They have until the deadline of 1st July to register or change their home address in order to play a part in the presidential election taking place in the country in November.
That which is a largely well-established democratic tradition in many countries, will be a novelty for the citizens of Chile.
The foreign vote was a dream longed for by the tens of thousands of Chileans living around the world. A large amount of them fled the country following the military coup of 11th September 1973 and have yet to return to their native land.
Some left seeking better horizons and opportunities, whilst others are living abroad completing their studies.
Whichever reason it may be, the law issued on 7th of October 2016 will, for the first time in the country’s history, allow those thousands of people to exercise their civic duty from a distance, doing so for primary and presidential elections as well as referendums. In other words they can be involved in all elections apart from parliamentary and local ones.
It has been calculated that around 900 thousand Chileans live abroad, a little more than half of those having been born in Chile. 57.5% of that total have lived outside of the country for more than 20 years.
Campaigns like Haz tu voto volar have persisted over the years pushing for the approval of this measure, a measure which comes into place 26 years after democracy made its return in March 1990.
The first voting stage finished 3rd May 2017, when more than 21 thousand Chileans expats put through their change of address or registered to vote. These are the people who will be able to vote in the primary elections on Sunday 2nd July.
But up until the deadline on 1st July you can register and have your chance to be involved in the presidential elections on 19th November, the day on which the successor to incumbent Michelle Bachelet will be chosen.
According to the official guide, Chileans can register these changes in the country’s consulates around the world, with the International police (on entering or leaving the country) or on the Electoral service website made available for this purpose.
For those living in the UK, the official location is the Chilean Embassy in London.
Photo credit: Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons – (Translated by Francine Morgan – firstname.lastname@example.org)