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British residents now able to vote in Spanish local elections

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BREAKING: British residents now able to vote in Spanish local elections. Image: Yuriy Boyko_Ukraine/Shutterstock.com

THE Electoral Census Office in Spain has announced that British residents are now able to vote in Spanish local elections.

In what is good news for British residents living in Spain, the Ministerial Order has been amended and now the UK is included in the group of counties which now have a “reciprocal arrangement for Voting in the Local Spanish Elections.”

There will be various options for registering including online, but as of Thursday, September 22, “the Ministerial Order amending the previous Order is in process, to include the United Kingdom in the list of countries with an Agreement signed with Spain and pending the amendment of the previous Resolution to include in the annex the requirements of the Agreement with the United Kingdom, amendment that cannot be initiated until the new Ministerial Order is published.”

In order to vote, Brits must have been resident in Spain for 3 years or more and have to be registered on the Padron.

Breakdown of the Electoral Census Office announcement

Nationals of countries with reciprocal voting agreements for the municipal elections – Residents in Spain who are nationals of countries with Agreements recognising the right to vote in municipal elections, and who meet the requirements established therein to be electors, may request registration in the electoral census for the municipal elections of May 28, 2023.

“The Countries with Agreements in force are Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom and Trinidad and Tobago.”

Regulations – Resolution of September 7, 2010, of the Electoral Census Office, which establishes the procedures and approves the application form for registration in the electoral census for municipal elections of citizens who are nationals of European Union countries.

Manifestations of willingness to vote in Spain for municipal elections – Formal declarations of willingness to vote in Spain for municipal elections can be made by internet, postal mail or in person at the Town Hall of residence.

By Internet: EU citizens residing in Spain can express their intention to vote in Spain in the municipal elections (and also in the European Parliament elections if they so wish) by internet if they access the procedure at the Electronic Headquarters of the National Statistics Institute (INE) https://sede.ine.gob.es/manifestacionVotoPermanente/presentacion through the [email protected] system. This procedure is continuous.
At the Town Hall of residence: By filling out the formal declaration form (DFA model) provided by the Provincial Delegation of the OCE to that City Council in a file or that the interested party can download from the INE electronic headquarters at the address https://sede.ine.gob.es/manifestacionVotoPermanente/presentacion. The accreditation of identity may be made, in addition to the foreigner’s card where the NIE appears, with the identity card or passport of their country of origin.
By post: In order to facilitate the manifestation of willingness to vote in the municipal elections, the OCE is going to send in the last days of October a communication to EU citizens residing in Spain, with the data of their pre-printed registrations. The communications will be sent only to those whom the OCE has not addressed on the occasion of previous municipal elections (registrations in Padrón after August 30, 2018) and who have not made the formal declaration. This communication includes a telematic processing key (CTT) that makes it possible to make the manifestation of vote in municipal elections online, without having access to [email protected]

Those who receive this letter will be able to express their will to vote in the municipal elections online, with access to [email protected] or with the CTT, or by post by sending the reply to the letter directly to the Provincial Delegation of the OCE, with no need to pay postage.

Deadline – The declaration of willingness to vote in Spain is permanent for as long as the interested party resides in Spain, unless a formal request is made to the contrary. In order to be effective in the electoral roll in force for the municipal elections of May 28, 2023, registrations and formal declarations must be made by January 30, 2023, at the latest.

The declarations presented after January 30, 2023, including those that may be presented due to claims to the registration data in the electoral census, shall not be incorporated in the current census for the elections of May 28, 2023. 

Conditions for registration – The conditions to be fulfilled in order to be eligible for registration are as follows:

Be over eighteen years of age and not be deprived of the right of active suffrage.
To be registered in the Municipal Register of Inhabitants.
To be in possession of the authorization of residence in Spain.
To have resided legally in Spain for the time required in the corresponding Agreement (three years on the day of voting for nationals of Norway, three years at the time of application for nationals of the United Kingdom and five years at the time of application for the rest of the countries). This requirement may be supported by a certificate of residence issued by the police station.

Procedures and Application Deadline – Applications for registration may be made online, by mail or in person at the Town Hall.

In order to facilitate the registration application, during the last days of November 2022, the OCE will send a communication to foreigners residing in Spain, nationals of countries with a reciprocal voting agreement, who meet the conditions established in the previous section, with their personal and residence data pre-printed, obtained from the information of the Central Register of Foreigners and the Municipal Registers existing in the INE.

The census information has a reference date of August 30, 2022. This communication includes a telematic processing key (CTT) that enables the registration request to be made online.

By Internet: In order to make the registration application online, interested parties must access the “Registration application” procedure through the INE Electronic Headquarters, https://sede.ine.gob.es, prove their identity through the [email protected] system and check the registration application option. Those who do not have the [email protected] system may make the application by accessing the system with their NIE and the telematic processing key (CTT) included in the communication.
By post: Interested parties should send the response directly to the Provincial Delegation of the OCE, without the need to pay postage.
At the Town Hall of residence: Interested parties who consider that they meet the conditions of the Agreement may submit the application in person at the Town Hall, identifying themselves with their Foreigner’s Identity Card (for nationals of Norway, Iceland and the United Kingdom, the national identity card or passport of their country of origin is also admissible).

The length of legal residence in Spain must be justified with a certificate of residence issued by the Immigration Office or Police Station of the corresponding province. It is important to remember that the General Directorate of the Police is the only competent body in matters of foreigners.

The CERE.N application form will be available for download before December 1, 2023 at Ida_Celec.

Deadline – The deadline for submission of applications is December 1, 2022 to January 15, 2023. 

Applications submitted to the municipalities must be sent to the OCE before January 20, 2023.

Applications submitted after the deadline, including those that may be submitted due to a claim to the registration data in the electoral roll, shall be rejected for failure to comply with this requirement.

Recounts of communications sent by municipality – On the website: www.ine.es / Electoral Census / Formation of the electoral census of foreign residents in Spain for the 2023 municipal elections, information will be made available to interested parties, as well as the counts of communications sent by municipality.

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