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.”