Emigrant voting is a democratic norm

22 Oct

Here in Ireland, we tend to think that emigrant voting is some kind of fringe thing that only a few countries do. Some people point to the US, for example, and suggest that expat voting is tolerated there because of the requirement that US citizens must file taxes. Or they’ll say that French people abroad can vote, because the French are somehow radical in their democratic tendencies.

Well, in reality, emigrant voting is a global democratic norm. Nearly every developed nation allows it, and plenty of developing ones do, too. What countries allow it?

  • Almost other EU country (Greece was the last holdout, but that’s changing now that they’ve lost a case in the European Court of Human Rights.)
  • All the major destination countries of our diaspora
  • High-emigration level countries
  • More than 115 countries in all.


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