British citizens who are resident in Spain are entitled to vote in local Spanish elections as well as European parliamentary elections. Only people included on the official Town Hall register (the Padron) may vote.
Declare your desire to vote
If already registered at the Town Hall, an electoral census form should have been received. If it has not, you can ask for one. To check that you are officially registered, visit the Town Hall to verify your inclusion on the municipal register and to declare your desire to vote. Because just by being on the register, it does not grant voting rights. You must make the declaration to be included on the electoral roll.
The process of officially being registered to vote may take a few months. Therefore, it is important you don´t leave it until the last minute. The electoral card will be posted to you before the election date. However, if you voted at the last local elections, you should automatically receive your voting slip by post.
Spanish government system
The government in Spain is arranged according to four levels:
- National – the elected government of the country
- Regional – the government elected to run the autonomous community
- Provincial – the government elected to run the province
- Municipal – the councillors elected locally to run the town
Local elections take place throughout Spain every four years. If you are registered to vote, you will be sent packs of information by each political party.
Whatever the outcome of the general election, the local councillors who are chosen can make a significant difference to the town and how it is run. If you are eligible to vote, then it is important to check out the different manifestos and consider your decision carefully.
It will be another four years before the chance for change comes again.