A short international guide on if and how you can vote for the Dutch Municipal Elections on November 21st 2018

Are you allowed to vote in the municipal elections?

This guide was created in order to help international students with voting for the Dutch Municipal Elections on November 21st 2018. Would you like to find out if you are eligible to vote? Take the test!

Take the Test!

How do you vote in the Municipal elections?

Obtaining a voting pass

If you are eligible to vote, then your name will appear on the voter registry of your Municipality and you will automatically receive your voting pass before the elections. In the Netherlands, all votes are cast on paper.

Election day – November 21st 2018

To be able to vote, you need to visit a polling station. In order to prove that you are eligible to vote, you have to bring the following:

  •  Your voting pass
  • A proof of identity, such as a passport. This document may be expired a maximum of 5 years.
Poling stations are open from 7:30 to 21:00 on election day. All votes must be cast in person at these stations.

Vote by proxy

If you are unable to visit a polling station on election day you can have someone else cast your vote for you. You will need to arrange for a proxy voter in advance. There are two ways that you can authorize someone else to vote on your behalf: by authorizing a proxy voter directly on your voting pass or by submitting a written request for proxy voter authorization. Please check your municipality’s website!

Why vote?

If you live in a dutch city, it is your city too! The municipality plays an important role on issues such as traffic (bike, car, public transportation), leisure (sports, bars, cultural events) and facilities (expat centre, international education, public information). Different political parties have varying views on how these topics should be prioritized. There are also large ideological differences on how parties view topics such as immigration, sustainability and the European Union. You have a say in this, your vote shapes the future.

Political parties

 In the Netherlands, politicians are often organized in different parties. Each of these parties has it’s own general viewpoint on policy that should be implemented into their own municipality in the following four years. These viewpoints are often summarized into so called election programs. Although many parties coordinate on a national level, there are also local parties that are focused on the specific needs of municipalities.

Student & Stad

Student & Stad is a local political party in Groningen, founded in 1993, Student & Stad is entirely run by students, currently represented with two seats in the city council. The party is run by students, most of them studying at the University of Groningen or Hanze University of Applied Sciences. It is a party for all inhabitants of Groningen working on all issues emerging in the municipality. Part of its 2018 election points is to give international inhabitants of Groningen a voice too! More information on Student & Stad can be found on its English website.




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