Over 900 votes from Dutch abroad arrived too late for parliamentary election

Posters for the Netherlands' parliamentary elections, March 2017
Posters for the Netherlands' parliamentary elections, March 2017. (Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times)

The votes of 919 Dutch people abroad did not reach the Netherlands in time to count in the parliamentary election on March 15th, the Volkskrant reports based on information from the municipality of The Hague. The city served as central point for votes coming from abroad.

In the weeks after the election, The Hague received 919 envelopes with ballot papers inside. These votes did not count towards the outcome of the election - only votes from abroad that reached The Hague by 3:00 p.m. on March 15th were counted. The D66 was the largest party in the late votes. 

In early March D66 parliamentarian Eelco Keij filed a lawsuit on behalf of 154 Dutch living abroad. They were concerned that they won't be able to vote because their ballots did not reach them in time. The court ruled against the voters.

According to RTL Nieuws, the problem was that the ballot papers were not sent out in time. Due to slower postal delivery in some foreign countries, the ballots were received and sent back too late to reach The Hague by the cutoff time.