Voting in Poland (or Abroad): A How-to Guide

Please read this updated article from 2018.


The Polish voting system is a straightforward one, as long as one votes in the same place as their stated permanent address, or meldunek. If that is the case, a Polish citizen only has to show up in their nearest polling location with their ID. However, for the countless Poles that have moved around the country for work or education, in addition to those living abroad, ensuring that their voice is counted in the 20 June election is a more complicated process.

Under Polish law, every citizen has the right to vote where they choose without showing proof of residency in their chosen district, as long as they register up to 10 days in advance of the election. By registering, one is added to a list of voters at a polling station of their choosing. For the upcoming presidential election, today is the last day to register.

In Krakow, there are three municipal offices where voters can register. The main one, servicing residents who wish to vote in districts I-VII (city centre and Krowodrza), is located at al. Powstania Warszawskiego 10, and is open until 6 pm this evening. Though there have been reports of hour-long queues yesterday, today the city designated extra workers to handle the unexpected applicants, and queues have been significantly reduced. In addition, citizens wishing to vote in districts VIII-XIII (Podgórze) may register at ul. Wielicka 28a, while Nowa Huta residents can register at os. Zgody 2.

Those registering at the municipal office need to fill out a form called a “Request to be added to the list for voters that are not registered”, and fill out their chosen polling address, as well as their temporary address and last known permanent address. Showing a government-issued ID card (dowód osobisty) is the only additional requirement.

Poles abroad have until 17 June to register to vote at the Polish consulate in the country where they reside. Applications can be made in oral, written, telephone, fax, or email form or via the designated website. Finally, Poles who reside in the country but will be abroad on election day have until 18 June to inform their municipal office that they will be abroad, upon which they will be given a document that will allow them to vote at the consulate where they will be residing.

Unfortunately, choosing who to choose on the ballot is an far more complicated ordeal.

For more information (in Polish) about voting abroad or without a permanent address, please visit www.glosujbezmeldunku.pl

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