All votes are counted twice in Sweden; first on election night at each polling station and a second time by the County Administrative Board.
After the receiving of votes has ended on election day, the election officers in the respective electoral districts count the votes received. Each ballot box is then emptied and the votes are counted. The ballot papers for the Riksdag election are counted first, followed by those for the municipal assembly election and finally by those for the county council assembly election.
When an election district has counted the votes on election night the results are phoned in to a reporting officer who records them in the Election Authority Election Database System. In this way the Election Authority can calculate a provisional election result on election night, followed later during the night by a provisional distribution of seats. As the results for the electoral districts are recorded, they are made directly available to the media and the public via the Election Authority website.
When counting is complete, the ballot papers are placed in special security bags, which are sealed and handed to the Election Committee. The Election Committee is responsible for ensuring that the votes from the polling stations are delivered to the County Administrative Board as soon as possible.
On the Wednesday after election day the Election Committees count the advance votes that had not reached the polling stations on election day. These are primarily votes from abroad and advance votes cast in other municipalities on election day. Once the count by the Election Committees is complete, these votes, too, are delivered to the County Administrative Board.
The final count begins at the County Administrative Board on the Monday after election day. There all the votes are counted again. The County Administrative Board examines the ballot papers and counts the number votes for each party. It also counts the number of of preference votes for each candidate in the parties.
The Riksdag election is counted first, followed by the municipal assembly and finally the county council assembly elections. The Riksdag election is expected to be finally counted and finished on the Wednesday after election day. About ten days after election day it is usually possible to publish the last result of the county council assembly election.
When the County Administrative Board has finished counting all the votes, distribution of seats between the parties can begin.
See pages 16-19 for more information about distribution of seats and see examples of calculations of mandates:
Elections in Sweden (6,0 Mb)
When the distribution of seats among the parties is complete, it is decided which candidates are to be members and substitutes.
See pages 20-23 for more information about appointment of members and substitutes (page 16-18):
Elections in Sweden (6,0 Mb)
The Swedish electoral system includes thresholds to exclude small parties. To take part in the distribution of seats in Riksdag elections and elections to the European Parliament, a political party must gain at least 4 per cent of all votes cast in the whole of Sweden. A party gaining fewer votes in total in a Riksdag election may still, however, take part in the distribution of permanent constituency seats in any constituency where it has gained at least 12 per cent of the votes cast.
In county council assembly elections, a political party must gain at least 3 per cent of all votes cast in the whole county in order to take part in the distribution of seats. No threshold exists in the electoral system for municipal assembly elections.