Upcoming Elections: What Maltese Students Need To Know
On the 5th of March, 2018, the voting age was lowered to 16 meaning that this Saturday (May 25th) may be the first time that many students are going to be able to vote. Before anyone walks into the booths for the first time, here are some things you need to know about what's happening, why, and how.
Why should I vote?
Politics is always on the back of everyones mind nowadays, especially in Malta. Voting because it's popular should never be your aim, but you should do it because it is your duty as a Maltese and EU citizen. Your vote is your voice, meaning you have the opportunity to affect how your locality, country, and even continent is going to move forward in the future. Before getting into the nitty gritty, let's see what the fuck these elections are about.
What are these elections?
This Saturday, 2 elections will be taking place, one involving your Local Council’s representatives and the other regarding the Members of European Parliament, or MEP for short (these are the people representing Malta in the EU).
Your Local Council controls the day-to-day activities that go on in your locality. These things include rubbish collection, road works, building permits, and more, meaning that while they aren't deciding laws they are still directly affecting your day-to-day life.
The European Parliament is a group of representatives from each country which discuss legislative acts, laws, and regulations. The number of representatives is decided via population size, Malta having the minimum of 6 MEP’s. Not only do these members affect Malta, but the EU as a whole. Some examples of such legislative acts & laws include: Online Copyright Regulations & EU Budget 2019.
Who should I vote for?
We obviously aren't going to tell you exactly who to vote for, but we’re gonna give you a little help in making your decision on Saturday. When it comes to the Local Council, recently by post, you should have received a paper which is an example of a voting ballot. Listed on this paper will be the names of the different representatives for your specific locality, from which we strongly suggest you take a couple of minutes to do a little internet research about. As for the MEP elections, looking at every individual candidate may take some time (there's over 40) so looking at the different parties may be a bit more helpful.
Doing your own research on each party's policies will help a lot, and if you need a place to start from, this link will help you in figuring out where you should start looking. We also recommend taking this short survey to give you a better idea of which party better suit you.
Where & When do I go to vote?
The times to vote are between 7am to 9pm on this Saturday, 25th March. On the voting card that you received by post or picked up from your local police station, it will tell you where to go. Usually this will be a government building close to you or the local primary school, so make sure you know where to go before so you don't get lost on the day.
How can I vote?
Well, all you have to do is follow these steps. Seriously, it's not that hard.
Before leaving the house, make sure you have your voting card with you and, just in case, take your ID card with you as well, 'cause you never know.
Once you go to vote, you will wait in line and eventually enter a booth with a voting ballot.
This sheet of paper will list all the viable candidates that you can vote for, separated by the party they belong to and boxes next to them.
In those boxes, you will write down a number which will represent how much preference you want to give them, 1 being the highest, 2 second, etc.
You can write as many numbers as there are candidates or write the number 1 and leave the rest blank, it's your choice.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you do not write the same number twice, as that vote and any numbers after it will not count (the numbers before it will).
We really hope you have found this article useful as the election approaches and wish you a hassle free voting experience.