The EU Parliament elections may have been a resounding success for Morten Messerschmidt and Dansk Folkeparti (when he eventually managed to turn up at the right polling station), but for many EU citizens living in Denmark, it turned out to be a bit of a joke.
According to a number of Danish media outlets, there have been reports that many EU citizens residing in Denmark were unable to cast their vote in the elections, as is their right. Missing ballots, being rejected at polling stations and an opaque election process in Denmark are among the criticisms.
Peter Stanners, a British journalist and photographer living in Copenhagen, was among the many who found themselves in a frustrating situation after not receiving a voting ballot.
In theory, Stanners could simply show up at his local polling station, produce his CPR card and vote. But, the location of the polling station (and other information) was only made available on the ballot, which wasn’t much help to people who hadn’t received one in the post.
“There simply was no information given about where I was supposed to go,” Stanners told the Copenhagen Post. “I couldn't find anything online and when I called up the City Council, they confirmed that the information is not published.”
Stanners said that he ended up asking someone on the street and finally found the polling station in a school around the corner. But many others weren’t as fortunate and found themselves being denied because they were not on the lists at the voting stations.
According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior, EU citizens who had not voted in EU elections in Denmark should have received a letter informing them they needed to apply to be admitted to the election lists before April 22 to be able to vote.
“If you have voted in a EU Parliament election in Denmark before, and have not applied to be removed from the list or haven’t registered a departure from Denmark since then, then you are automatically on the list and have a right to vote – whether you voted in 2004, 2009 or earlier,” Nicoline Nyholm Miller, an election consultant from Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior, told TV2.dk.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Interior will not send out information digitally until it becomes compulsory to have a digital mailbox.