Voting on May 26th for European residents

As an EU resident, if you are on the census, you can vote in both the local and European elections

On May 26th five different elections are taking place here in Spain – European citizens, who are over 18, on their local ‘padrón’ and have indicated their wish to be on the census, are entitled to vote in two of those – local and European. For British citizens the right to vote was confirmed by a bi-lateral agreement signed by the Spanish and British governments early this year – at the time it was an issue as the UK was due to leave the European Union prior to the European elections.
If you have never voted in Spain before, the voting system and seat allocation is quite different to the ‘first past the post’ system in the UK. Here in Spain a list system is used in all local, regional, national and European elections. This means each party who is taking part in the election has a list of candidates that has been chosen by their individual parties and confirmed officially and registered about a month before the election (so the list isn’t open to change or additions as the date nears). Usually a party will have more candidates on the list than seats on the local council – so there are substitutes in the case of death or resignation during the life of the council.
After the election date is announced, candidates will campaign until just before the election. Campaigning is prohibited during the two-day reflection period just prior to an election, as well as on election day, which is on Sunday May 26th, polling is from 9am to 8pm.
You should have received a polling card through the post telling you where your polling station is – however if you have not received such a card you are still able to vote as long as you are on the census. On Election Day, take identification and any voting papers to the polls. In the polling booth, lists of the parties running for election will be available. The name of the party will be at the top of each list. And given that there are five different elections on Sunday, there are colours for each ballot – white for local election lists, blue for European election lists.
Choose the list of candidates that you want to vote for, place it into one of the envelopes provided and seal the envelope. You may already have the vote prepared as many of the parties will have either posted you their lists already in envelopes or gone door to door on the canvas. Bringing the list sealed is perfectly legal and often preferred by voters as it saves time. Obviously writing on the list will be considered a spoilt vote. Stuffing the envelope with more than one list will also, quite likely, see your vote discounted. Hand your sealed votes to the returning officer who will place it in the ballot box.
British citizens who are resident in Spain are entitled to vote as an overseas voter, but they may only vote in European Union elections in one country.
Once polls close the doors of each voting centre are shut and the returning officer begins to count the votes. Each party can and usually does have official representation in the polling stations who have the right to stay and oversee the count. When the count is complete the results are sealed and sent to a central count centre, and first official results are usually known within hours of the last vote being cast with local and national television stations running live elections specials.

Your voice, your vote!

The following is a summary of information received from the Electoral Census office regarding elections for local Council and European Parliament elections in May 2019

On 26 May 2019 European Union (EU) voters EU citizens may vote in Council (Town Hall) and European Parliament elections in Spain if they express their intent to do so. The deadline to confirm your intention to vote in Spain ends on 30 January 2019.

To be clea,r nationals from EU countries living in Spain and from those countries who have signed an Accord with reciprocal rights have that right to vote.   The national office has sent this information to local Town Halls:Residents from EU member states:Residents of EU member states resident here in Spain who meet the standard requirements to vote (age, etc.) have the right to participate in local and European elections here in Spain.

Although the United Kingdom has expressed its intent to leave the EU on 30 March 2019, the Electoral Census Office (ECO) has not excluded its citizens from the electoral roll for the municipal elections, as well as for the European Parliament elections. However, their inclusion will cease to have effect if the United Kingdom leaves the EU on 30 March 2019.

EU nationals resident in Adeje

In the coming weeks the Electoral Census Office will send a written notice/letter to EU citizens resident here.  In general these will be sent to EU citizens on the ‘Padrón’ (resident register) but who have not voted in the past nor have signed the formal declaration of their desire to be on the census. The letter should include a formula whereby people can indicate online their intention to vote.  Alternatively you can call into the Adeje Town Hall and sign the relevant paperwork there.
You can also use your NIE number to sign up online on though you will need an electronic certificate to use this method, or use the special CTT (telematics communication number that is in the letter that you have received from the Census office), or you can send your signed intent to vote by post to the Census office – follow the instructions in the letter.
Those already registered in the electoral roll after having expressed their intent to vote in Spain maintain their voter status and shouldn’t need to make a new declaration, until they request their removal or cease to reside in Spain.
All this is assuming you are already on the local Padrón.  If not, you have until January 30th 2019 to register both as a resident and a voter.

Nationals resident in Adeje from countries with a reciprocal voting Accord

If you are resident in Adeje and from a non-EU country but one that has a reciprocal voting agreement with Spain and you meet the standard voting requirements, you can ask to be on the census for the May 2019 local elections. Countries that currently have such an agreement are Bolivia, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Korea, Ecuador,Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, Paraguay, Peru and Trinidad and Tobago.

General voting requirements

The general voting requirements for all those who wish to vote are:

  •  That you are over 18 years of age and haven’t had your official right to vote take away
  • That you are on the Adeje ‘Padrón’ (resident register)
  • That you have authorised Spanish residency
  • That you have lived legally in Spain for the requisite time depending on the agreement with your country of origin. If required a certificate can be obtained from the National Police offices.