The Malta Independent 20 July 2019, Saturday

Should migrants be allowed to vote? Social media posts show racist sentiment

Wednesday, 15 May 2019, 16:05 Last update: about 3 months ago

A Facebook post in a popular local group asking if immigrants should be given the right to vote garnered thousands of comments, most replying in the negative. The post was accompanied by a picture of dark-skinned people.

Whilst several simply replied no, a lot were more opinionated saying that there was no way they should be allowed to vote, and that “of course” they should not be given this right.

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The classic “go back to your country” also made several appearances in this post. One person also said they should not be given a right to vote because they could then contest elections.

One comment said that after 15 years they should be given the right to vote. The number of positive replies, agreeing that immigrants should have the right to vote, were in the minority out of the thousands of negative replies.

As it stands in Malta, not everyone has the right to vote, despite being subjected to the laws of the country.

For the General Elections Electoral Register any citizen of Malta who has reached the age of 16 years of age and who has resided in Malta for at least six months in the last eighteen months prior to registration may apply. Those who are listed in this register are also automatically entitled to vote during Referenda, local council elections and elections for the European Parliament. One must possess a Malta identity card.

For the Local Councils Electoral Register any citizen of the European Union who is officially resident in the Maltese Islands, and is in possession of an identity card or eResidence card issued in Malta may apply. The minimum age of entry in this register is of 16 years.

For the European Union Electoral Register any citizen of the European Union who is officially resident in the Maltese Islands, and who opts to vote in Malta for Members of the European Parliament may apply.

Once registered, the person would be renouncing his right to vote in the same elections in his home country. Such a person must be 16 years of age and possess an identity card or eResidence card issued in Malta.

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