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How do I vote?
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How do I vote?

4 min. 14.03.2012 From our online archive
It’s all very well having the ability to vote and even knowing about the parties, but what if you don’t actually know how to go through the process of voting? That’s just what this article is all about.

It’s all very well having the ability to vote and even knowing about the parties, but what if you don’t actually know how to go through the process of voting? That’s just what this article is all about.

In Luxembourg there are two voting systems that are used in commune elections depending on the size of the commune.

The system of “proportional majority” (or representation) is used in communes where there are more than 3000 inhabitants (Proporz Communes). Ballot list are used representing different parties or political groups. The voter can either vote for a “list” or vote for individual candidates from different lists. He/she may place as many votes as there are seats to be filled on the local council and can cast up to two votes per candidates. If the voter selects a list he is not obliged to select other candidates, his votes will be distributed among candidates on the chosen list.

The system of “relative majority” is used in communes that have less than 3000 inhabitants (Majorz Communes). The voter distributes his votes between individual candidates using as many votes as there are seats to be filled, however, only one vote may be cast per candidate.

For example, in Bertrange (a Proporz Commune), there are 13 seats to be filled in the upcoming election. Using the specimen form as an illustration, which contains 4 ballot lists with 13 individual candidates each, the voter has two choices.

Choice 1

In case the voter would want to vote for, say, DP as a party and prefers not to elect individual candidates, they would mark the box of the DP list (lëscht 4), either by filling the circle or placing an “X” or “+” in the centre of the circle above the list. See examples 1a and 1b above.

Choice 2

The voter can also select individual candidates and by using all his individual votes, i.e. as many as there are seats to be filled (in this case 13). They may cast a maximum of two votes per candidate. See example 2.

Choice 3

If the voting form in Bertrange would look different and not have 13 candidates on each ballot list, the voter could do a combination of the two choices above. Let’s say déi gréng would only run with 6 candidates: the voter could tick the box above “lëscht 1” and distributes his remaining votes in between individual candidates on the other lists. See example 3.

In the Majorz Communes the voter will have to elect individual candidates (choice 2). There might be different ballot list from political parties or other political formations, but the voter must use all the votes (as many as there are seats to be filled), while only giving candidates maximum one vote.

In the Majorz Communes the voter will have to elect individual candidates (choice 2). There might be different ballot list from political parties or other political formations, but the voter must use all the votes (as many as there are seats to be filled), while only giving candidates maximum one vote.

Attention!

The above examples are the only voting methods that can be used without risking invalidating the voting form.

The voter may not vote for a ballot list AND also distribute individual votes on that same list, even if the ballot list they have chosen contains less than seats to be filled.

If the voter has chosen to select only individual candidates they cannot mark the box above any of the ballot lists.

It is only possible to mark a ballot list as well as other individual candidates (from other lists) if the chosen ballot list has less candidates than seats to be filled.

Warning! Polling station opening times

Unlike many countries, polling stations are only open in Luxembourg on October 9 from 8am to 2pm and that's it! Don't be caught out and miss your chance to vote because of this.

And don't forget valid ID either! Very important.

In Luxembourg there are 116 communes of which 44 are Proporz communes. Officially, there are 43 Proporz communes, but most parties consider there to be 44 as they separate Clemency and Bascharage. These are: Bascharage, Bertrange, Bettembourg, Betzdorf, Contern, Luxembourg, Diekirch, Differdange, Dudelange, Dippach, Echternach, Esch-sur-Alzette, Ettelbruck, Frisange, Grevenmacher, Hesperange, Hobscheid, Junglinster, Kayl-Tetange, Kehlen, Kopstal, Lorentzweiler, Mamer, Mersch, Mertert/Wasserbillig, Mondercange, Mondorf, Niederanven, Pétange, Rambrouch, Remich, Roeser, Rumelange, Sandweiler, Sanem, Schifflange, Schuttrange, Steinfort, Steinsel, Strassen, Walferdange, Wiltz and Wincrange.

In the Proporz Communes the parties run as ballot lists, although they are not obliged to run in all of them. This year, the four biggest parties (déi gréng, CSV, LSAP and DP) have the list number 1 through 4 in the Proporz Communes in which they are running for election. ADR, KPL and Déi Lénk (Biergerlëscht is only running in Esch sur Alzette) have differing ballot list numbers in the communes in which they run. At the same time there might also be different political formations running for election in the Proporz communes, for example “lëscht 5” in Schuttrange is “Schëtter-Bierger” a group of independent citizens not necessarily aligned with any political party.