“Euro 2016 Iceland fans, vote before you go!”
It will not have escaped anybody’s attention that Iceland will be having presidential elections at the end of June. One problem: that’s exactly the time that thousands of Icelanders will be in France to cheer on their home team at Euro 2016.
Iceland is in the finals of the UEFA European Football Championship for the first time ever. Their last group game is on 22 June, just three days before the elections on Saturday 25. Many fans may stay on in France over that weekend, particular if Iceland progress to the knockout phase.
“Of course we expect there to be more Icelanders in France than usual,” says Head of Consular Services at the Icelandic Foreign Ministry Jóhann Jóhannsson. “But there will be no extra polling stations or times.”
“We recommend people vote before leaving the country,” he continues. “It will be easier for all concerned.
Almost 27,000 Icelanders – 8.15% of the population – applied for tickets to Iceland games, so there will clearly be a large Icelandic contingent in France.
It will be possible to vote in eight cities in France, including Paris and Marseille where two of Iceland’s group games are taking place.
Extra ballot papers will be sent to France and more embassy staffed laid on, but the recommendation is for fans to cast their vote in Iceland before leaving.