Voting rights

Voting rights are the most important element of the electoral system. This is one of the fundamental political rights of citizens. A distinction is made between ACTIVE and PASSIVE voting rights.

Active voting rights relate to the circle of people who have the right to elect representative bodies, while the passive voting rights relate to the circle of people who have the right to be elected to such bodies.

The right to vote is universal and equal, meaning that it is the right of every citizen that has reached 18 years of age to vote and be elected regardless of class, ethnic, racial, economic or other affiliation. The law may determine under what conditions aliens also have voting rights.

Voting rights are regulated in detail by the National Assembly Elections Act.

The voting rights of members of the Italian and Hungarian ethnic communities is specially regulated for the election of deputies from those ethnic communities, since only members of the communities – and not citizens – have the right to vote and stand for election as deputies of the Italian and Hungarian communities.

There are direct voting rights and indirect voting rights. When voters vote without any intermediary for members of a representative body, we may speak of direct voting rights. On the other hand, when voters merely select electors or an electoral college which then elects members of a representative body, we speak of indirect voting rights.

Free suffrage means that voters can truly make a free choice amongvarious candidates or political parties in elections. A free vote also involves the right of every voter to exercise their voting rights or not. The principle of free suffrage is especially emphasised in the Constitution concerning elections to the National Assembly, although in view of the nature of the constitutional provisions this principle should be taken as a general principle that applies to all elections.

In casting votes, voters must be assured of freedom of voting, something especially emphasised by electoral legislation. Free suffrage is also protected under criminal law. This principle of free suffrage is closely linked to the principle of secret ballots. In the Slovenian electoral system this is provided in the Constitution and broken down in detail in electoral legislation.

 

Voting rights register

There are currently two methods of recording voting rights: permanent and occasional. Slovenia uses a permanent voting rights register, which is occasionally combined with an occasional record (electoral registers for members of the Italian and Hungarian ethnic communities and members of the Roma community).


The permanent voting rights register comprises:

  • the voting rights register of Slovenian citizens who have permanent residence in Slovenia;
  • the voting rights register of EU citizens who have permanent residence in Slovenia;
  • the voting rights register of Slovenian citizens who do not have permanent residence in Slovenia;
  • the voting rights register for elections to the European Parliament.

 
The permanent voting rights register is kept in the permanent population register at the administrative unit and in the central population register of the Republic of Slovenia.

For each election or ballot, electoral registers are compiled on the basis of the voting rights register for all polling stations in the country. In addition to these, the following electoral registers are also compiled for specific elections:

  • Slovenian citizens who do not have permanent residence in Slovenia (for presidential and National Assembly elections);
  • Slovenian citizens who are members of the Italian or Hungarian ethnic communities (for National Assembly and local elections);
  • Slovenian citizens who are members of the Roma community (for local elections).

For elections to the European Parliament, a special electoral register is compiled of Slovenian and European Union citizens who have the right to vote in those elections.
 

 

Protection of voting rights and objection

Voting rights are a fundamental political right and are therefore protected through legal remedies. Under Slovenian legislation, protection of voting rights can be enforced in procedures before electoral commissions and the National Assembly, and judicial protection of voting rights is also provided in the courts and at the Constitutional Court.