Voting method - Denmark

Voting method

Even though the regulations use the phrase 'postal voting' in reference to out-of-country voting, the actual procedure does not fall under the category of postal voting as defined in this database. 


Folketing (Parliamentary) Elections Act (Consolidated Act No. 369 of 10 April 2014)

Franchise and Eligibility

1. -(1) Franchise for the Folketing is held by every person of Danish nationality, who is above 18 years of age, and permanently resident in the realm, unless such person has been deprived of his or her legal capacity under a guardianship order, cf. section 6 of the Guardianship Act.

2. -(1) Persons who are employed by the Danish State and ordered to enter service outside the realm, shall be considered to be permanently resident in the realm.

(2) The following persons who have taken up temporary residence in foreign countries shall also be considered to be permanently resident in the realm

(i) persons being sent out in foreign service as employees of a Danish public agency or any local private undertaking or association;

(ii) persons taking up residence in foreign countries as employees of an international organisation of which Denmark is a member;

(iii) persons being sent out to do service in foreign countries by a Danish relief organisation;

(iv) persons staying abroad for the purpose of education;

(v) persons staying abroad for health reasons;

(vi) persons staying abroad and who, with respect to affiliation with the realm, must be quite coequal with the persons specified in paragraphs (i) to (v).

(3) Persons taking up residence in foreign countries shall also be considered to be permanently resident in the realm if they intend to return to the realm within two years of their departure.

(4) Any person co-habiting at the same address with a person comprised by subsections (1), (2) or (3) shall be considered to be permanently resident in the realm if the co-habiting partners concerned

(i) have married or entered into a registered partnership with each other, or

(ii) fulfil the conditions of marrying or entering into a registered partnership with each other and had set up joint residence before departure.

The Parliamentary Electoral System in Denmark: Guide to the Danish, Electoral System the Parliamentary Electoral System in Denmark (page 25-24)


Casting a vote is in principle based on the presence of the voter at the polling station on election day. However, a special voting procedure is available for voters unable to appear in person at their polling stations during voting hours. Voters are not allowed to vote at polling stations other than the one where they are designated according to the electoral register.

The Danish term for this special voting procedure (“brevstemmeafgivning”) literally means “postal voting.” However, this term is inadequate for comparative purposes, since the procedure is quite different from what is usually associated with “postal voting”. We therefore prefer the term “advance voting,” since it conveys the central feature, i.e. that this kind of voting must take place before election day.

4.2.2. Advance Voting Abroad

Danish voters living abroad as well as Danish voters temporarily abroad (e.g. on vacation or business) can cast an advance vote at any Danish diplomatic or consular mission. Such votes are accepted by the administrative staff. Instructions issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs contain a section on “Voting Abroad in Elections and Referenda.” Advance voting abroad can also take place with a “vote receiver” appointed for particular purposes by the Ministry of the Interior and Health. This possibility is mainly used to serve Danish military personnel abroad, e.g. as members of UN peacekeeping forces.

Danish sailors serving on Danish ships in foreign waters – and Danish passengers as well – may also vote on board the ship. The ship’s master (or his/ her substitute) collects these votes.

Voting abroad can take place at any time, but advance votes cast more than three months before election day are not accepted as valid votes as they are not counted. A special rule is applicable to sailors and their accompanying spouses, according to which they can cast a new vote as early as one day after an election, which will remain valid until the next election, provided the voting takes place on the ship.


Additional information gathered from the web portals of the MFA in various countries:

Danish Citizens right to vote from abroad (Embassy in UAE)

“In which elections can I vote?

For the duration of your register you have the right to participate in general elections, referenda and elections to the European Parliament, but not in municipal and regional elections.

Postal voting abroad

If you are abroad and so prevented from voting in Denmark on election day, you may vote by post at a Danish Embassy or Consulate abroad. It is, however, a condition that you are registered in the electoral register.

There is no deadline for when you must have given your vote abroad for it to be counted, but postal votes must be given in sufficient time before election day for it to reach your former municipality of residence before the voting on election day starts at 9 o’clock.

You must remember to bring identification, i.e. passport, driving licence or medical card.

Particularly about Danes residing in one of the other EU Countries

Danes having reached 18 years of age and living in one of the other EU Countries have on application a right to participate in elections for the European Parliament in Denmark. That also applies to the Danes not included in one of the groups of persons described above who despite their residing abroad can be considered to have kept residence in the country.”

Information on how to postal vote regarding the referendum on 3 December 2015 (Embassy in the UK)

“Danish citizens eligible for voting at the referendum on 3 December 2015 can cast a postal vote at the Danish Embassy in London or any Danish Consulate in the United Kingdom.”