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How Do You Vote?

Published tisdag 29 augusti 2006 kl 17.02
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Remember to take to the polling station: Photo ID, voting card
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Inside the voting station
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Personal voting ballot

Votes can be cast for Swedish elections at polling stations on election day or can be cast in advance at special polling stations. Ballots can also be sent by mail or by proxy.

In each election, national, county, and municipal, you vote for a single party. You can vote for different parties in each election, and there is also a system to give a priority vote to a single candidate.

To vote you have to be on the Electoral Register. The authorities establish the register before each election. No special registration is required.

Before an election the Election Authority sends a voting card to each eligible voter.

To vote at a polling station you need to have your voter card and an ID card, or in some other way confirm your identity.

Every municipality is divided into voting districts. In each district there is a polling station. Everyone who lives in that district can vote at the polling station on election day. As a rule, polling stations are open between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM.

You can also vote in advance, which used to be called postal voting, since the Post Office was responsible and Post Office premises were used as advance polling stations. From this year it is the responsibility of the municipalities. Voters can vote in advance at special polling stations, such as libraries, up to 18 days before the election.

An Electoral Committee is responsible for accepting ballots at hospitals for those who wish to vote there, such as patients, personnel, and visitors.

In all voting premises there are screens so that voters can put their ballots into election envelopes in privacy.

Those who because of illness, disability, or age cannot personally come to the polling station can vote through a proxy who delivers their ballot. Prisoners can also vote by proxy.

Those who have voted in advance (in Sweden or from abroad) can later withdraw their vote, and vote again at a polling station on election day. The ballot from the polling station will be accepted, and the advance ballot will be invalidated.

Personal Voting

You cast your ballot for a party, and at the same time can mark on the ballot which candidate you most would like to see elected. Only one candidate can be marked.

You are not allowed to add any candidate names to the ballot.

How Do You Vote from Abroad?

Expatriate Swedish citizens are included in the Electoral Register if they have left the country during the previous 10 years or if at least 30 days before election day they apply to the Swedish Tax Agency to be included into the Election Register.

Eligible voters who are abroad during the election period can vote at a foreign mission, an embassy or consulate. Voting begins on August 24 and in some areas is only for a short period. Ballots must reach the Election Authority at the latest on the day before the election.

Those who are eligible and are outside the country can vote by mail. Seafarers on vessels outside the country can also vote by mail. Mail ballots can be sent in from August 3 through election day.


Parties which in one of the two most recent parliamentary elections have received at least 1 percent of the vote have the right to have their ballots with the list of their candidates printed for free.

For elections to county or municipal councils a party is entitled to free ballots if the party already has or achieves representation.

There are three kinds of ballots: name ballots (with the names of candidates), party ballots (with just the party designation), and blank ballots, where party names can be written in.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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