This paper reports on a global survey of emigrant voting. It provides evidence that, despite the political philosophical arguments for or against the practice which continue, expatriate voting has a long history, exists in various forms and is becoming more common.
The paper reports on a global survey providing data from 144 countries, the largest survey of systems of emigrant voting ever undertaken. This data indicates that, in contrast to non-citizen residents, non-resident citizens are commonly enfranchised in one way or another. The following section reviews the literature on the political participation of emigrants, highlighting patterns that emerge from the various studies conducted to date. On this basis, three separate systems of emigrant participation are identified as a basis for classification, discussed in the following section which explores the survey methodology. The third section goes on to present the results, which are mapped and analysed using data from the Global Migration Database, developed at the University of Sussex, to highlight patterns associated with voting systems. The final section concludes that, despite arguments for or against it, enfranchisement of emigrants is a developing trend.
WP-T22, Sussex, UK, DRC on Migration, Globalisation and Poverty, 36 pp.