On Sunday 26 May 2019, the European Parliamentary elections took place in Denmark. Some EU citizens found that they – contrary to their expectations – were not on the electoral roll in Denmark and thus could not vote for the elections here. This is stated in the press, on social media and in complaints to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior.
In this regard, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior wishes to draw attention to the following:
The first time you, as an EU citizen residing in Denmark, want to vote for the European Parliamentary elections in Denmark, you have to apply to be enrolled in the electoral register. Hereafter, you will automatically remain in the electoral register for as long as you still have a permanent address in Denmark. Thus, you do not have to apply for enrolment in the electoral register for future European Parliamentary elections.
It is possible that you have voted in advance for previous European Parliamentary elections in Denmark without being enrolled in the electoral register. This is due to the fact that advance votes are first examined just before election day. Here, it is decided whether an advance vote qualifies for consideration. This means that if someone has cast an advance without being in the electoral register the vote will be disregarded.
Difference between local elections and European Parliament elections
It is important to be aware that you are not automatically registered with voting rights for European Parliamentary elections in Denmark just because you have previously voted for the local and regional elections in Denmark. There are different rules for the two types of elections. For the local and regional elections, you are automatically on the electoral roll and eligible to vote as an EU citizen. At European Parliamentary elections, you must register the first time.
The special rules for European Parliamentary elections are due to the fact that you, as an EU citizen, can choose whether you want to vote in your country of residence or in your home country. However, you can only vote in one country.These rules of EU law applies in all EU member states. The purpose is to prevent EU citizens from giving more than one vote.
Letters sent in February
In February, the Ministry of Economy and the Interior sent letters to nearly 200,000 EU citizens in Denmark informing whether they had to apply for admission in the electoral register for the European Parliament elections in Denmark, or whether they were automatically enrolled in the electoral register. The letter was sent to the citizens’ e-Boks (Digital Post) and by post to those exempted from e-Boks.
The Ministry of Economy and the Interior has received a number of inquiries from EU citizens in Denmark who have not been allowed to vote at the European Parliamentary elections in 2019 because they were not registered on the electoral roll. The Ministry is looking into these specific cases in more detail, just as the Ministry will decide on the matter in connection with the handling of electoral complaints.
In the cases investigated by the Ministry of Economic and the Interior so far, the Ministry has found no errors. The Ministry has checked in the CPR register whether the persons previously have been registered with the right to vote. This has not been the case in any of the cases that have been examined.
If you believe that you as an EU citizen have been unjustly refused to vote, you can submit a complaint to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. When the Ministry of Economic and the Interior has examined the case, the case will be sent to the Folketing (Parliament). The Folketing will then decide on the case.