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Swedes voting early in record numbers

Published: 08 Sep 2010 14:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 08 Sep 2010 14:26 GMT+02:00

More than 400,000 Swedes have already cast their vote for the 2010 elections, even though election day is more than 10 days away.

Nearly 100,000 more people have voted early this year compared to the same point in time ahead of the 2006 elections, according to the Swedish Election Authority (Valmyndigheten).

All but two Swedish counties – Jämtland and Kalmar – have registered an upswing in the number of advance voters.

In Stockholm, the number has almost doubled from 65,000 in 2006 to more than 112,000 people who have already cast their votes.

The spike in early voting likely indicates that overall voter turnout will be higher for this election than it was in 2006, according to Gothenburg University political science professor Henrik Oscarsson.

“It was a very good indicator for the EU parliamentary elections. There we saw early that it (early voting figures) would be several percentage points higher than the previous election,” he told TT.

Oscarsson belives one reason that more Swedes are voting early is the increased number of locations where people to vote without a voting card, which is automatically mailed to eligible voters several weeks prior to election day.

If voters forget their cards, which are presented to election officials at polling stations, can instead have a new one printed out on the spot.

However, Oscarsson doesn’t think the outcome of the election will be affected by the increase in advance voting.

“Those who vote early are people who have long known how they were going to vote and strongly identify with their party,” he said.

“What happens during the campaign isn’t going to change their position – it would take quite a lot to convince them to vote differently.”

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

22:12 September 8, 2010 by reason
It's nice to have it done. I don't have to bother listening to the empty promises and won't have to stand in line on election day.
22:45 September 8, 2010 by Puffin
There are lines on election day? Where do you vote?
06:52 September 9, 2010 by Nemesis
Can we all vote early?

If I could, I would vote now, just need to know if it is possible.

My only decision is wether to vote for Center or Folkpartiet. The Center party appears to be the sanest out of a crazy bunch.

Center and Folkpartiet have strong anti-terrorist and anti-criminal views, unlike the other parties. They both are significantly more supportive of small business and new start ups.

Socialdemokratiska leadership stayed very quiet when the mayor of Malmö started his tirade against jews. Jews are the canary in the coalmine. They are forced out, then most likely we are all next, so I will not vote for social democrats. They are also a bunch of control freaks.

Vänsterpartiet, supported the Russian invasions of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. They supported the Molotov-Ribbontrop and (Soviet Russia-Nazi Germany) and have never apologised for that. So no vote from me for people who find mass murder to be accepable.

Miljöpartiet do have some interesting policies, but they are not grounded in reality. The fact is, we need Nuclear power to keep down our oil imports and to diversify power generation.

Kristdemokraterna. To reactionary for my taste with to many religeous members.

Moderata samlingspartiet are OK, but cosy up to large business to much at the expense of small business. They have made small steps to helping small business, but need to make a lot more.

Sverigedemokraterna want to remove immigrants. I am an immigrant from Northern Ireland, so I would be removed along with everyone else from Europe and the USA, let alone anywhere else.

Piratpartiet are OK as a protest vote, but I want the schools, hospitals, etc to work well, so will not vote for them.
09:35 September 9, 2010 by Spyronic
Nemesis i think you have missunderstood the Sweden Democrats, they are only against mass immigration from Non-western countries and they do not want to "throw people out". They want a more restrictive immigration policy for asylum seekers lika Denmark and in case an immigrant without citizenship commits a serious crime he should always be deported. There are many people in the Sweden Democrats with background as European immigrants and i've also met some iranians with strong anti-islamic feelings. It is actually the Sweden Democrats who wants the toughest policy on crime and they support nuclear power.
10:41 September 9, 2010 by Puffin
@Nemesis

Yes everyone can vote early - usually the early voting pollig station is at the local library - but there may be other places

@Spyronic

SDs policies on biological gender roles and reduced rights for homosexuals seem to suggest a return to the 1950s - yet they appear not so keen to talk about these in public
10:56 September 9, 2010 by Rebel
On a related note, Harry Reid wants Swedes to know he is not responsible for the financial crisis.
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