From Iceland — Regulations Relaxed For Foreigners Voting In Municipal Elections

Regulations Relaxed For Foreigners Voting In Municipal Elections

Published April 20, 2022

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Adobe Stock

While you still have to be a citizen to vote in parliamentary elections, the rules on foreigners voting in municipal elections have been relaxed somewhat–and some foreigners are luckier than others.

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According to the new law, which went into effect on January 1 of this year, citizens of Nordic countries need only have legal residence in any given Icelandic municipality in order to vote in municipal elections for that municipality. All other foreigners need only have three years of continuous residence in their town or village to be able to vote in elections there.

Municipal elections this year will be held on May 14th. As per tradition, they take place on the second Saturday in May. This means that if you have had legal residence in the municipality where you live since at least May 14th of 2019, you can vote. If you’re from Denmark, Finland, Sweden or Norway, and you’re registered as living in your Icelandic municipality, you have the right to vote no matter how long you’ve been in Iceland.

There is typically more than one polling place in any given municipality, and the one you are assigned to is based on your postal code or neighbourhood. It is very important that you cast your ballot at your assigned polling place, as you may otherwise be turned away. Fortunately, you can find out where your polling place is here.

If you’re still undecided as to who to vote for, feel free to check out our handy political party guide on every party that may be in the running. Bear in mind that some municipalities have local political parties in the running. Contact them directly or check out their social media pages and official sites, if they have them, for more information on their platforms.

If you still have more questions about the process of voting itself, the Multicultural Information Centre has set up this detailed guide that should answer all your remaining questions.

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