When are polling stations open on election day?
Most polling stations in Sweden are open for twelve hours between 8am and 8pm. You can find your polling station on the voting card, which you should have had sent to the address where you are registered.
How do I find my polling station?
You can find the polling station where you are registered, here on the Election Authority’s webpage. Once you get to your municipality, you can find a map with all of the polling stations marked on it.
The ballot papers have different colours, what do they mean?
The white voting slip is for the municipal election, the blue one for the regional election, and the yellow one for the national election.
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Some ballot papers have a list of names on them and some don’t, which should I take?
At the polling booth, there are different ballot papers for each of the three elections taking place: yellow papers are for the Riksdag elections, blue for the county council, and white for the municipal council.
There are also three different kinds of ballot papers, allowing you to vote either for a particular party (without identifying a specific candidate), to choose from a list of candidates as well as parties, or to vote using a blank ballot paper. On blank ballot papers, you can write down any party and candidate. In theory, it’s possible to write anyone’s name, and if that person got a large enough proportion of votes, they would be elected.
You then put the ballot paper you picked in an envelope and hand it to the election officer in the room.
How has the system changed in this election?
Following criticism from the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the way voters collect their ballot papers has been changed in this year’s election.
In previous elections, voters would pick ballot papers for the party they wanted to vote for in an open area of polling stations.
The OSCE, in its report on the 2018 election, said that this was a threat to voting secrecy, as others in the polling station can tell which party a person is voting for by looking at which paper they pick up.
In this election, the area holding the ballot papers will be for the first time have to be shielded from public view, so that ballot papers can be picked up in secrecy.
Previously the only way to keep your vote secret was to collect several different ballots before going behind the screen to vote.
Who is responsible for making sure there are ballot papers at the polling station?
In this election, for the first time, it is the voting clerks at the polling stations who responsible for making sure that all the ballot papers with lists of candidates’ names are available.
The political parties are responsible for printing them and delivering them to each polling station, and also for ensuring that they do not run out.
Voting clerks are responsible for displaying ballot papers for all political parties who have received more than one percent of the vote nationally over the last two elections, and for all parties which are already represented in the municipal and regional governments.
What happens if I spell a party or candidate’s name wrong when filling in a ballot paper myself?
If if it possible to interpret what you mean, your vote will still be counted.
Can I vote without an ID card?
Yes you can, but someone has to come with you who can confirm your identity.
Can I vote without my voting card?
If you know which polling station you are registered at, and have proof of your identity, they will let you vote even if you have lost your voting card.
Can I ask someone to vote for me if I can’t get to the polling station myself?
Yes, you can appoint a proxy as your representative, if you are too old, sick, or disabled to vote yourself. If you cannot find a suitable person, if you contact your municipality, they can send a travelling election clerk to your home.
If you are in prison or pre-trial detention, the prison wardens will also help you to arrange a proxy vote.
What can make my vote illegitimate?
Your vote will be ruled illegitimate if you vote for a party which has no candidates in the election, if your ballot paper is completely blank and lacks a party name, or if the voting envelope contains two or more ballot papers, or if it in some way reveals the identity of the voter.
Can you change your mind?
If you voted early, it is possible to change your mind simply by voting again at the polling station where you are registered. Your new vote will then take precedence.
Once you have voted on voting day at your polling station, however, it is too late to change your mind.