Provision of information to voters
Greek citizens who have their residence in the other 26 countries of the European Union and Greeks who happen to be in another Member State of the European Union on Election Day are entitled to participate in the election process in Greece in parallel with Greek voters throughout the Greek State. These results will be incorporated into the general voting results achieved in the Greek State overall. The following rules are related with the provision of information to Greeks resident abroad and the preliminary steps to be taken prior to voting:
Provision of information to voters
Greek Embassies and Consulates in other Member States of the European Union are obliged to inform Greek voters who have their residence there using every reasonable means about their right to participate in the European Parliamentary Elections.
These voters should be informed in due time about the date of elections, the prerequisites for exercising their electoral rights and to be provided with the ID papers necessary for Election Day.
Election Day abroad
The Election Day for Greek voters who have their residence in the Member States of the EU will take place Saturday 6th June 2009. During voting they are obliged to present to the returning board their ID card or passport or driving-licence or health booklet which, should be issued from the competent Hellenic authorities.
In order to exercise their right to vote at their place of residence Greeks resident abroad should:
a) be registered in an electoral roll of a municipality or community in Greece.
b) be entitled to vote and not have been deprived of that right.
c) submit a statement to the local Embassy or Consulate (in the area where they intend to exercise their voting rights) that they wish to vote at their place of residence. The deadline for submitting such statements has been set by the Minister of the Interior, started on 15/12/2008 until 31/03/2009 (extended until 14/4/2009).
d) have their residence in a Member State of the European Union on Election Day. Based on this statement they will be entered in special electoral rolls prepared by the Ministry of Interior.
Procedure for filling out, processing and dispatching the voting statements of Greek citizens resident in the EU.
The application form is available via the internet and can be filled out and returned online. The following steps should be taken:
i) Using a computer connected to the internet they should visit the relevant pages of the Ministry of Interior website (www.ypes.gr).
ii) They should search for their registration in the database of voters using this website by providing their name-surname.
iii) They should enter their address (Town, Street, Number, Post Code, Tel. No., e-mail) using the special form and choose the city they intend to vote in from a predetermined list.
iv) They should print out the application in triplicate using the system.
v) They should submit two copies of the application and a photocopy of the last page of their passport to the local Embassy or Consulate. Applications may also be submitted by lawfully authorized representatives.
vi) The Embassy or Consulate will record the applications received and dispatch one copy (with the passport photocopy attached) to the relevant Directorate of Ministry of Interior.
vii) This Directorate will take all the steps necessary which have as a result the preparation and dispatch of special electoral rolls of Greek residents in the EU.
It should be noted that, once these special electoral rolls of Greeks resident in the EU are finalized, the internet can be used by those who have registered to find out which city and polling station they will in fact be voting at.
Buildings belonging to Greek Embassies or Consulates, buildings of other Greek authorities or services, independent offices of Greek Christian Orthodox Churches and buildings or other premises belonging to Greek communities, associations or other Greek organizations may be used as polling stations (to be decided on by the Minister of Interior), which will form electoral departments. Én case these buildings are inadequate to meet election needs, buildings belonging to the EU Member State may be used.
The number of electoral departments (to be decided on by the Minister of Interior), which will be established for each Embassy or Consulate depends on the number of voters stating their intention to vote in that area based on the statements submitted.
The table with the deadlines will be updated promptly upon the decisions of ministers.
Publication and release of the election programme.
The Election Programme is released and posted at visible locations at all polling stations at least 5 days before Election Day. This Programme should include:
- The date of elections
- The opening and closure time of voting
- The electoral departments and polling stations
- The names of candidates of all party lists.
Establishment of returning boards
Voting at each electoral department will take place under the supervision of a returning board which will consist of a court representative acting as Chairman and three voters from those included in the special electoral rolls. The representatives of the court will be appointed by Chamber I of the Hellenic Supreme Court. The other members of the returning board drawn from persons registered in the special electoral rolls will be appointed by the local Ambassador or Consul following a public draw of lots at the Embassy or Consulate. The date and time of such drawing of lots shall be notified by Embassies and Consulates by displaying a notice to this effect at their offices.
Judicial functionaries, court employees and attorneys at law from Greece may be appointed as court representatives. If inadequate numbers of such persons are available to cover the needs of all electoral departments, at exception the Chamber I of the Hellenic Supreme Court may appoint the following persons as court representatives: permanent Embassy and Consul attaches and secretaries; permanent qualified administrative staff of Embassies and Consulates from higher or tertiary level education qualifications and employed in the post of Advisor (Grade A or above); as well as permanent civil servants of other Greek authorities or services abroad who are also certificated of higher or tertiary level education employed in the post of Advisor (Grade A or above) serving within the area covered by the Embassy or Consulate.