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Multicultural Information Centre

For more information in English and other languages about the upcoming elections, please visit the website of the Multicultural Information Centre https://www.mcc.is/x22/



Voting Procedures – Instructions for Foreign Nationals Regarding the Local Government Elections in Iceland on 14 May 2022

Local government (municipal council) elections will be held on 14 May 2022.

Right to vote

Foreign nationals are entitled to vote in local government elections in Iceland after certain periods of residence in the country as follows: 

  • Danish, Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian nationals: If you are a registered resident in a municipality in Iceland and if you have reached the age of 18 years on election day.  
  • Other foreign nationals: After three consecutive years’ legal residence. For the elections on 14 May 2022, this will mean that they must have been residents since before 14 May 2019.

Am I on the electoral roll?

Everyone who has the right to vote will automatically be on the voters’ roll in the municipal (local government) area where they are registered as being domiciled 6 April 2022 and will only be able to vote there. If you are not sure whether you are on the voters’ roll, you can find out about this from Registers Iceland (Þjóðskrá Íslands, skra.is). The voters’ roll will also be accessible for a period of at least 36 days prior to election day here. The roll is also available at municipal government offices no later than 21 days prior to the date of the election.

I have recently moved or I intend to move. Will I be able to vote in my new municipality?

Yes, if notification of change of address has been submitted to Registers Iceland prior to 6 April 2022.

Where do I vote?

At the polling station on election day

  • Most voters will cast their votes at the polling station on election day, 14 May 2022.
  • Municipal governments announce the location of the polling stations and their opening hours.

Pre-election voting before the election day

  • Pre-election voting will take place at the district commissioners’ offices from 15 April 2022. Information about opening hours and location can be found on website: syslumenn.is. 
  • Pre-election votes can also be cast at Icelandic embassies and consulates overseas and will begin on 15 April 2022. For further information about location and opening hours see the Ministry for Foreign Affair´s website: mfa.is. 
  • Further information regarding pre-election voting, including voting in institutions and in private homes and instructions on how to cast a pre-election voting will be found on a video-film on the website. 

Voting at the polling station

  1. Prove your identity by producing an identity document (with a photograph, e.g., your passport, driving license or ID-card) or in some other way which the electoral commission considers satisfactory. 
  2. If you are entitled to vote, you will be given a ballot paper which you then take into the polling booth. 
  3. In the polling booth, you vote by making a cross (x) with a stationary in the box in front of the letter representing the list of candidates of your choice.  
  4. If you want to change the order of the candidates on the list of your choice, write the number 1 in front of the name you would like to place at the top, the number 2 in front of the name you would like to have in second place, and so on. If you want to remove a candidate from the list, cross his or her name out. You are not permitted to make changes to lists of candidates other than the list for which you vote or to make any other markings anywhere on the ballot paper, as this may invalidate your vote. 
  5. In some smaller municipalities voters cast their votes by writing the names of their preference candidates on the ballot paper. In this event voters must write out the full names and address of all the representatives and the reserve representatives they choose to elect on the ballot sheet and rank clearly the list of reserve representatives in order of preference. You may bring a list with their names with you into the voting booth to refresh your memory. 
  6. In the polling station there are cards in Braille (for people with poor sight) with information about the letters representing the candidate lists.  
  7. A voter is entitled to receive assistance in the voting. Assistance shall be provided by the election manager or an assistant accompanying the voter at the polling station. Assistance can only be given if the voter himself is able to express his will to cast a vote to the person assisting. The person assisting, is obliged to follow the voter's instructions and they are bound by a duty of confidentiality regarding what happens between them and the voter in the polling station. A candidate, his spouse, children, siblings, and parents may not assist a voter with casting a ballot. Assistant to a voter, may not become an assistant to more than three voters in the same election. There is no limit to how many voters the election manager can assist. The electoral commission shall record that assistance has been given in their minutes book. The election manager shall inform the person assisting, of his or her responsibilities and obligations and hand over an information sheet where this information appears. The assistant shall confirm by his signature on the information sheet that he has been instructed in his responsibilities and obligations and that he fulfills the qualifications for being an assistant. The election manager shall also sign the confirmation. The election manager preserves the information sheet where the assistant's confirmation is stated. 
  8. If you find you have indicated something you did not intend to on your ballot paper by mistake, or if you spoil your ballot paper in some other way, give it to the electoral commission and you will be given a new one. 
  9. Make sure that no one sees who you have voted for, because if this happens, your ballot is considered invalid and may not be put into the ballot box. 
  10. When you have indicated your vote, fold the ballot paper along the same fold lines as it had when you received it and put it into the ballot box. Then leave the polling room. 

Voting ends on Saturday night, 14 May 2022, and polling stations close at the latest at 22:00. Following this, the ballots will be counted, and the results will then be announced in the media. Blank and invalid ballots are also counted, and their numbers announced. 

Multicultural Information Centre

For more information in English about the upcoming elections, please visit the website of the Multicultural Information Centre www.mcc.is

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