aged 65 to 69 voted in the last municipal elections.

Immigrants who are not Icelandic citizens can vote in municipal elections, under certain conditions. Non-Scandinavian immigrants who have lived in their municipality of choice for at least five years may vote, while Scandinavian immigrants need only wait three years.

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