To Municipal and county council elections 2019 : Lists and parties

Requirements for- and the processing of registration proposals

The registration proposal must be received by the municipality/county administration by 31 March at 12.00 pm in the election year. It is not sufficient for the list proposal form to bear a postal stamp that is within the deadline.

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Registration proposals and their processing

Introduction

The provisions on registration proposals and their processing by the election board/county election board are collected in Chapter 6 of The Electoral Act and Chapter 3 of the electoral regulations.

The provisions in Section 6-1 of The Electoral Act lay down the requirements for election lists. Both registered political parties and other groups may provide lists during elections. The party/group prepares an election list proposal that must then be approved by the election authorities. The election board approves registration proposals for municipal council elections. The county election board approves registration proposals for county council elections and national parliamentary elections.

Pursuant to Section 16 of the electoral regulations, the election authorities shall obtain a declaration from the party's authoritative body if there is any uncertainty with respect to who has the right to represent a registered political party on the local level and present the list. Information on the identity of a party's authoritative body can be found in the Party Registry. The web address is: www.brreg.no/registrene/parti/

Enquiries may be directed to the individual listed as the party's contact person.

Filing deadline

The filing deadline for the registration proposals is 31 March at 12.00 pm, cf. Section 6-1(1). The deadline to withdraw a registration proposal is 20 April at 12.00 pm, cf. Section 6-5.

Filing of registration proposals

Section 6-1(1) of The Electoral Act specifies that the registration proposal is considered to be filed once it has arrived at the municipality for municipal council elections and at the county administration for parliamentary elections and county council elections. It must either arrive by mail or be delivered in person prior to the deadline. This means the proposal must physically have arrived, not necessarily to the election board but to the municipality or the county administration. This may be an inconvenience but is done to avoid uncertainty. It is the responsibility of the proposal applicant to ensure the registration proposal arrives on time.

If the registration proposal is sent via fax or e-mail before 31 March at 12.00 pm, it is considered to be sent before the deadline. However, it is a necessary requirement that the list, including original signatures, also be sent via regular mail/delivered in person.

Title of registration proposal

The registration proposal must have a title showing which party or group the proposal originates from and must not lead to any confusion, cf. Section 6-1(2b) of The Electoral Act.

Registered parties must use the registered name of the party for the list title. It is impermissible to use another name as the subtitle or use the name of the local office.

It is impermissible to use another name as the subtitle or use the name of the local office. Likewise, the registered party's name must be included in the list title whenever a party is submitting a list along with a group that is not registered as a party.

The Norwegian Directorate of Elections ("The Directorate") assumes that The Electoral Act does not prevent a common list of several registered parties or a common list of one or more registered parties or other groups to be included as a common designation in the list title alongside the name of the registered party.

The act does not prevent an unregistered group from using the word "party" in its name, provided that it is not likely to be confused with the name of a registered party.

Section 12 of the regulation specifies that registered political parties may decide whether the name of the party should be written in the Bokmål or the Nynorsk language. In addition, the party's name in Sami may be entered as a supplement alongside the name in Bokmål or Nynorsk. It is up to the individual party administration to take a position on this as opposed to the individual election board, regardless whether the official language of the municipality is Nynorsk or Bokmål or whether or not the municipality is located within the Sami language administrative region.

Pursuant to the last item in Section 6-1(2b), the title must not be able to be confused with the name of a registered political party, registered Sami political entity or the title of other registration proposals in the same electoral district. The registration proposal that is filed first shall have the right to use the name in its electoral district.

Candidates

How many candidates should/can be listed?

Section 6-2 of The Electoral Act discusses the number of candidates in the registration proposal. For parliamentary elections, in reference to the first paragraph, the registration proposal must be filled in in order with the names of a number of candidates equal to the number of representatives to be elected to Parliament from that county. Up to six additional names may also be listed.

For municipal council and county council elections, Section 6-2, second paragraph, stipulates that at least 7 names of candidates must be included in the list. Above this, there is a maximum limit, which is the number of candidates to be elected as representatives in the venue plus up to an additional six candidates.

The rules on pre-prioritisation can be found in Section 6-2, third paragraph, and apply solely to municipal council elections. A certain number of the top candidates on the registration proposal—depending on the size of the municipal council—may be awarded a "power-up" to their personal election results, equivalent to 25 per cent of the number of ballots cast in the election for all candidates on the list.

The highest allowable number is: 
11-23 municipal council members: up to 4,
25-53 municipal council members: up to 6,
55 or more community council members: up to 10.

The last item in Section 6-2(3) specifies that candidates who are given this voting "power-up" or bonus must be listed at the top of the registration proposal in a highlighted typeface. The fact that these names must appear in a highlighted typeface means that the names must be written in a boldface or italic font or in capital letters.

The Electoral Act does not contain any provisions requiring a certain percentage of each gender to be represented among the proposed candidates on an individual list. This means there are no quota requirements for elections of members to Parliament, municipal councils or county councils. Nonetheless, Sections 36, 37 and 38a of Kommuneloven [The Municipal Act] contain provisions on gender quotas that apply to elections, pursuant to The Municipal Act, for secretaries, county council representatives, permanent committees etc.

Identification of candidates

This is regulated by Section 6-1(2c) of The Electoral Act and Section 17 of the electoral regulations.

The registration proposals must include each candidate's first name, last name and year of birth, cf. Section 6-1(2c) of The Electoral Act. The proposal applicants may decide whether they also wish to list a candidate's occupation or place of residence. Candidates' occupations and/or residential addresses must be listed if this is needed in order to avoid any confusion with other candidates on the list. Pursuant to Section 17(1) of the electoral regulations, if information on a candidate's occupation and/or place of residence is listed on the registration proposal, this information must be included for each candidate on the list. It is also possible to list the party/group affiliation of individual candidates on common lists. In this event, this must also be done for every candidate on the list.

The Directorate believes it is up to the election board/county election board to determine the order with respect to the first or last name.

A candidate's legal last name must be used even if the individual is not known by that name; in this case, the name the individual is known by should be added in parentheses. In practice, a candidate may be listed with a nickname instead of his/her legal first name if he/she is commonly known by that name. This is related to the objective of the provision, which is specifically that an individual should be listed in a manner that provides the best possible guidance for voters.

The act does not prevent a parliamentary candidate from running for office in two or more counties. However, it is not possible to be listed on several different lists in the same county.

County and municipal council candidates may not run for office on more than one registration proposal in the respective county or municipality. However, there is nothing preventing a candidate from being listed on registration proposals for both a county council election and a municipal council election.

Annexes

Section 6-4(a) of The Electoral Act stipulates that the registration proposals must include an overview of the candidates' dates of birth. The registration proposals must also contain an overview of the dates of birth and residential addresses of anyone who has signed the registration proposal.

Items c and d apply to municipal and county council elections. The provision in Item c stipulates that candidates who are not listed in the population registry as residents of the municipality/county at the time the registration proposal is filed must attach a declaration stating that they will be eligible for election on the day of the election. Pursuant to Item d, for candidates that are not electable due to their occupation, a declaration must be attached stating that the candidate will have resigned from his/her position by the time the county or municipal council assembles.

Signatures on registration proposals

This is regulated by Section 6-3 of The Electoral Act and Section 13 of the electoral regulations.

Section 6-3(1) lists the rules that apply to registered political parties. For all elections, for parties registered in the Party Registry, the registration proposals can be signed by two council members from the party's local office in the county or municipality the list applies to. However, there is a requirement that the party must have received a certain level of public support in the last parliamentary election. A registered party must have received at least 500 votes in a county or 5,000 votes nationwide in order to fall under the simplified rules. If a party cannot demonstrate this level of public support, then it falls under the regulations for unregistered groups.

If a party was registered in the Party Registry after the last parliamentary election, then it has not had the opportunity to participate in a parliamentary election. In this case, it is sufficient for two council members at the party's local office in the municipality or county for which the list applies to sign the registration proposal.

If a party does not have a local office, then it must collect signatures as stipulated in Section 6-3(2) of The Electoral Act.

The last item in Section 6-3(1) states that if a registered political party submits a registration proposal along with an unregistered group, then the regulations for unregistered groups in Section 6-3(2) shall apply. The same applies if a registered political party that fulfils the public support requirements pursuant to the first paragraph submits a list along with a registered party that does not fulfil these requirements.

For all other proposal applicants (aside from those parties listed in the Party Registry receiving a sufficient level of popular support), Section 6-3(2) outlines the rules that apply for parliamentary elections, county council elections (Item a) and municipal council elections (Item c).

For parliamentary and county council elections, a registration proposal must be signed by at least 500 eligible voters in the county.

For municipal council elections, the number of signatures collected must equal at least 2% of the number of residents eligible to vote in the last municipal council election. Since the size of municipalities varies greatly, a minimum and maximum number of signatures has been introduced. The minimum requirement is that the proposal must be signed by a number of individuals at least equivalent to the number of municipal council representatives to be elected. The maximum requirement is 300 signatures.

Examples:

Trangvik Municipality: 
240 residents eligible to vote in the last election. Eleven representatives are to be elected. 
2% of 240 = 4.8 voters. 
The minimum requirement, the number of municipal council members to be elected, is applicable here. In other words, the registration proposal must be signed by at least 11 people.

Lillevik Municipality: 
2000 residents eligible to vote in the last election. Twenty-one representatives are to be elected. 
2% of 2000 = 40 voters. 
Forty signatures are required on the registration proposal.

Stordal Municipality: 
20,000 residents eligible to vote in the last election. 
Fifty-seven representatives are to be elected. 
2% of 20,000 = 400 signatures. The maximum requirement is applied. Three hundred signatures are sufficient.

The electoral regulations of Section 13 stipulate that signatures collected pursuant to Section 6-3(2) of The Electoral Act must be written on paper. Therefore, it is not possible to collect signatures electronically for these groups.

On the other hand, registered political parties that file registration proposals pursuant to Section 6-3(1) are allowed to submit an electronic signature if digital communication with the municipality/county administration has been facilitated.

The electoral regulations in Section 13(2) state that signatures collected pursuant to Section 6-3(2) of The Electoral Act are subject to confidentiality and shall not be publicised. Reference is made to Section 15-4 of The Electoral Act, a provision about confidentiality. According to Section 15-4(1), the provisions on confidentiality in Forvaltningsloven [The Governance Act] also apply to elections.

According to Section 13(1) of The Governance Act, a signature on a registration proposal constitutes information about "an individual's personal circumstances" and is therefore subject to confidentiality.

The registration proposal must indicate which candidates are running for election on the party's/group's list. In addition, it must be signed by the registration proposal applicants. Individuals cannot sign a registration proposal unless a candidate's name is listed. However, pursuant to Section 6-6(3), if a registration proposal is not in compliance with the requirements of the act at the time of filing, the election authorities must try to bring the proposal into compliance with the law via negotiations with the registration proposal's representative. This means that it is not an absolute requirement that all of the candidates' names be listed on the signed registration proposal. Nevertheless, the registration proposal must include at least one candidate's name as otherwise it cannot be considered to constitute a registration proposal.

Representatives and the representative council

Section 6-1(2e) of The Electoral Act and Section 14 of the electoral regulations contain provisions on this.

Section 6-1(2e) of The Electoral Act states that all registration proposals must name an appointed representative and deputy representative from the individuals signing the proposal. Furthermore, the third sentence states that the registration proposal should also designate the individuals who will serve as a representative council even though this is not a requirement with respect to the approval of the registration proposal.

The tasks of the representative include representing the proposal applicants in negotiations with the election board/county election board on the registration proposal. The representative council is responsible for recalling the registration proposal, if necessary.

Section 14 of the electoral regulations provides rules for selecting representatives and a representative council in the event the proposal applicants have not done so when the proposal is filed.

Section 14(1) of the regulations stipulates that when a registration proposal is issued by a registered political party and two of the council members of the local organisation have signed it, these individuals shall be considered to be the representative and the deputy representative, respectively. The board of the local office is considered to be the representative council.

Section 14(2) stipulates that when a registration proposal is filed pursuant to the requirements of Section 6-3(2) in The Electoral Act, the first two signatories shall be considered as the representative and deputy representative if the registration proposal does not indicate who holds these duties. The first five signatories on the registration proposal shall comprise the representative council.

Processing of registration proposals by the election board/county election board

The election board/county election board shall examine whether the registration proposals that have arrived fulfil the requirements of the act, including whether the proposal applicants and candidates fulfil the requirements of The Electoral Act, cf. Section 6-6. In negotiations with the representative, the election board/county election board must strive to bring the registration proposal in compliance with the requirements of the act, cf. Section 6-6(3).

At the behest of the election board/county election board, the proposal applicant must present documentation needed to show that the conditions have been met. The election boards must be particular vigilant in checking that the candidates fulfil the conditions for electability and that names and addresses in the proposal are correct.

Section 6-6(4) of The Electoral Act regulates the circumstances when one individual is a signatory or a candidate on several registration proposals in the same election.

If an individual is listed as a proposal applicant/candidate on several registration proposals, the election board/county election board must ask the individual which of them he/she would like to be listed on. If the individual does not respond to the enquiry by the specified deadline, then he/she shall be included on the registration proposal filed first and removed from all others. Being listed as both a proposal applicant and a candidate on the same or different lists is not an issue.

If it turns out the candidate is not electable or is exempted, then the candidate shall be removed from the list. In these cases, the list's representative determines whether a new candidate should assume the vacant slot, cf. Section 15 in the electoral regulations. Alternatively, the list may be supplied with a new name at the bottom, with the remaining candidates moving up the list and appearing in the same order.

Section 6-6(1) of The Electoral Act states that the election board/county election board must submit the registration proposals for inspection on a rolling basis as they arrive. It is up to the individual election board/county election board to decide how this is to be carried out. As mentioned, the signatures on the registration proposals (with the exception of the representatives') do not need to be inspected, cf. Section 13 of the electoral regulations.

The approved lists may be published on the Internet, including information about the candidates that is listed on the registration proposals and approved by the election board/county election board. This may include information about the candidate's address and/or occupation in addition to his/her name and birth year.

Notification to the candidates

The election board/county election board must notify all the candidates on the electoral list, pursuant to Section 6-6(4) of The Electoral Act, that they have been listed in a registration proposal.

The notification must inform them of the grounds on which they can request an exemption from the election, cf. Section 3-2 of The Electoral Act for parliamentary elections and Section 3-4 for county and municipal council elections. No further rules are provided with respect to the procedure for the notification. The election board/county election board sets a deadline for feedback, documentation requirements etc. pursuant to ordinary municipal case processing, cf. The Municipal Act and The Governance Act.

Changes to registration proposals following expiration of the filing deadline

Section 15(1) in the electoral regulations states that once the filing deadline has passed, proposal applicants may only amend the registration proposal where it is necessary in order to bring the proposal into compliance with The Electoral Act and its regulations. Even if it is not necessary in order to bring the registration proposal into compliance with the act, a new candidate may be added to the registration proposal if another one is removed because he/she has been barred or exempted from the election, cf. Section 15(2) of the electoral regulations.

Approval of the election lists

Deadline

The election board/county election board must decide on the registration proposals by no later than 1 June, cf. Section 6-6(2) of the Electoral Act.

The approved registration proposals (the official election lists) must be made available for review, cf. Section 6-7 of The Electoral Act, by no later than the same date. Pursuant to this provision, the election board/county election board must ensure that the titles of the approved registration proposals are made public. At the same time, information must be provided on where the lists have been posted and where the general public can go to familiarise themselves with them. The election board/county election board may determine where to post the lists.

Notification to the proposal applicants

Section 18(1) of the electoral regulations specifies that the election board/county election board must notify the representatives and send them a copy of the approved registration proposal as soon as the lists have been approved.

If the registration proposal is not approved, then the election board/county election board must, as soon as possible, notify the representative of this and inform him/her about the availability of and conditions for filing an appeal, cf. Section 18(2) of the electoral regulations.

Appeals

Section 6-8 of The Electoral Act stipulates that, prior to a set deadline, a right of appeal is available for anyone who feels that the election board/county election board should reverse a decision to approve or reject a registration proposal. The deadline is 7 days after the title of the approved election lists is published. The intent of the provision is to prevent invalid elections by correcting any errors before the election. This eliminates any uncertainty regarding whether the election will be valid or not.

Registered parties may also appeal in accordance with this provision even if they do not have the right of appeal under the general appeal rules in Chapter 13 of The Electoral Act. Even if no local office has submitted a list in the applicable venue (with a possible risk of confusion), the party may naturally simply be interested in protecting its reputation.

The Norwegian Directorate of Elections is the appeal instance for county and municipal council elections. If the election board/county election board does not handle the complaint, then the Directorate shall decide the appeal.

Parliament is the appeal instance for complaints about voting rights and the right to cast a vote. Other complaints are handled by the Riksvalgstyret [National Election Board].

If an appeal is not filed pursuant to Section 6-8 of The Electoral Act, the right to appeal later pursuant to the general appeal provisions in Chapter 13 is nonetheless not lost. However, it may then be too late to correct any errors before election day. As a consequence of this, the party may therefore not be able to participate in the current election unless the appeal instance determines that the election was invalid and calls for a re-election.

 

The Electoral Act's provisions on registration proposals 

Section 6-1. Requirements for registration proposals

(1) The deadline for filing a registration proposal is 12 pm on 31 March of an election year. The registration proposal is considered to be filed once it has arrived at the municipality for municipal council elections and at the county administration for parliamentary and county council elections. A party or group may only submit one list for each election district.

 

(2) The registration proposal must comply with the following terms:

a) It must state which election it applies to.

b) It must include a title indicating the name of the party or group submitting the proposal. If the registration proposal is submitted by a registered political party, the title must agree with the registered name of the party. The title must otherwise not be able to be confused with the name of a registered political party, registered Sami political entity or title of any other registration proposals in the election district.

c) It must state on the list which candidates are running for election. The candidates cannot be identical to candidates appearing on other registration proposals that apply to the same election in the same election district. The number of candidates must comply with the requirements in Section 6-2. The first name, last name and birth year of the candidates must be listed. Information about a candidate's occupation or place of residence may be listed. This should be included if it is needed in order to avoid any confusion with other candidates on the list.

d) The registration proposal must be signed by a certain number of individuals, cf. Section 6-3.

e) It must include the name of a representative and a deputy representative among the individuals who have signed the registration proposal. These individuals must have the authority to negotiate with the election board/county election board with respect to changes in the registration proposal. The names of a certain number of individuals—among those who have signed the registration proposal—that will serve as a representative council with the authority to recall the registration proposal should also be indicated.

 

(3) As mentioned in Section 6-4, the registration proposal must include annexes.

 

(4) The registration proposal must not contain any other type of information for voters aside from what is specified in this paragraph.

 

Section 6-2. The number of candidate names on the registration proposal

(1) For parliamentary elections, the registration proposal must be filled in in order with names of candidates equal in number to the number of representatives to Parliament to be elected from that county. The proposal may additionally include up to six other names.

 

(2) For county and municipal council elections, the registration proposal must be filled in in order with a minimum of seven candidates. The proposal may include a maximum number of candidate names corresponding to the number of representatives to be elected to the county or municipal council plus an additional six other names.

 

(3) For municipal council elections, a certain number of the top candidates on the registration proposal may be given a voting "power-up" or bonus. In this case, the candidates receive a "power-up" boost to their personal voting results corresponding to 25 per cent of the number of ballots the entire party/group on the list has received in the election. Depending on the number of municipal council members to be elected, the proposal applicants may give a voting "power-up" to the following number of candidates:

 

11-23 members: up to 4

25-53 members: up to 6

55 or more members: up to 10.

 

These candidates' names must appear at the top of the registration proposal in a highlighted typeface.

 

Section 6-3. The number of signatures on the registration proposal

(1) For parties registered in the Party Registry receiving at least 500 votes in a county or 5,000 votes nationwide in the last parliamentary election, it is sufficient for the registration proposal to be signed by at least two of the council members at the party's local office in the county or municipality the list applies to. The same applies to parties that were recorded in the Party Registry after the last parliamentary election. The signatories must have the right to vote in the election district. If a registered political party submits a registration proposal along with an unregistered group, the provisions in the second paragraph shall apply nonetheless.

 

(2) The following rules apply to other proposal applicants:

a) For parliamentary and county council elections, a registration proposal must be signed by at least 500 individuals who are eligible to vote in the current election in the county.

b) For municipal council elections, the registration proposal must be signed by a number of eligible voters in the municipality corresponding to 2 per cent of the number of residents eligible to vote in the last municipal council election. However, at a minimum, the registration proposal must be signed by eligible voters in the municipality equal in number to the number of municipal council members to be elected. The signatures of 300 individuals is sufficient in any circumstances.

 

Section 6-4. Annexes to the registration proposal

The registration proposal must include the following annexes:

 

a) An overview of the candidates' dates of birth.

b) An overview of the dates of birth and residential addresses of anyone who has signed the registration proposal.

c) If a candidate for a county or municipal council election is not listed in the population registry as a resident of the county or municipality at the time the registration proposal is filed, then a declaration from the candidate stating that the individual will be electable on the day of the election must be attached.

d) If a candidate for the county or municipal council election is not electable due to his/her occupation, a declaration from the candidate stating that he/she will have resigned from his/her position when the county or municipal council assembles must be attached.

 

Section 6-5. Recalling a registration proposal

Filed registration proposals may be recalled by the representative council. The declaration of recall must be filed no later than 12 pm on 20 April of an election year.

 

Section 6-6. Processing of registration proposals by the election authorities

(1) The registration proposals must be submitted for inspection on a rolling basis as they arrive.

 

(2) The applicable election authority shall determine by 1 June of the election year whether the election list proposals and/or recalls of registration proposals can be approved.

 

(3) If a registration proposal is not in compliance with the requirements of the act at the time of filing, the election authorities must try to bring the proposal into compliance with the law via negotiations with the registration proposal's representative. The same applies to the declaration to recall the registration proposal.

 

(4) The election authorities shall notify all candidates on the registration proposals that they have been listed on the registration proposals and inform them of their right to apply for exemption. A signatory or candidate that appears on several registration proposals for the same election shall be ordered to announce by a set deadline which proposal the individual wishes to be listed on. Otherwise, the individual will be listed on the registration proposal that was filed first.

 

Section 6-7. Publication of approved election lists

Once the registration proposals have been approved, the election authorities shall make the official election lists available for review. The election authorities shall publish the titles of the approved election lists and inform the public where they are available.

 

Section 6-8. Appeals

Complaints demanding a change in a resolution of an election board or county election board to approve or reject a registration proposal must be presented within seven days of the publication of the titles of the approved election lists. If a complaint is based on the fact that the exclusive right to a party name has been violated, then a registered political party also has the right to appeal. In addition, the provisions on appeals in Chapter 13 shall be applicable.

 

Section 6-9. Regulations

The Directorate may issue regulations on the processing of registration proposals.