Important information for UK Residents – As shared with Spectrum FM.
As the 28th of May 2023 Local Municipal Elections draw nearer and in order to compile the electoral census of foreign national’s resident in Spain the National institute of Statistics will be issuing guidelines as to the conditions to be able to cast your vote.
Now, before we even start, it is VERY IMPORTANT to point out this effects EVERYONE who is British, even if you’ve lived here 20 years and voted in previous local elections.
As the result of BREXIT we have lost our EU status and for the FIRST TIME EVER the United Kingdom is now in the section of “Countries with reciprocal agreements”.
We are in a new category and this means a completely new process from what we have had to do before.
What do we know so far?
It looks like there will be a VERY SHORT timeframe in which we can register our intention to exercise our right to vote in the local elections.
Starting from the 1st December 2022 to the 15th January 2023 – This is very short period considering Christmas etc.
The requirements to have the right to vote:
Over the age of 18.
Registered on the Padron.
Must have been a Legal Resident (had residencia) for at least THREE YEARS prior to the registration. This would wipe out those that became residents after Brexit, it will also wipe out a lot that already lived here, possibly even voted before, but were not actual holders of a residencia document and only obtained it in the Brexit rush. Basically what we are saying is that if you were not a legal resident in 2019 or before you probably can’t vote.
Now proving these THREE years is where things could get complicated.
From the information we have received, there could be a requirement to have to supply a Police Certificate from the Oficina de Extranjeria that states the date you obtained your residencia. Consider many Brits had a “Green” resident Certificate that clearly showed both the date you became resident and also the date of issue, however with Brexit they obtained a TIE card, this does not show your “antiquity” as a resident and none were issued to Brit’s prior to mid 2020 so will not suffice to prove being resident for the THREE YEAR requirement.
If you meet the requirements you will have to REGISTER at your Town Hall within the stated time frame – 1st December to 15th January.
To help with this process the Census Office will be sending out a card, by post, to those Residents that meet the criterion based on the combined information the National Institute of Statistics can obtain from the Central Register of Foreigners – Residency Records and the Town Hall – Padron Register. If you receive your Card keep it safe and USE it to REGISTER, receiving the card does not mean you can Vote it means you meet the criterion to vote, you still must REGISTER. With the card you can register by post, at your Town hall with your identification documents (Passport/TIE) or over the internet with “FIRMA DIGITAL or CLAVE” or even without using the Code that will be on the card and your NIE number.
A ray of hope for those that do not receive the card but know they meet the criterion, from December with your “FIRMA DIGITAL or CLAVE” you may be able to register your intent through the INE – National Institutes web page under inscription application.
“Solicitud de inscripción” Sede Electrónica del INE at https://sede.ine.gob.es
Legal Rules that apply:
Order EHA/2264/2010, of 20 July, by which rules and technical instructions are issued for the formation of the electoral census of residents in Spain who are nationals of countries with Agreements for municipal elections, modified by Order ECC/1758/2014, of 23 September.
Resolution of 27 October 2014, of the Electoral Census Office, which establishes the procedures and approves the application form for registration in the electoral census of residents in Spain of nationals of countries with agreements for municipal elections.
As of the date of this communication, the Ministerial Order amending the previous Order is being processed to include the United Kingdom in the list of countries with an Agreement signed with Spain and the amendment of the previous Resolution is pending to include the requirements of the Agreement with the United Kingdom in the annex, an amendment that cannot begin until the new Ministerial Order is published.
My recommendation if you want to vote:
Check the information we have so far.
Stay tuned to SpectrumFM, any news or information I have I will relay to Richard, Spectrum is the best way with the widest coverage to get such important information out FAST, it is also the only proactive radio station catering to the English listeners.
The ministerial order that will include the UK could vary or clarify what we know today.
– Check residency date more than 3 years.
– Check Padron status.
– Register between 1st December and 15th January
– From end of November receive a “card” in the post with your name / details – use it, don’t bin it.
Special Note for the Brits that became or chose to use their Irish Citizenship or any other EU citizenship, except Spanish, as a result of Brexit. YOU MUST ALSO RE-REGISTER as an EU citizen voter with the EU voting process and under the easier terms/conditions.
Some of us can get lazy with this type of stuff, some think “we are just foreigners etc.”
NO, no and no. You are living here; you are affected by the outcome of the elections in the Town you now call home. Get up and make yourself heard and this means voting, whatever your preference, and if to vote you need to go a little out of your way – do it.
Arguing on behalf of someone that doesn’t show is much harder.
Councillor in Mojácar Town Hall.