Elections 2022: everything you need to know for those who vote from abroad

The elections of 25 September 2022 they arrive slightly earlier than the natural expiry of the legislature.

The political forces have not found an agreement on a new electoral law: for this reason, also this year – as already happened in 2018 – we will vote with the text commonly called Rosatellumfrom the name of the parliamentarian Ettore Rosato (today in Italy Viva), who was the creator.

Let’s see the structure in brief.

Electoral basis and number of elected representatives

It should be noted, first of all, that, since this electoral round, the number of parliamentarians was reduced: if up to the 2020 referendum the number of deputies was 630 and that of senators 315, from September they will be 400 and 200 respectively.

Italian citizens residing abroad and registered with AIRE have the right to vote: as of December 31st there are about 5.8 million. It is interesting to note that as at 31 December 2017 there were 4.97 million: therefore an increase of about one sixth was determined in the space of five years.

Expats vote for the so-called “overseas constituency”, Which includes four divisions. With the reform following the 2020 referendum, the total number of deputies to be elected has gone from 12 to 8, that of senators from 6 to 4. More specifically, Italians residing in the United Kingdom will vote for the breakdown of Europethe largest, comprising about 3.2 million citizens. The polls will indicate the names of three deputies and a single senator.

Who can vote

The law states that Italian citizens registered with AIRE and those who, for reasons of work, study or medical treatment, are abroad can vote in the foreign constituency for a period of at least three months. The vote takes place by correspondence and is limited to political elections and referendums only (for European elections you can also vote in embassies and consulates in EU countries; to vote in administrative offices – for example the regional elections of Lazio and Lombardy – it is instead necessary to physically return to Italy ).

Here the dedicated page of the Foreign Ministry, here the schedule, here a short practical guide. Caution: those who have not received the card by 11 September must contact their consular office to get a duplicate.

How the Rosatellum works: abroad there is a preference vote

For residents in Italy, the Rosatellum provides for the election of 2/3 of parliamentarians with the proportional, and the remaining 1/3 with the majority: but in the foreign constituency you can vote only in the first way. On the ballot, voters will then find a list of names to choose from.

Preferences (unlike what happens in the proportional share in Italy) are allowed: you can then indicate the preferred candidate among those present. The order of the list matters little, practically only for a matter of visual impact.

Barrier thresholds

Regard at the threshold of the barrier, the Rosatellum prescribes that parties must indicate in advance whether they run alone or in coalition: the choice must be unique at the national level (that is, it is not possible to make exclusively regional alliances). At this point:

  • If the party is not a member of a coalition (ie it shows up alone at the polls), it must exceed 3% nationally to get seats. If not, the votes are lost.
  • If, on the other hand, he is a member of a coalition, there are two conditionalities to be respected. The first is that the coalition as a whole must reach at least 10% nationwide. The second is that at least one party of the cartel must reach a) 3% at the national level or b) 20% at the regional level (but the condition is valid only in the Senate). The votes for parties that get less than 1%, even if in coalition, are lost. Those with parties that collect between 1% and 3% are distributed proportionally among the members of the coalition who have passed the barrier. In short, in this case the party does not take seats directly, but brings its votes to the alliance as a dowry.

Lists linked in a coalition that does not reach the 10% threshold are in any case admitted to the allocation of seats if they have exceeded, depending on the case, at least one of the other thresholds (3% of the votes at national level or 20% at regional level ).

Overall, the system wants to discourage fragmentation: big parties don’t have big problems, small ones do.

The vote of Italians abroad

The first correspondence vote of Italians residing abroad took place during the two referendums of 2003, while for the Chambers it took place with the parliamentary elections of 2006.

The paternity is of Mirko Tremaglia, historical figure of the right and former minister for Italians in the world. The text of the law bearing his name dates back to 2001.

Before then, to vote, residents abroad had to return to their municipality of residence in Italy (the one in which they were registered with AIRE): Carlo Verdone made a hilarious parody in Bianco, Rosso and Verdone. Due to costs and logistical difficulties, the right was often not exercised.

While the Tremaglia law has guaranteed a right to many, there has been no shortage of criticism. For example, with regard to the composition of the electoral base, with entitled persons who have never set foot in Italy. Furthermore, the mail-order voting system makes fraud particularly simple: numerous journalistic inquiries have revealed irregularities. It seems that there is a market for parcels, which would be sold for 5-10 euros each and then be filled in and bagged by organizations created ad hoc to favor one of the contenders. Recently, Senator Andrea Cario, elected in South America, lost his seat due to such an event, emerged following a calligraphic appraisal.

Elections 2022: everything you need to know for those who vote from abroad