SHARE
COPY LINK

POLITICS

145 votes not counted in Sweden election after postal mix-up

Votes cast by 145 people have not been counted in the Swedish election, after a bag containing the ballot papers was delivered late.

145 votes not counted in Sweden election after postal mix-up
People line up to place early votes in a western Sweden library. Photo: Förtidsröst

The votes, which included those cast in all three of Sunday's elections, at the local, regional, and national levels, did not reach the electoral office in Falun in time.

As for why the bag failed to reach the electoral office, and who is responsible for the mix-up, the answer is not yet clear, with the Swedish postal service and Falu municipality each blaming the other for failing to adhere to their agreement.

The votes in question were placed before the official polling day of September 9th: in Sweden, some polling stations open in the weeks leading up to election day, allowing voters to cast their ballots in advance.

The papers should have arrived at the electoral office on Tuesday, but were not received until Wednesday, some hours after counting had begun. Under Swedish electoral law, votes cannot be counted if they are received after counting has started.

“We maintain that Postnord should have delivered,” chairman of the electoral committee Jonas Åsenius told local newspaper Dalarnas Tidningar, adding that the postal service had an agreement with the Swedish Election Authority relating to delivery of early voting papers across all of Sweden's municipalities.

However, Postnord's Swedish head of production has denied that it was their responsibility to deliver the votes.

It's unclear what the next step will be, as it depends on whether the results are appealed. In which case the Election Review Board would look into the complaint.

 

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

2022 SWEDISH ELECTION

What’s the Swedish Christian Democrats’ abortion contract all about?

Ebba Busch, leader of Sweden's Christian Democrats on Monday presented an "abortion contract", which she wants all of Sweden's party leaders to sign. What's going on?

What's the Swedish Christian Democrats' abortion contract all about?

What’s happened? 

Ebba Busch, leader of Sweden’s Christian Democrat party, called a press conference on Monday in which she presented a document that she called “an abortion contract”, which was essentially a pledge to safeguard the right of women in Sweden to have an abortion.  

“There is room for signatures from all eight party leaders,” she said. “I have already signed on behalf of the Christian Democrats.” 

What does the so-called “abortion contract” say? 

The document itself is fairly uncontroversial.

It states simply that Sweden’s law on abortion dates back to 1974, and that it grants women the right to an abortion up until the 18th week of pregnancy, with women seeking abortions later in their pregnancy required to get permission from the National Board of Health and Welfare. 

“Those of us who have signed this document support Sweden’s abortion legislation and promise to defend it if it comes under attack from forces both within our country and from outside,” the document reads.  

Why have the Christian Democrats produced it? 

The decision of the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs Wade, and so allow US states to ban abortion has aroused strong feelings in Sweden, as elsewhere, and Busch is seeking to send a strong signal to distance her own Christian party from the US religious right. 

Abortion has been a recurring issue within the Christian Democrats with several politicians and party members critical of abortion. 

Lars Adaktusson, a Christian Democrat MP, was found by the Dagens Nyheter newspaper to have voted against abortion 22 times when he was a member of the European parliament. 

The party has also in the past campaigned for the right of midwives and other medical professionals who are ethically opposed to abortion not to have to take part in the procedure. 

So why aren’t all the other party leaders signing the document? 

Sweden’s governing Social Democrats, and their Green Party allies, dismissed the contract as a political gimmick designed to help the Christian Democrats distance themselves from elements of their own party critical of abortion. 

“It would perhaps be good if Ebba Busch did some homework within her own party to check that there’s 100 percent support for Sweden’s abortion legislation,” Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s prime minister, said. “That feels like a more important measure than writing contracts between party leaders and trying to solve it that way.”  

In a debate on Swedish television, Green Party leader Märta Stenevi argued that it would be much more significant if Busch’s own MPs and MEPs all signed the document. 

It wasn’t other party leaders who needed to show commitment to abortion legislation, but “her own MPs, MEPs, and not least her proposed government partners in the Sweden Democrats and even some within the Moderate Party”. 

She said it made her “very very worried” to see that the Christian Democrats needed such a contract. “That’s why I see all this more as a clear sign that we need to move forward with protecting the right to abortion in the constitution,” she said. 

How have the other right-wing parties reacted? 

The other right-wing parties have largely backed Busch, although it’s unclear if any other party leaders are willing to actually sign the document. 

Tobias Billström, the Moderates’ group parliamentary leader, retweeted a tweet from Johan Paccamonti, a Stockholm regional politician with the Moderate Party, which criticised the Social Democrats for not signing it, however. 

“It seems to be more important to blow up a pretend conflict than to sign the Christian Democrats’ contract or look at the issue of [including abortion rights in] the constitution, like the Moderates, Liberals and Centre Party want to,” Paccamonti wrote. 

The Liberal Party on Sunday proposed protecting abortion rights in the Swedish constitution, a proposal which has since been backed by the Moderate party and the Centre Party

SHOW COMMENTS