Good advice from the AUAN who are starting a campaign to get expats ready to vote in the 2011 elections (rest of this article is theirs):
The elections will take place in May 2011.
The theme is NO VOTE/ NO VOICE.
The latest population statistics (based on Padrón registration at end 2009) from the Junta de Andalucia indicate that the foreign vote could make a significant impact in the towns and villages of ‘La Comarca’
REGISTER TO VOTE AT THE NEXT LOCAL ELECTIONS BY SIGNING ONTO THE PADRÓN AND CENSO ELECTORAL.
YOUR VOTE CAN MAKE A REAL DIFFERENCE!
In the 2007 local elections, large numbers of eligible expats in the Almanzora Valley did not vote because they were NOT on the ELECTORAL ROLL (or Censo Electoral).
Who should register?
Expats who spend all or much of their time in Spain may register on the Padrón and Censo Electoral, yet many still have not done so. They may wrongly assume that the Padrón is a means of vigilance by the state. However, it is simply a way for the Town Hall to count those that live in their area, with no investigation as to a person’s official status or financial affairs. The information you provide is confidential and covered by data protection laws.
What are the benefits to YOU?
- You comply with legal requirements.
- Better public services; Central Government pays the local council €170 per person on the Padrón each year
- Access to benefits and social care; people on the Padrón aged 65and over get free municipal bus passes and other benefits.
- A reduction in taxes; registration on the Padrón could mean reductions in Property Tax, certain community charges and inheritance tax.
- Administration made easier; you need your Padrón certificate to carry out various administrative tasks, such as registering for healthcare, registering your car with Spanish number plates or enrolling children in school.
ARE YOU ALREADY ON THE PADRÓN?
If “yes”, you are still NOT automatically entitled to vote. To vote, you must also sign onto the Censo Electoral (or the Electoral Roll) by completing a voter registration form. Your right to vote in Local (or Euro) elections is enshrined in Spanish and European law.
Voting rights for a better life: Your vote will influence the type and style of local government. The simple act of registering to vote will encourage your politicians to focus on your issues. Expats may be required to renew their registration on the
Electoral Roll; just check!
Remember: NO VOTE, NO VOICE.
How do I register?
You will need to take the following documents to your town hall : (Passport OR Residencia) + proof of address (eg. purchase contract, OR your last Rates receipt (I.B.I.) OR Water / Electric bill in your name OR your Escritura OR rental contract). Make sure the address on your voting form matches that on your Padrón certificate.
The officials will help. Instructions in English, German and French are on the back of census form. Ask for a STAMPED copy of your voting application as proof of receipt.
TO BE ELIGIBLE TO VOTE on SUNDAY MAY 22nd 2011 in the LOCAL ELECTION SIGN ON to the PADRÓN and CENSO ELECTORAL REGISTER NOW…..You will be TOO late in FEBRUARY 2011