Multiple sources in Greece have revealed that the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis is preparing to introduce legislation that will grant hundreds of thousands of Greek citizens abroad the right to vote in national elections. Currently,
Greece and Ireland are the only two European Union countries that don’t have remote voting laws on the books for their citizens who reside outside the country.
Quoting numerous government sources, the Greek daily newspaper Kathimerini said in an article that the voting rights the government is seeking to establish are mainly targeting those Greeks who were forced to leave the country during the decade-long financial crisis between 2009-2018.
According to Kathimerini’s government sources, the Interior Ministry, which handles elections in Greece, is preparing Law 4648/19 which will give the right to remote voting to people who register on an online portal that the government is creating and who meet certain criteria beyond citizenship.
In addition to being a Greek citizen, a prospective voter must prove that he/she has continuously lived in Greece for at least two consecutive years over the past 35 years with written proof.
These restrictions would place hundreds of thousands— if not millions— of diaspora Greeks living in the United States, Canada and Australia without voting rights, not being able to fulfill the mandatory residency requirements.
Voting for Greeks abroad will be conducted at polling stations that will be set up at Consulates throughout the world, wherever there are at least 40 registered voters present in a geographic cluster, according to the Kathimerini story.
Greek journalist Petros Konstantinidis wrote a detailed piece that is worth reading on the issue of diaspora voting rights for Athens Live that gives a detailed history of the matter and the handling of the matter over the years and how different political parties have responded and acted.
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