There has been a *huge* increase in requests for recognition of Italian citizenship over the past several years–my and my father’s requests included.
Along with “creating” many more Italian citizens in the world, this also means that many (non- or little-speaking Italian) people are becoming eligible to vote in Italian elections for the first times in their lives.
And believe me, the process is *very* different than in the United States.
As I think there may be quite a few people out there confused by the instructions, I’m going to break it down here, in English, and urge you–if you are an Italian citizen, PLEASE exercise your right to VOTE in this election.
AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE NOT FOR BERLUSCONI!
Every Italian citizen residing abroad should be registered with the local consulate in the A.I.R.E. (Anagrafe Italiani Residenti Estero). If you are, you should have already received a packet from your consulate including:
- Your electoral certificate (with your name on giving you the right to vote);
- Two (2) different colored ballots (pink for the Camera dei Deputati and blue for the Senato); if you are under the age of 25, you will receive only a ballot for the Camera;
- Two (2) envelopes (one small, blank, and white and the other larger and self-addressed and stamped to your consulate);
- The list of candidates for your area; and
- An information sheet.
1. First of all, grab and use a blue or black pen.
2. Now, an aside to explain a little of what’s going on with the ballots: below the main candidates, all of the people on their “lists” are from the “estero” or outside Italy; those elected will represent your interests as an Italian citizen residing abroad.
Depending on where you live, you will be able to vote for differing numbers of deputati and senatori–don’t worry, the number of blank lines will tell you how many you are allowed to write in.
If you are in North or Central America like my dad, for example, you can vote for 2 deputati and 1 senatore.
So . . .
3. To vote, you place an X over the logo of the party of your choice.
My advice is this one:
Vote for Veltroni! Woohoo!
4. Now you can write in your choices for senatori and deputati as described above being extremely careful to copy the names exactly as printed on the list. And don’t write anything else!
5. Fold and put your two ballots in the small blank white envelope and seal it.
6. Put that envelope inside the bigger envelope addressed to the consulate.
7. Tear off the bottom part of your electoral certificate at the perforation, put that in the big envelope with the ballots, and seal it.
8. Mail it off–it must be received by your consulate by April 10–and wait for election results.
Optional: buy some prosecco if you’re feeling particularly confident in your party.
And, in case I haven’t been clear . . .
*Special thanks to the website of Gino Bucchino, candidate for Camera dei Deputati for Central and North America with Partito Democratico‘s (and my) main man, Walter Veltroni; and I’m not just saying this because Bucchino was born in Calabria, I swear.