How can Italian citizens vote from abroad?

All Italian citizens can vote in the upcoming election, but if you’re abroad there are specific arrangements and deadlines to know about.

Ballot papers in an Italian polling station.
Italian citizens residing abroad will receive their ballot papers at their registered foreign address. Photo by Giulio NAPOLITANO / AFP

All Italian citizens over the age of 18 are eligible to vote in the upcoming general election, scheduled for Sunday, September 25th. 

However, while Italian residents will be required to cast their vote at their local polling station (i.e. the one located in their municipality of residence, or comune) on the above-mentioned date, Italians living abroad will have the opportunity to vote by post in line with the conditions and deadlines set by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministero degli Esteri). 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Who’s who in Italy’s general election?

So what are these conditions and deadlines? 

First of all, in the case of Italian citizens permanently residing abroad (i.e. for a period of at least 12 months), the option to vote by post is only granted to those registered with AIRE (Anagrafe degli Italiani residenti all’estero), the register containing the personal data of all Italians living in a foreign country.

Registering with AIRE is free of charge and it can be done through the online ministerial portal available at this link or in person at the relevant Italian consulate. 

Those who are not registered with AIRE but expect to reside abroad for a period of at least three months – the election date must fall within this period of time – are also given the opportunity to vote by post. 

Ballot papers being stamped at an Italian polling station.

Voters must make sure that ballot papers are received by the relevant consulate by 4pm on Thursday, September 22nd. Photo by Giulio NAPOLITANO / AFP

However, in this case, citizens are required to communicate that they wish to vote by post through the following form, which must be filled out and sent to the relevant Italian comune via post, email or proxy.

For this year’s elections, all forms had to be received by the relevant comune by August 24th. 

Those who managed to have the form delivered by the above deadline and those correctly registered with AIRE should receive their ballot papers (usually, a pink one for the Chamber of Deputies and yellow one for the Senate) through the mail at their registered foreign address.

The papers will come in an envelope (plico elettorale) including instructions on how to return the ballots to the relevant consulate.

All voters should receive their ballots by September 11th

If, come September 12th, you have not received your plico yet, you should be able to ask for a duplicate by getting in touch with the Italian consulate of your country of residence.

READ ALSO: Have your say: How do you feel about Italy’s elections?

In the past, some individual consulates organised special collection times for anyone who had not yet received their ballot papers. Please check with your consulate to find out whether arrangements of this kind have been (or will be) made in your country of residence.

Once votes have been cast, voters are responsible for ensuring that their completed ballots are received by their consulate by 4pm local time on Thursday, September 22nd at the latest. 

Ballot papers received after the above deadline will not be accepted as consulates will officially start sending the ballots to Italy for counting (scrutinio).

Find all the latest news on Italy’s election race here.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Italy’s government to continue sending weapons to Ukraine in 2023

Italy's new government issued a decree on Thursday to continue sending weapons to Ukraine through 2023, continuing the previous administration's policy of support to Kyiv.

Italy's government to continue sending weapons to Ukraine in 2023

The decree extends to December 31, 2023 an existing authorisation for “the transfer of military means, materials and equipment to the government authorities of Ukraine,” according to a government statement.

Since taking office in October, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has repeatedly voiced her support for Kyiv while underlying the importance of the Atlantic alliance.

In her first speech to parliament, the leader of the Brothers of Italy party pledged to “continue to be a reliable partner of NATO in supporting Ukraine.”

Her predecessor Mario Draghi was a staunch supporter of Kyiv, but the issue of sending arms to Ukraine split the biggest party in parliament during his coalition government, the Five Star Movement.

That friction led to the early elections that brought Meloni to power.

Parliament now has 60 days to vote the decree into law.

READ ALSO: Outcry in Italy after Berlusconi defends Putin’s invasion of Ukraine

Despite Meloni’s efforts to reassure her Western allies of Italy’s support for the EU’s and NATO’s Ukraine strategy, including sanctions on Russia, the close ties to Russia of her two coalition partners have come under scrutiny.

Both Matteo Salvini of the League party and former premier Silvio Berlusconi, who leads Forza Italia, have long enjoyed warm relations with Russia.

In October, an audio tape of Berlusconi was leaked to the media in which the former premier described how he had received a birthday present of vodka from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In the tape, he also expressed concerns about sending weapons and cash to Kyiv and appeared to blame the war on Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky.

Berlusconi later issued a statement saying his personal position on Ukraine “does not deviate” from that of Italy and the EU.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Salvini, too, has come under fire for his relations with Moscow, including a report that he dined with Russia’s ambassador to Rome just days after that country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Salvini, who has criticised EU sanctions as ineffective, has long admired Putin, even wearing T-shirts emblazoned with the Russian leader’s face.