The recent adoption, in Italy, of the decree-law regulating the vote out of power the European elections mark an important step towards promoting democratic participation. The next European elections, which will take place in Italy on June 8 and 9, 2024, will be the first elections in Italy where it will also be possible to vote outside the mandate. This method of voting has been present for a long time in other European states and represents an opportunity to increase a country's electoral participation.

The new decree-law on voting outside of mandate

On March 21, the decree-law containing the measures relating to the 2024 elections was definitively approved by the Italian Parliament. The Senate Constitutional Affairs Committee had already ratified an amendment to the “Elections” decree-law in mid-February to allow. , especially students, to participate in the vote in the next European elections even far from home.

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Supply will allow for the first time in Italy to vote even outside your municipality of residence, and therefore, in the municipality of residence or in a nearby capital. The regulatory act provides that voting by non-resident students will be introduced on an experimental basis only for this consultation. If the method yields positive results, it could be permanently introduced exclusively for students who have been living away from home for at least three months.

Depending on the residence of the nonresident student interested in voting, the amendment proposes two distinct procedures. If the student finds himself voting in the same constituency as his municipality of residence, he can simply go to the polling station of the municipality of residence. In this case, the procedure is simplified since the ballot is identical, the two cities being part of the same constituency.

For off-site students who reside in a city in a different district, the procedure is slightly more complex. After having completed the same bureaucratic formalities with their municipality of residence and obtained authorization, the student must go to vote in the special polling stations set up in the capital of the region in which they are domiciled.

Positive implications and the European comparison

Before the approval of the “Elections” decree-law, Italy was, with Cyprus and Malta, one of the only countries in the European Union where remote voting was only possible in exceptional circumstances. All other European electoral systems already had one or more means for mobile citizens to vote.

The precise dates for voting in the different countries in the European elections.  Source: europe.magazine

The precise dates for voting in the different countries in the European elections. Source: europe.magazine

The social campaign of. has also positively influenced the integration of this modality in Italy. The good lobby, Will and the Healthy vote of the Afar network. The symbolic pencil initiative in Sanremo was also relevant. According to recent data fromISTAT, approximately three million Italian citizens reside outside their region of origin. This phenomenon, from an electoral point of view, results in the loss of a considerable number of potential votes in each electoral cycle.

A recent report produced by Davide Muraro for the Iovotofuorized Committee And The good lobby analyzes the problem. The study demonstrates how out-of-office voting, practiced in many European countries such as Spain and Germany, offers a concrete solution to guarantee the right to vote of mobile citizens. This system could help fight corruption and increase electoral participation.

In conclusion, the proposed solutions are viable and could be successfully adopted, providing every voter residing outside the city with the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in the European elections in an efficient and secure manner.

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