Registering to vote in the European elections

This page was last modified on 25-05-2018

All persons on the electoral register elect 6 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) every 5 years.

Voting in the European elections is mandatory for all registered voters, regardless of their nationality. Voters may not be represented by proxy.

Who is concerned

Each person registered on the electoral roll.

Non-Luxembourg citizens who are European nationals can vote in the European elections in Luxembourg. If they wish to participate in the European elections in Luxembourg for the first time, these citizens must apply for registration on the electoral roll at their commune of residence before the 87th day preceding the elections.

A postal voting system has been put in place for all voters in order to prevent abstentions.

Whilst the electoral registers are permanent, applications for removals and new registrations are accepted:

  • until the 87th day (the 13th Friday) before the European elections;
  • pursuant to a change in voters' electoral residence;
  • pursuant to a rectification by the administrative courts.

Prerequisites

To vote in the European elections, an elector must:

  • be a Luxembourgish citizen or a national of another EU Member State;
  • be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election;
  • enjoy civil rights and not have been deprived of the right to vote either in Luxembourg or in their home EU Member State;
  • for Luxembourg nationals, reside in Luxembourg. Luxembourg nationals residing abroad can vote in the European elections by postal vote;
  • for nationals of another EU Member State, to be domiciled in Luxembourg and to have resided there at the time of the application for registration on the electoral roll.

The following are excludedfrom the electorate and are not allowed to vote:

  • people who have been convicted of criminal offences;
  • people who, for lesser offences, have been stripped of the right to vote following a conviction;
  • persons over 18 who are under guardianship.

Deadlines

Applications for registration on the electoral roll must be made before the 87th day before the European elections. The electoral registers are definitively closed on the 72nd day before the European elections.

How to proceed

Registering as a Luxembourgish voter

Throughout the year, the commune continuously updates the list of Luxembourg citizens called to participate in the elections. It maintains and registers on the roll, on its own initiative or at the request of any citizen, those who satisfy the eligibility requirements and are domiciled in the commune.

Voters are registered automatically:

  • on the official register, for persons reaching the age of 18 before the provisional deadline for registration;
  • on the secondary register for persons reaching the age of 18 between the provisional deadline for registration and the date of the election, inclusive.

Registering as a voter from another EU Member State

Nationals from other EU Member States resident in Luxembourg have the right to vote in European elections.

If it is the first time they are taking part in the European elections, they must apply for registration on the separate foreign voters register (which also states the nationality of the voters registered) with the commune of residence, within the registration deadlines (before the 87th day before the European elections).

The signed and dated application can be made either:

  • electronically via MyGuichet.lu;
  • on paper; In this case and if the application for registration is accompanied by the required documents, a receipt is issued by the commune of residence of the person concerned.

In support of their application for registration, nationals from other EU Member States must present the following:

  • a formal declaration specifying:
    • their nationality, their date and place of birth, their last address in their country of origin and their address in Luxembourg;
    • where applicable, on the electoral register in which local area or district in the country of origin they were last registered;
    • that they will only exercise their right to vote in elections for the European Parliament in Luxembourg;
    • that they have not been stripped of the right to vote in their country of origin by individual court order or by administrative decision. These decisions must be subject to a judicial review. If this is the case, the interested party must mention that the loss of the right to vote is due to the residence conditions imposed by their country of origin;
  • a current valid identity document.

False declarations are subject to penalties.

If the application is complete, a receipt will be provided to the concerned party.


15 days after the application for registration, interested parties will be informed by individual letter of the result of their application.

A denial of registration must be motivated.

In the event of denial of registration, an appeal may be made to the mayor and aldermen no later than 79 days prior to the election.

62 days prior to the European elections, the commune sends a copy of the list of foreign voters for the European elections to the Minister in charge of Foreign Affairs who in turn, informs the registered foreign voters' respective Member States of origin.

Their registration on the electoral lists is maintained:

  • until the voter asks to be removed; or
  • until they are automatically removed because they no longer meet the conditions required for the right to vote.

Once they are registered, voting becomes mandatory.

Electoral registration for the European elections does not confer the right to vote in communal elections, because they are, in fact, two separate registers, and as such, separate registration for each is required.

Removal

Voters who wish to be removed from the electoral register must make their request in writing to the board of the mayor and aldermen, attaching a photocopy of their identity document (identity card or passport) before the 87th day preceding the elections.

Management of the electoral registers

Status as an elector is demonstrated by registration on the electoral lists. Electoral registers are maintained by the mayor and aldermen of each commune, in particular using declarations of births and declarations of arrival of new residents in the commune.

In the event of a move to another commune, regardless of the time of year, transfer of the voting right to the new commune is mandatoryand is done automatically.

The age and residency conditions must be met on election day.

Revision of registers and complaints

On the 87th day prior to the election, the filing of the provisional lists prepared by the board of the mayor and aldermen is made public.

Citizens then have until the 79th day prior to the election, at the latest, to submit, in writing, any individual claims they may have to the board of the mayor and aldermen.

Citizens who have not yet reached the age of 18 by the provisional registration deadline but who have the right to vote must send their claim to the College of Aldermen through their respective legal guardians.

The registers are definitively closed on the 72nd day prior to the election.

If, while reviewing the provisional registers, the commune removes the names of voters who had been included on the provisional registers, the voters concerned will be informed:

  • by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt;
  • at their home.

They will be informed in this way no later than 48 hours from the publishing of the lists.

The reasons for the removal are mentioned in the letter.

Any person who is improperly registered, omitted or removed from the electoral rolls may exercise their right to appeal to the administrative tribunal for a reversal.

Polling card

A poll card is sent by the communal administration to each voter at least 5 days in advance indicating:

  • the date;
  • the start and end times of the voting;
  • the location of the polling station;
  • if there are multiple polling stations, the designation of the one where the elector is called to vote.

The polling card contains voter instructions as well as the list of candidates.

On the day of the election, voters may go to the polling station with their identity card, passport or residence permit, but do not need to bring their poll card.

A voter who shows up without their poll card, identity card, passport or residence permit, may be admitted to vote if his or her identity and capacity are recognized by the members of the polling station.

The election system

Elections for the European Parliament are made by direct universal suffrage to elect 6 deputies with a 5-year mandate.

For the European elections, Luxembourg is a single electoral district. Deputies are elected using the general ticket method with proportional representation. The political parties must draw up lists of candidates, composed mainly of candidates with Luxembourgish nationality. The elections are direct: voters elect their deputies directly, without any intermediary.

Each voter has as many votes as there are deputies to elect – i.e. 6.

The vote can be either:

  • for a list (party list);
  • or for individual candidates.

Voters who vote for a list may not cast any additional votes (or their ballot may be cancelled), unless the chosen list contains fewer candidates than there are deputies to be elected.

Voters who vote for individual candidates may chose candidates from the same list or from different lists, but must be careful not to vote for more candidates than there are available seats.

The seats then go to the candidates who obtained the most votes. When there is a tied vote, victory goes to the candidate selected by random draw.  

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