On 23 January 2020, the Central Referendum Office of the Italian Corte di Cassazione ruled that the request for a referendum on the constitutional law “amending articles 56, 57 and 59 of the Italian Constitution for reducing the number of the Members of Parliament” is consistent with article 138 of the Constitution and is, therefore, legitimate.
The date for the referendum has been set for 29 March 2020, by Decree of the President of the Republic issued on 28 January 2020 (and published in the Official Journal No. 23 of 29 January 2020), and Italian expats abroad are also entitled to vote.
VOTING is a RIGHT for all citizens, as enshrined in the Italian Constitution, and Law No. 459 of December 27, 2001 provides that the Italian citizens registered with AIRE (Register of Italians living abroad) and with the electoral lists may VOTE BY POST. Therefore, in order to qualify, you are advised to check your registration status with the Consulate and make sure that it has your updated address.
ALTERNATIVELY, ELIGIBLE VOTERS LIVING ABROAD AND REGISTERED WITH THE AIRE, MAY CHOOSE TO VOTE IN ITALY, IN THE COMMUNE WHERE THEY ARE REGISTERED AS VOTERS, by notifying their decision (OPTION) - in writing - to the Consulate, within 10 days after the date on which the referendum was set. Voters choosing to vote in the referendum in Italy will then receive a letter, from the relevant Commune, allowing them to vote in a polling station in that Commune.
The decision (option) to vote in Italy applies solely to the referendum.
Please be informed that, in any case, your option MUST BE RECEIVED by the Consulate NO LATER THAN TEN DAYS AFTER THE DATE ON WHICH THE REFERENDUM WAS SET. IN THIS CASE, NO LATER THAN 8 FEBRUARY 2020. To express your option, you may write a normal letter, indicating your full name, date and place of birth, address of residence, sign it and attach a photocopy of your ID.
Alternatively, you may download and complete the specific form from this website or your Consulate’s website.
According to the law, it is your responsibility to check that the Consulate has received your option letter, sent via post, within the established deadline.
You may change your mind and decide to REVOKE your option to vote in Italy, by means of a letter sent or delivered to your Consulate, according to the same procedure and deadline provided above.
Please bear in mind that, should you choose to vote in Italy, the law does NOT provide for a refund of the travel expenses incurred, and only provides for a discount on travel within Italy. Only voters resident in Countries that do not meet the conditions for voting by post (see article 20.1bis, of Law 459/2001) are entitled to a 75% refund of the travel ticket, in economy class.
PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT YOUR CONSULATE FOR ANY FURTHER ASSISTANCE.