Hungary is a democracy governed by a Parliament. Every four years, general elections are held to elect the members of the Parliament and let people express who they trust to make the right decisions for the country.
General elections every four years
Politics is the consideration for all things that matter to the life of the community. Being political is about keeping an eye on what happens around us, and having ideas about the most important issues and aspects to consider. Every four years, Hungarian citizens get the chance to express their opinion, and choose representatives who will hopefully make decisions that will best align with the will and the interest of their voters.
Every Hungarian citizen who is an adult (above 18 years) can vote. Getting registered in the electoral roll is automatic, and everyone should get notified about being included in the registry. The letter should arrive about two months before the election (by 11 February in 2022), and if you are not notified, you still have plenty of time to check in with the Elections Office and get registered. Important deadlines are advertised on public service broadcasting channels (both TV and radio) to ensure that everyone eligible to vote knows about their options.
Voting in the elections
The official notification you receive not only confirms that you are registered, but also contains your data relevant for voting.
- Your name and address
- Your constituency
- The location where you can vote
- The time and date of the voting
- The topic you are voting for
Whether it is the general elections, the municipal elections, or a referendum, you get a similar letter, only the topic will be different. In the general elections, you are voting for two things:
- A person to represent your constituency as a Member of the Parliament
- A political party who should delegate its members to the Parliament
Election day is always on a Sunday (on 3 April in 2022). Voting is open from early morning until the evening – usually from 7 am to 7 pm, or until the last voters are done. Sunday is a rest day for most of the population, this way more people can participate without taking a day off.
You can go to cast your vote anytime while voting is open. At the location of the voting, look for the room assigned to your constituency. You will have to verify your identity before an electoral committee with an ID document that has your photo. This can be your Hungarian ID card, your driver’s license, or your passport, together with your address card. The committee will look up your name in the register. You will have to sign the register to confirm that you were present, and you will receive an envelope and two ballots, stamped in front of you.
Despite this, voting is anonymous. In each room, a couple of booths are set up where you can cast your vote in privacy. You mark your preferred candidate and your preferred party on the two ballots with a cross or an X, put the ballots in the envelope, close the envelope – then put the envelope in the ballot box in the room.
Voting is also possible remotely.
- Mobile ballot boxes that are taken to the permanent address of voters are available to people who are in Hungary but are indisposed and cannot go to the location of the voting. The deadline for ordering a mobile ballot box is usually a few days before the election.
- Mail-in voting is available to Hungarian citizens who live abroad but do not have a Hungarian permanent address.
- Hungarian citizens who live abroad but have a permanent address in Hungary can vote at the Hungarian embassies and consulates closest to where they live.
Exercise your rights as a Hungarian citizen
Voting in the general elections is a right of every citizen of Hungary. It is also your responsibility as a citizen to express who you trust to make the decisions that serve the interests of the people and create a better world for the entire community.
You can do even more for your community if you volunteer to the electoral committee to receive voters during the day and count votes in the evening, after voting is finished.
Are you already a Hungarian citizen? Or are you eligible to become one? You can become a Hungarian citizen if you have been living in Hungary long enough, or if you have ancestors who were Hungarian citizens. Take our free online test to find out!