Court denies Dutch expats extra voting time despite ballot delay
A court ruling in The Hague has rejected the pleas of Dutch expats in extending their voting time.
Dutch voting law
By law, all ballots must be in by the election date, March 15, 2017; the day of the national Dutch government vote.
The ballot delay
78.000 expats abroad registered to vote in this year’s elections compared to 48.000 in 2012.
Despite the sharp increase, around 1.000 Dutch nationals living abroad that registered to vote have yet to receive their ballots with only a week left to get them in by the election date.
The expat campaign
For the first time in political history, a D66 candidate, Eelco Keij has focused on getting the Dutch expat community’s voice heard. He believes the state has neglected Dutch citizens living abroad and believed that the state should have sent the ballots six weeks ahead of time.
"Of course, the verdict will be legally sound, but it's a far cry from reality... A serious number of Dutch voters abroad are being robbed of their voting rights," he said.
Eelco Keij, candidate for Dutch parliament (party D66, spot 39), both an American and a Dutch citizen, has lived abroad for many years and has been advocating for the interests of the Dutch abroad since 2011.