How Greeks Abroad Voted in the European Elections

Greeks abroad European elections
Ruling ND won more than 40 percent of the votes in postal voting. Credit: European Parliament

Greeks abroad, who voted exclusively by mail in the European elections, gave the ruling New Democracy party (ND) a clear lead with a percentage that reaches that of the last national elections and with a difference of almost 30 points from the second-placed SYRIZA.

50,204 citizens registered on the relevant platform and finally 36,645 sent their vote by mail (participation 72.99 percent).

The results with 100% of polling stations integrated are as follows:

ND 40.17 percent – 14,455 votes

SYRIZA 11.14 percent – 4,010 votes

ΜΕΡΑ25 9.22 percent – 3,318 votes

KKE 8.74 percent – 3,145 votes

PASOK – Movement for Change 8.72 percent – 3,139 votes

New Left 4.85 percent – 1,745 votes

Greek Solution 2.37 percent – 852 votes

Niki 2.27 percent – 817 votes

Pleusi Eleftherias – 2.11 percent 760 votes

World 2.03 percent – 729 votes

Democrats 1.54 percent – 555 votes

Voice of Reason 1.48 percent – 534 votes

Registration of Greeks abroad for the European elections

Germany recorded the highest number of registrations for postal voting, with 9,578 Greeks applying to participate in the European Parliament elections.

Close behind was the United Kingdom, with 9,090 Greek voters entering their details on the platform.

The United States followed with 3,857 registrations, then Belgium (3,491), the Netherlands (3,119) and Cyprus (2,808), according to the final tally released by the Foreign Affairs Ministry, released in late April.

Among the registered voters are Greeks residing in countries where participation in national elections in 2023 was not feasible due to the lack of a polling station in their area. Examples include American Samoa, Djibouti, Angola, Mozambique, Congo, Cambodia, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, El Salvador and Zambia.

Greece launched the online platform for registration in the electoral roll for postal voting in February.

The initiative aims to streamline the process for Greek citizens to exercise their voting rights in the European Parliament elections and national referendums.

The mail-in system applies to all citizens registered in the electoral rolls who wish to participate in the elections, regardless of their location within or outside the country’s borders.

Greek residents living abroad could only participate in the European elections through postal voting.

Postal voting was approved by Greece in January

The bill on postal voting was approved for the European elections during a parliamentary vote in late January.

“For the first time in the history of the Greek state, postal voting is introduced,” said Interior Minister Niki Kerameus. “The removal of all practical barriers for our fellow citizens in Greece and abroad to exercise their voting rights. Our democracy is expanding.”

Announcing postal voting last November, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, “It is a brave reform, it widens the electorate that participates in elections and is the most powerful answer to abstention and inaction.”

He pointed out that many groups of citizens, including the elderly, students, and seasonal workers far from their place of residence, can participate in the election procedure through the postal vote. Furthermore, he added that the activation of this possibility in the elections for the European Parliament this spring would be followed in the national elections.

The PM said that postal voting is a “brave institutional reform’ that follows his government’s initiative in 2021 to allow the diaspora to vote without having to fly back home.”

Until then, Greece was the only country in Europe—and perhaps the entire Western world— where full citizens living abroad were denied the right to vote in Greek elections from the country of their residence either by casting a ballot at the Greek embassy or through postal voting.

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James Rollner