There are 371,632 people registered to vote in Malta in the European Parliament elections on May 25 - 18,084 of whom are non-Maltese EU nationals.
Voters in Malta will be among the more than 370 million voters around the EU 27, including 23 million first-time voters, who will be shaping the future of the European Union in the coming decisive elections, EP Office acting Head Anna Zammit Vella explained during an information session organised by the European Parliament Office in Malta and the Electoral Commission of Malta.
If the UK is still part of the EU and thus required by law to hold European elections, over 53 million people in the age of voting may be added to this total.
“Turnout in 2014 was less than half of Europeans, but polls are showing a very positive trend in both people’s intention to vote and in the perception of the EU with over two thirds of Europeans thinking of the EU as a good thing,” Ms Zammit Vella said.
The registration process for voters in Malta is automatic for holders of Maltese citizenship. EU nationals have the option to choose whether to vote in Malta - for candidates standing for election in Malta - or in their home member state, the Head of the Electoral Commission Joseph Church explained to the ambassadors, consuls and embassy representatives at the session.
Step 1 in the registration process requires those eligible to vote to have a valid identification document, which is a residence card issued by Identity Malta for EU nationals. EU nationals are given the option to choose whether they wish to fill in the Application Form to be registered as a voter in the Local Councils Electoral Register and/or in the European Union Electoral Register. If an EU national had opted not to vote in Malta but now wishes to do so, s/he can fill in the application form now and send it to the Electoral Commission.
This can be done via post, free-of-charge, or through Local Councils or Police stations, which are now fully informed of the process and their duty to transmit voter registration forms to the Electoral Commission. Only the Electoral Commission that has the power to register voters in the electoral roll, addressing the apparent misconception that this can be done by the police or local councils. Voter registration via the post, as foreseen under the law, is increasing, Mr Church noted.
The deadline for registrations is March 31, 2019. The Electoral Commission will accept registrations received via post up until April 1 if these were sent before the deadline.
Eligible first-time voters will include for the first time in Malta those who turn 16 by May 24, 2019, the day before the elections. Their registration process is the same.
The electoral authorities of other EU member state will be informed of EU nationals opting to vote in Malta, to avoid illegal double-voting. Under EU and national electoral law, each voter may only vote once in one member state, including holders of dual nationality.
More information on the voter registration process in Malta is available on the new step-by-step guide on the Electoral Commission website and on the European Elections website, which includes information on election dates and how to vote in all EU member states.
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