You can vote from 6 September until the actual election day on 19 September. By voting, you influence what the Church will do locally, regionally and nationally. What do you think the Church of Sweden should work on? Your vote is important!
With its 5.8 million members, the Church of Sweden is Sweden’s largest faith community. Its Christian foundation means commitment to the value and dignity of all people and to active environmental and climate work. As a member you contribute to fellowship, joy, deeper understanding and context for yourself and others, for example through baptisms, weddings, other services of worship, drop-in preschool, activities for children and young people, choirs and concerts.
You also contribute to preserving our shared cultural heritage in the form of buildings and traditions, and you help to support the social work of the Church for vulnerable, lonely and grieving people.
How to vote
On election day, 19 September, vote at your polling station
Your polling station and its opening hours are indicated on your voting card. NOTE! You can only vote at the polling station on election day. Bring your ID and preferably also your voting card.
You can vote early from 6 September until election day on 19 September. All votes cast in early voting centres are termed early votes, even if voting takes place on election day. You can find all locations and opening hours at svenskakyrkan.se/kyrkoval. You will need to bring your voting card and ID.
To vote by post, you need a postal voting pack. You can pick one up at a parish or pastor’s office. The package includes information on how to vote by post. The postal vote needs to be sent so that it reaches the diocese by 17 September at the latest (15 September if you are voting from abroad).
To vote by proxy, you need a postal voting pack. You can pick one up at a parish or pastor’s office. The pack includes information on how to vote by proxy. The proxy casts your vote at a polling station or at an early voting centre located in the parish or group of parishes to which you belong.
If you are abroad on election day
People registered in the church register in Sweden but resident abroad at the time of the election can vote by post. To vote by post, you need a postal voting pack. You can pick it up or order it from your pastor’s or parish office, or in a parish abroad. If you do not have your voting card with you, you can order a new one. It will then be sent to the parish abroad nearest to you. Your postal vote needs to reach the Central Board of the Church of Sweden by 15 September at the latest.
Ask for help if you are unsure
It's good to know that everyone who works in polling stations and early voting centres is bound by secrecy.
Your vote affects how the Church of Sweden is governed
There are three elections that make up the church election.
Parish Assembly elections, local
The Parish Assembly sets the framework for the activities that take place close to you, in your parish and in your group of parishes. These include decisions to employ an additional deacon to work more with the elderly and sick, whether to start an open preschool in the parish hall, and whether to invest in language cafés and mentoring for refugees.
White ballot papers.
Diocesan Council elections – regional
The Church of Sweden is divided into 13 dioceses. The Diocesan Council is the highest decision-making body in a diocese. At the regional diocesan level, decisions are made on grants for church renovations, coordination of different types of support for, for example, winter shelters, support for the disabled, help for refugees and integration, climate initiatives and so on.
Pink ballot papers.
General Synod election – national
The General Synod is the Church of Sweden’s highest decision-making body, with 251 members. At the national level, overall decisions are made that affect the entire Church of Sweden. One such example is which hymns should be included in the hymn book.
Yellow ballot papers.
Nomination groups and candidates
The groups participating in the church elections are called nomination groups. They roughly correspond to parties in the general elections.
You can vote for three specific candidates by putting a cross against their names on the ballot paper. This increases the candidate’s likelihood of being elected and being able to represent you. If you do not put a cross, your vote will go to the nomination group.
Almost 5 million people have the right to vote
In the 2021 church elections, 5 million members have the right to vote. Anyone who is at least 16 years of age on election day at the latest and a member of the Church of Sweden has the right to vote. You also need to be registered in Sweden.
Your voting card is an important document. It contains information about your polling station and where you can vote early. You need to bring your voting card with you if you vote early. You also need to be able to prove your identity. If you vote at your polling station, you only need to have your ID with you.
The voting card will be sent to your registered address and will arrive by 1 September at the latest.
Order a new voting card
If you lose your voting card, you can get a new one (known as a duplicate voting card). Order a new voting card by contacting your parish. You can also order one via svenskakyrkan.se/kyrkoval. Your new voting card will be sent to the address at which you are registered in the population register.
When polling stations and early voting close on 19 September, the votes will start to be counted. The votes are registered digitally and the count can be followed at svenskakyrkan.se/church elections.
Church elections adapted to the coronavirus situation
The Church of Sweden strives to ensure that everyone who wishes to vote can do so in a safe and secure manner. In consultation with the Public Health Agency, the electoral organisation has therefore made the assumption that, when it is time to go to the polls in September, the status of the coronavirus pandemic may be the same as in spring 2021. This means, for example, that premises where voting takes place will be prepared so that they can offer plexiglass panels, hand sanitiser and clear instructions to voters.
To avoid the risk of spreading infection and crowding:
- Please vote early. The early voting centres will open on 6 September and will remain open until election day on 19 September.
- Vote by post. You can do this as soon as you have received your voting card. Please note that your postal vote needs to arrive by 17 September at the latest. Postal voting packs are available at the parish and pastor’s offices.
- If you have problems getting to the polling station or early voting centre, you can vote by proxy. You then need a postal voting pack. Postal voting packs are available at the parish and pastor’s offices.
- Information on how to avoid crowding is provided in polling stations and early voting centres. Follow the instructions and show consideration.
The electoral service opens on 30 August and can be reached on 010-18 19 400. Prior to that, you can call the Church of Sweden switchboard on 018-16 95 00.
More about voting by post and by proxy
Those who wish may vote by post or by proxy. To do this, you need a postal voting pack. You can pick it up at a parish or pastor’s office, or someone else can collect it for you. You can also order it by calling the electoral service on 010-18 19 400 from 30 August. Prior to that, you can call the Church of Sweden switchboard on 018-16 95 00.
The postal voting pack contains ballot papers and envelopes for each election, an envelope for postal and proxy voting and an outer envelope, for those wishing to vote by post. It also contains information on how to vote by post and how to vote by proxy.
Here’s what to do when you vote by post or by proxy:
- If you do not have the nomination group’s own ballot paper, you can write the group’s name on a blank ballot paper.
- You put one ballot paper for each election (white ballot paper for the Parish Assembly, pink ballot paper for the Diocesan Council, yellow ballot paper for the General Synod) in a ballot envelope and seal it.
- In the presence of two witnesses, place the sealed envelope in the postal/proxy voting envelope (K4) provided in the postal voting pack. Seal this envelope.
- On the envelope for postal/proxy voting (K4), write your personal identity number and your signature as a declaration that you have voted in the correct manner.
- On the same envelope for postal/proxy voting (K4), the two witnesses write their signatures to declare that they have watched you sign the envelope. Witnesses need to be 18 years or older.
If you are going to vote by proxy, you should subsequently follow these steps:
- The proxy takes the envelope (K4) to the polling station or early voting centre. They must take the voting card with them if you are casting your vote in an early voting centre, but it’s a good idea for them to take it with them even if you are casting it at your polling station.
- The proxy submits your postal vote and writes their name, personal identity number and address and certifies with their signature that you have signed the declaration on the envelope. The proxy must be able to identify themselves and be at least 18 years old.
- If you are voting by post, follow these steps after signing the postal/proxy vote envelope and having it witnessed and signed by two witnesses:
- Place the envelope (K4) in an envelope for postal votes and voting cards (K5), along with your voting card.
- NOTE! Place the voting card so that the address of the diocesan board is visible in the right-hand window of the envelope and the details of the election committee, the electoral district and your number on the electoral roll are visible in the left-hand window of the envelope.
- Post the letter. No postage is needed.
NOTE! Post the letter so that it arrives by 17 September at the latest.
The electoral service opens on 30 August and can be reached on 010-18 19 400. Prior to that, you can call the Church of Sweden switchboard on 018-16 95 00. You can also send an email to email@example.com
Useful information, Church Elections, pdf
Signalelement på engelska (med datum 6-19 september) zipfil, 4Mb