Court rules against Dutch expats with missing ballot papers

Judges in The Hague have rejected a plea from a number of Dutch expats to be given more time to submit their votes in the general election.

By law, ballot papers which have been sent abroad must be returned by March 15, the date of the national vote. But around 1,000 of the 78,000 Dutch expats who registered to vote had not received their papers with a week to go.

Eelco Keij, a D66 parliamentary hopeful who has been campaigning on behalf of Dutch expats, says the state has been negligent in not sending voting papers out six weeks prior to the vote.

‘A serious number of Dutch voters abroad are being robbed of their voting rights,’ he said.

The court will publish its full reasoning later.