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Greece Launches Online Platform for Postal Voting Registration

Syntagma , Greek parliament
The Greek parliament approved legislation for postal voting in late January. Credit: Jebulon CC1, Wikimedia Commons

Greece launched the online platform for registration in the electoral roll for postal voting on Monday.

The initiative aims to streamline the process for Greek citizens to exercise their voting rights in the European Parliament elections and national referendums.

The mail-in system applies to all citizens registered in the electoral rolls who wish to participate in the elections, regardless of their location within or outside the country’s borders.

Greek residents living abroad can only participate in the upcoming European elections through postal voting.

The online platform can be accessed here.

The bill on postal voting was approved for the European elections during a parliamentary vote in late January.

“For the first time in the history of the Greek state, postal voting is introduced,” said Interior Minister Niki Kerameus. “The removal of all practical barriers for our fellow citizens in Greece and abroad to exercise their voting rights. Our democracy is expanding.”

Postal voting in Greece follows voting from country of residence

Announcing postal voting last November, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, “It is a brave reform, it widens the electorate that participates in elections and is the most powerful answer to abstention and inaction.”

He pointed out that many groups of citizens, including the elderly, students, and seasonal workers far from their place of residence, can participate in the election procedure through the postal vote. Furthermore, he added that the activation of this possibility in the elections for the European Parliament this spring would be followed in the national elections.

The PM said that postal voting is a “brave institutional reform’ that follows his government’s initiative in 2021 to allow the diaspora to vote without having to fly back home.”

Until then, Greece was the only country in Europe—and perhaps the entire Western world— where full citizens living abroad were denied the right to vote in Greek elections from the country of their residence either by casting a ballot at the Greek embassy or through postal voting.

Although the participation of Greeks living abroad in the last elections of 2023 was disappointing due to bureaucratic obstacles, it was a step forward.

Two main requirements were accepted and imposed by the opposition in 2021. Those eligible to vote must have had a two-year stay in Greece in the last thirty-five years, which is difficult to prove, and those over thirty must be tax-registered in Greece.

The bureaucratic conditions imposed and the cumbersome process of finding and certifying the required documents have been discouraging for most of the diaspora.

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