My understanding was that in most elections around the world, one must vote in the constituency that one is resides in or is registered in. To vote somewhere else, one must do some paperwork and/or change one's residence (i.e. move).

But it seems that this is not the case in Poland (Financial Times, 2023-10-17):

Kasia Czarska drove 45 minutes on Sunday to vote in the town of Sulejówek on the eastern outskirts of Warsaw.

The 39-year-old public relations manager planned her trip three weeks in advance of the fiercely contested election, studying Poland’s electoral map to work out in which constituency her vote could be of most help in ousting the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

It was voters like her, casting their ballot strategically and showing up in unprecedented numbers, who secured the stunning victory of opposition parties led by Donald Tusk.

Perhaps the Financial Times omits some details, but it seems that this particular voter did not have to do any paperwork or change her residence (i.e. move) beforehand. Instead, she could simply on the day of the election drive to some constituency of her choosing.

Is this correct? How does such voting work in Poland? (Perhaps there are simply no laws against voting anywhere one likes?)

  • The Wikipedia article on voter registration may offer some hints even though it unfortunately doesn't cover Poland specifically. For example the section on the Netherlands implies indirectly the same could be done there, given the different requirements for national vs local elections.
    – Brian Z
    Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 1:59
  • @BrianZ I think this is a missunderstanding about the Netherlands. The second chamber of the Generalstaaten has only party-list proportional representation, so there are no districts with separate representatives. That is different from the Sejm that has 41 multi-seat electoral districts.
    – ccprog
    Commented Oct 18, 2023 at 2:34

1 Answer 1


Voting in different location (with exception of municipal elections) after declaring such will in appropriate city hall, was possible in Poland. This time it was possible to make such declaration online. Here is the site to do this (in Polish and inactive as election is over).
The deadline for such changes was 3 days before election.
The relevant law is Ustawa z dnia 5 stycznia 2011 r. - Kodeks wyborczy (t.j. Dz.U. 2022 poz. 1277 ze zm.)

Art. 28 § 1. Wyborca może zmienić miejsce głosowania w danych wyborach. Wniosek w sprawie zmiany miejsca głosowania składa w okresie od 44 dnia przed dniem wyborów do 3 dnia przed dniem wyborów.
§ 2. Przepisu § 1 nie stosuje się w wyborach do organów stanowiących jednostek samorządu terytorialnego oraz w wyborach wójtów.
§ 3. W wyborach uzupełniających do Senatu przepis § 1 ma zastosowanie tylko do wyborców stale zamieszkałych na obszarze okręgu wyborczego, w którym przeprowadza się wybory uzupełniające. § 4. Wniosek, o którym mowa w § 1, może zostać złożony na piśmie utrwalonym w postaci:
1) papierowej, opatrzonym własnoręcznym podpisem do urzędu gminy właściwego dla wybranego stałego obwodu głosowania na obszarze gminy, w której wyborca przebywać będzie w dniu wyborów;
2) elektronicznej, opatrzonym kwalifikowanym podpisem elektronicznym, podpisem zaufanym albo podpisem osobistym, przy użyciu usługi elektronicznej udostępnionej przez ministra właściwego do spraw informatyzacji, po uwierzytelnieniu tej osoby w sposób określony w art. 20a ust. 1 ustawy z dnia 17 lutego 2005 r. o informatyzacji działalności podmiotów realizujących zadania publiczne.

Translation (maybe imperfect)

Art. 28 § 1. A voter may change the place of voting in a given election. An application to change the voting place is submitted in the period from the 44th day before election day to the 3rd day before election day.
§ 2. The provision of § 1 does not apply in elections to the decision-making bodies of local government units and in the elections of commune heads.
§ 3. In by-elections to the Senate, the provision of § 1 applies only to voters permanently residing in the electoral district in which the by-elections are held.
§ 4. The application referred to in § 1 may be submitted in writing recorded in the following form:
1) on paper, with a handwritten signature, to the commune office competent for the selected permanent voting district in the commune area where the voter will be staying on election day;
2) electronically, with a qualified electronic signature, trusted signature or personal signature, using an electronic service made available by the minister responsible for computerization, after authenticating this person in the manner specified in Art. 20a section 1 of the Act of February 17, 2005 on the computerization of entities' activities carrying out public tasks


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