It's election season and you can feel it in the air. On September 11, local, regional and national Swedish elections will take place but you can also vote earlier than the election date. Here's a quick look into some important local information related to the upcoming elections:
GENERAL INFO: Sweden has three levels of government - the national parliament (riksdag) with 349 seats; 20 county councils (landsting) and 290 municipal assemblies (kommunfullmäktige). Elections in Sweden are held once in every four years, always on the second Sunday in September. In 2022, this means the election day falls on September 11.
Preliminary data by Statistics Sweden shows, that approximately 7.5 million people are eligible to vote in this year's elections, which also includes roughly 670,000 foreign citizens, around 130,000 more than in 2018.
If you are not sure about who you want to vote for, check out these tests that can help you understand parties and the issues they stand for/against
https://valkompass.svt.se/2022 (Riksdag and Municipal)
Who can vote?
To vote in the Parliamentary (riksdag) elections, you must be a Swedish citizen aged over 18 years on the day of the election. Swedish citizens living abroad can also vote by post, in an embassy or by proxy.
Non-Swedish citizens can vote in regional and municipal elections.
Registered residents who have been registered in the population register for three consecutive years can vote in local and regional elections.
Where can I vote in Helsingborg?
If you are entitled to vote in an election, you will be included in the electoral roll and will receive a voting card. Your voting card mentions which elections you are entitled to vote in as well as the name, address, and opening hours of your polling station.
List of polling stations where you can vote early. Please take note of opening hours - https://data.val.se/rostmottagning/fortidsrosta?kommun=83&lan=12 This list also includes places like IKEA, ICA Maxi, Helsingborg hospital etc.
However, if you decide to vote on September 11, you will need to go to your designated location which will be mentioned on your voting card or in the letter you would have received from Valmyndigheten.
Voting card and how to vote:
VOTING EARLY: Early voting takes place during the period August 24 to September 10, and you can vote early in any early voting location throughout Sweden. When voting early, carry a valid ID and your voting card. In case you forget your voting card at home, all early voting locations in Helsingborg offer the option of printing duplicate cards on site.
If you have lost your card, and want a new one, apply here - https://www.val.se/att-rosta/vem-har-rostratt/bestall-rostkort.html
Your “röstkort” or voting card is sent to you by post. Read all about the voting card here. Here's what it looks like (Photo via https://www.val.se/att-rosta/vem-har-rostratt/rostkort.html)
HOW TO VOTE - What do you do when you reach a polling station? Here is a video with instructions.
There are three different kinds of ballot papers and each party will have their own ballot paper with a list of candidates. You can choose one from each of the categories you are voting for.
Yellow - Riksdag (National) ; White (Municipal) and Blue (Regional).
You primarily vote for a party. The name of the party is on the ballot paper. If you cannot find a ballot paper for the party of your choice, take the blank ballot paper and write the name of the party instead.
VOTING ON ELECTION DAY: On election day, you can only vote in the polling station mentioned on your card. Carry a valid ID, but on this day it is not mandatory to carry your voting card.
If you cannot vote in your polling station on election day, early voting is also offered on September 11 at Helsingborg C from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
At the polling booth, you will find three different ballot papers: Yellow for Riksdag, Blue for regional elections and white for the municipal council.
You can vote for a particular party, a specific candidate or for both a candidate and a party.
If you cannot get to a polling station
If you cannot get to a polling station due to age, illness or disability, you can vote by proxy. This requires a proxy voting kit that can be picked up at polling stations during early voting. It is also possible to order a proxy voting kit at home by contacting Helsingborgs Stad on 042-10 50 00.
Information via Helsingborgs Stad, The Local Sweden, Val.se
Other useful links:
Voting in Helsingborg : https://helsingborg.se/kommun-och-politik/val-2022/
Swedish election system: https://www.val.se/
The Local information on Elections 2022 - https://www.thelocal.se/20220404/how-to-vote-in-the-2022-swedish-election/
Swedish government: https://www.riksdagen.se/en