Don’t lose your voice: make sure you’re on the electoral register!

Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento
Photo: Adeje Ayuntamiento

Adeje Ayuntamiento says that foreign nationals who wish to vote in the 2015 local elections need to make sure they are on the census. Often people think that if they are registered on the padron they are automatically also on the census, but this is not the case. It is sufficient to be on the padron for most purposes, but to vote, residents also need to have been entered on the census.

Please note that this concerns local elections only, so this doesn’t bestow a right to vote in national or regional government elections, and to allay some other fears, it will have absolutely no effect on any entitlement to vote in the UK. The following information, though released by Adeje, is applicable to each and every Ayuntamiento in Tenerife.

Getting onto the padron and census is a straightforward and open process, in that people can bring a friend/translater with them if they think they won’t understand the procedure, however there is usually someone in the Adeje citizens office that speaks enough English to help people with the process, and there will be a copy of the press release in English there too.

Adeje council has received information from the national census office regarding closing dates for registering on the census for the 2015 Spanish local elections. All EU residents registered on their local padrón (citizen register) in Spain have the right to vote in the local elections – a fact many people may not be aware of. But to exercise that right they must be over 18, be on the padrón and have actively indicated their wish to vote.

If you have never voted in the past in Spain but are on the padrón, you are likely to have received a formal letter (in Spanish) from the ‘Oficina del Censo Electoral’. This letter is informing you of your right to vote and facilitating your inclusion on the register. It gives you three ways to register on the census: fill in and sign the form enclosed in the letter and post it in the pre-paid envelope (no stamp needed), register online, or call into the council offices in your borough and register on the census. In the case of Adeje that office is the main citizen’s advice centre in the Town Hall on the Calle Grande, and you should bring your passport and your residency certificate with you. European citizens have until December 30th to register if they want to ensure they are included on the census for the local elections.

If you are a citizen of a non-EU country with a reciprocal voting agreement you can also register to vote, and the dates for you to do so are between January 1- 15th 2015. Those countries with the relevant agreement are Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago. You will need to have lived here and registered as a resident for at least five years (three in the case of Norway) and proof of that can be obtained by certificate from the National Police.

The offices in Adeje are open to the public from Monday to Friday, 8am-2pm. Currently Britons represent the largest number of registered EU nationals on the Adeje padrón with over 6,200 followed by Italy, Germany and France.

EU Countries whose citizens are entitled to vote:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, The Czech republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK

Countries with voting agreements:
Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Korea, Ecuador, Iceland, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad & Tobago

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