Pre-election voting

Pre-election voting

When can pre-election voting begin?

Voters who are not able to cast their votes on Election Day may vote by post as from the day that falls 8 weeks before Election Day, i.e. from 15 March 2003 (inclusive) up until Election Day.

Voting places:

Postal voting shall take place at the following places:

At district commissioner's offices all over Iceland, both main offices and branch offices. In addition, district commissioners may also decide that pre-election voting at the official address of the commission shall take place at a special location outside the main office, and also that voting shall take place at other locations in their administrative areas.

At the offices of the chairmen of local councils, or at their homes.

Abroad, in the in the offices of Icelandic embassies and permanent missions to international organisations, consular offices or offices of honorary consulates, as determined in further detail by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs may also decide that voting is to take place at other locations abroad. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs shall also advertise where and when votes may be cast abroad.

On ships. The crews or passengers of Icelandic ships on sailing routes abroad or on remote fishing grounds may cast their votes on board ship. The ship captain, or a person nominated by him, shall be the election manager.

In hospitals, prisons, homes and care institutions. A voter who is undergoing treatment in a hospital, or is an inmate of a hospital, old people's home or care institution for disabled people may cast his vote in the institution. The same applies to the inmates of prisons. Polling shall take place at a time to be decided by the election manager in consultation with the directors of the institution; in the case of hospitals it shall take place as close to Election Day as possible. Polling may not, however, take place more than 3 weeks before Election Day. For further details, see pre-election voting by patients.

At home. Voters who are unable to go to a polling station on Election Day due to illness, disability or childbirth may vote at home if they are not able to do so in an institution as described above. Applications to vote at home must be made in writing and accompanied by a certificate from a person who has reached the age of legal competence testifying to the personal circumstances of the voter. The earliest that polling of this type may take place is three weeks before Election Day. For further details, see pre-election voting by patients.

Election managers shall announce where and when votes may be cast; this shall be done in the way in which official announcements are publicised in locality in question.

What is the procedure for pre-election voting?

Voters are required to prove their identity to the election official by producing an identification document or ID card, or in another manner accepted as satisfactory in the opinion of the election official. By "identification document" is meant a personal identification certificate including a photograph, such as a passport, driver's licence, bank card or credit card.

When this has been done, the voter is given election materials.

Then, without assistance and without any other person seeing, the voter writes his vote on the ballot paper and places the ballot paper in its envelope. The voter shall stamp or write on the ballot paper the letter of the electoral list for which he wishes to vote, and may state the order in which he wishes to have the candidates on the list. If he spoils the ballot paper, the voter may receive another ballot paper.

The voter then writes his name on, and signs, the covering letter in the presence of the election official, who witnesses the casting of his vote.

Finally, the ballot paper, in its envelope, together with the covering letter, is placed in the postal envelope, which shall be securely closed. The envelope shall then be addressed to the local council chairman, district commissioner or electoral commission in the constituency in which the voter believes he is on the voter's register. The voter's name, ID No. and domicile address shall be written on the postal envelope.

Voters may cast postal votes more than once, in which case only the last vote they cast will be accepted. A postal vote shall be regarded as having been cast on the date on which the covering letter is dated.

If voters require assistance

If a voter informs an election official that he is not able to vote in the prescribed manner due to poor sight or some other disability, the election official shall help him, privately, to vote, and shall be bound by an oath of secrecy not to divulge what passes between them. Assistance of this type shall only be given if the voter himself is able to state unequivocally how he wishes to cast his vote. The voter himself must request assistance.

What happens to the votes?

In the case of a vote cast in the presence of election officials in the constituency where the voter is on the voter's register, the voter leaves the ballot paper with his vote, and places it himself in an ordinary ballot box. The ballot box is then sealed by the election manager and the relevant election commission, and agents of the lists of candidates may also place their seals on the box.

If the vote is cast in the presence of an election manager in a constituency other than that in which the voter is on the voter's register, then the voter himself shall see to, and pay the cost of, sending his pre-election vote. The electoral director shall, however, be obliged actually to place the vote in the post if the voter so requests.

It shall be sufficient to bring a letter containing a pre-election vote to any division of the constituency where the voter is on the voter's register.

Pre-election votes must be delivered to the electoral commission by the end of polling on Election Day in order to be considered valid in the election.

Does casting a pre-election vote disqualify one from voting on Election Day?

No. Voters may vote on Election Day even though they have cast pre-election votes. In such cases, their pre-election votes are not considered valid in the election.



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