Methods to facilitate voting may include voting abroad.
- In practice…there is a growing tendency to broaden the franchise, for example, by including overseas residents.
- Where applicable, special arrangements should be made to allow special categories of voters, such as voters living abroad and prisoners, to vote.
- A number of countries permit their citizens to cast ballots in embassies or specially designated voting centres outside of the country.
- [T]he right to vote and to be elected may be accorded to citizens residing abroad.
- Where suffrage is permitted to citizens who reside outside of the country, opportunities should be provided to them to enable them to vote, especially in the case of refugees from that country.
- At each stage of the external electoral process, emphasis must be placed on implementing procedures and processes that are not only faithful to the legislation but also as close as possible to those in place for in-country voters. All electors must have access to a similar registration and polling process, no matter where they are located.
- There is thus no ‘best procedure’ for external voting. Much will depend on the context, such as the infrastructure of those foreign countries where external voting is to be held. The decision on suitability will depend on the costs and practical aspects of the different procedures for external voting (...).
- Entitlement to cast an external vote is usually linked to the general entitlement to vote that applies to all eligible electors in a country. However, there are sometimes extra requirements imposed on external electors, such as a minimum period of previous residence or an intention to return to the country. In some cases only limited groups of external electors may be eligible to vote, such as diplomats, other public officials and members of the armed forces, and their families.
- In most cases it would be appropriate to apply the same level of authentication requirements to registration as an external elector as apply to the normal electoral registration process.
- The security and control of registration and voting materials require special attention for external voting. Security is as essential externally as it is internally but there is the added challenge of securing sensitive materials during transport to and from several countries.
- In most cases the duties and responsibilities of countries hosting foreign electoral activity on their soil are minimal, being confined to the role of facilitator rather than that of organizer or implementer. While host countries can assist in the external voting process, their role should not threaten the secrecy of the ballot or the neutrality or transparency of the programme. It is critical that external voting programmes be conducted without political or government influence or interference.