Blog: EXPLAINER: What you need to do in post-Brexit era to vote in May’s municipal elections in Spain – The Olive Press

IT’S a busy election year in Spain next year with the general election, a large number of regional elections, and May’s local council votes.

Non-Spanish citizens cannot vote in general or regional elections, but can cast a ballot in the municipal elections if they are an EU citizen or are part of a reciprocal deal between Spain and individual countries, which includes the UK.

A change from the pre-Brexit era is that UK nationals eligible to vote will now have go through an electoral roll process every four years.

Who will be able to vote?

Spaniards, citizens of the European Union and citizens of countries with an agreement, namely: The United Kingdom, Norway, Bolivia, Cape Verde Islands, Colombia, South Korea, Chile, Ecuador, Iceland, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand.

What requirements must be met to be able to vote?

  • Be of legal age (18 years) on the day of the vote.
  • Not be illegally in Spain
  • Not be deprived of the right to vote
  • Be a resident in Spain and be registered on the padron at your local town hall
  • Have expressed the intention to vote and be registered on the local Electoral Census before it closes taking names at the town hall.
    • The registration deadlines vary depending on whether you are an EU citizen or come from countries with an agreement.
    • For EU citizens, you can apply between December 1 and January 30 and if you have previously voted in the same municipality, then your details should be registered already.
    • For non-EU citizens like the UK, the application deadline is earlier on January 15 and unlike EU residents, you now have to register EVERY four years before the municipal elections. Previous pre-Brexit registration does not count.

Key point summary

  • If you come from a country with an agreement like the UK, you have to register on the electoral roll at the town hall.
  • In order to exercise the right to vote you have to bring along your passport and residency document/card to confirm you are living legally in Spain.
  • You will have had to have your residency valid for three years at the time of application.
  • Another requirement is that you have to be registered on the padron of the municipality in which your home is.
  • Check registration times at your local Town Hall.

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