Over the last fifty years most states have expanded their electorate by offering voting rights to their citizens residing abroad. Turnout has, however, remained almost consistently low and only in a few occasions has the expat vote had a significant impact on electoral outcomes. While we already know a lot about electoral rights of non-resident citizens, their effective access to the vote and attempts to mobilise or demobilise them have been rarely studied comparatively.
In the forthcoming US elections, the incumbent president has cast doubt on the validity of postal ballots, which threatens to make the votes cast by American expats a special bone of contention in case of a disputed election outcome. In Europe, Viktor Orbán has successfully mobilised ethnic Hungarians in neighbouring countries to support his increasingly authoritarian government. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pursued a similar strategy, which has been strongly resisted in EU countries with large numbers of immigrants from Turkey. The introduction or strengthening of emigrant voting rights in Italy, France, Portugal and Spain has received less attention, although the former three countries illustrate an approach where expats cannot merely cast a vote but also get special representation in parliament.
The second GLOBALCIT webinar will bring together four experts from different world regions that cover all these cases. ‘Expat Vote: Electoral Rights, Turnout and Impact of Voting by Non-Resident Citizens in the US and Europe’ is scheduled on 27 October 2020 between 18.00 – 19.30 CET. Chaired by Rainer Bauböck (European University Institute), it includes short presentations by Amanda Klekowski von Koppenfels (Kent University Brussels), Irina Ciornei (IBEI, Barcelona Institute for International Studies), Szabolcs Pogonyi (Central European University, Vienna), and Bahar Baser (University of Coventry).
The ZOOM link to the Webinar will be provided following REGISTRATION.
Deadline for registration: 25 October.