Global Resident Voting Timeline

The following is a partial list of nations in which varying jurisdictions have passed laws permitting noncitizens to cast ballots in the years indicated.

France (2006): 2/3 of residents of town of Saint-Denis votes in favor of allowing noncitizens local voting rights; court rules that vote is non-binding

Bulgaria (2005): EU nationals granted right to vote in local elections

Estonia (2004): Russian-speaking minority with permanent resident status granted voting rights in local elections

Italy (2004): immigrants allowed to vote for four nonvoting members of Rome city council and one nonvoting seat at each of 19 district councils

Belgium (2004): local elections

Luxembourg (2003): local voting rights passed. no nationality restrictions

Austria (2002): local elections in Vienna

Slovakia (2002): local voting rights for 3-year residents

Slovenia (2002): local voting rights for 3-year residents

Lithuania (2002): EU nationals granted local voting rights

Czech Republic (2001): voting rights in local elections approved for EU nationals

Bolivia (1994): changed constitution to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections (not yet implemented)

Colombia (1991): changed constitution to allow noncitizens to vote in local elections (not yet implemented)

Barbados (1990): citizens of British Commonwealth can vote in national elections

Hungary (1990): local elections for permanent residents (revised 2004 to limit to EU nationals)

Germany (1989): states of Schleswig-Holstein approved local voting rights for Danish, Irish, Norse, Dutch, Swedish, and Swiss 5-year residents; state of Hamburg approved local voting for 8-year residents; West Berlin passed local voting for 5-year residents. All were struck down by constitutional court in 1990.

Chile (1989): local and national elections

Iceland (1986): 3-year residents from Nordic Union citizens can vote in local elections

Spain (1985): local elections

Australia (1984): repealed 1947 legislation but grandfathered those registered before 1984

Venezuela (1983): 10-year residents can vote in local and state elections

Finland (1981): Nordic Union citizens can vote in local elections (expanded in 1991 to all 4-year residents)

Netherlands (1979): Local elections in Rotterdam (expanded nationwide in 1985)

Norway (1978): local elections for Nordic Union (expanded in 1995 for 3-year residents)

Denmark (1977): local elections for Nordic Union (expanded in 1981 for all foreign residents)

Portugal (1976): national and some local elections (expanded 1997 to all 3-year residents)

Sweden (1975): local and regional elections, plus some national referenda

New Zealand (1975): local and national elections

Ireland (1963): local elections (expanded 1984 to remove 6-month residency requirement and to allow British citizens the vote on the national level)

Uruguay (1952): national elections for 15-year residents

Israel (1950): local elections for Jewish residents only

Australia (1947): national and local for British nationals only

United Kingdom (1948): national elections for Commonwealth and Irish citizens

Switzerland (1849): 5-year residents in Neuchatel canton (expanded in 1979 for 10-year residents in Jura canton)

Canada (date n/a): Commonwealth citizens only

Brazil (date n/a): Portuguese citizens only

Cape Verde (date n/a): Portuguese citizens only

Belize (date n/a): national and local voting rights for three-year residents

Additional jurisdictions:

European Union (1992): reciprocal local and European Parliament elections for all member nations

Nordic Union (1970s): local elections

Hong Kong: permanent residents are granted local voting rights

Failed or stalled initiatives:

Japan (2000): legislation considered to supercede 1995 supreme court ruling against noncitizen voting rights, but did not pass

Latvia (2000)

France (1981 and 2000)