Voting in Spain
Here in Gaucin we welcome voter participation in elections. Your voice counts and your vote can influence who runs the Town Hall - Mayor/ Mayoress and Councillors.
If you are not a Spanish citizen but are legally resident in Spain you may still have the right to vote in the local municipal elections and/or the EU parliamentary elections. Likewise you may have the right to stand in these elections.
Note that your right to vote depends on your country of citizenship and the length of time you have been legally resident in Spain.
The next local elections will be held on May 28 2023 and both EU residents and non EU residents from countries that have a Voting Reciprocity Agreement with Spain and who meet the prerequisites set in Spanish law will be able to vote. The information below explains these prerequisites and what you need to do to register on the census.
1. Nationals of European Union (EU) countries
EU citizens residing in Spain can vote in Local election as long as they meet the following requirements:
- You must be over 18 years of age
- You must be registered on the Padron of the place where you live.
- You must have declared your wish to vote in the municipal elections.
- Both enrollment in the padron and the declaration of willingness to vote must be completed by January 30 2023 in order to vote in the local elections on May 28 2023.
If you have not previously voted in local Spanish elections then you must make a Formal Declaration of Willingness to Vote in Spain for the Municipal Elections. This can be made online, by post or in person at the Town Hall of residence.
EU citizens residing in Spain can express their intention to vote in Spain in municipal elections (and also in elections to the European Parliament if they wish) using the cl@ve system via the following link:
b) In the Town Hall of residence:
By filling in the formal declaration form (DFA model) available at the town hall or downloaded here:
Proof of identity must be shown, which can be using your foreigner card where the NIE appears, or with your passport of your country of origin.
The office of the electoral census (OCE) will send all EU citizens residing in Spain a letter at the end of October with the data of their pre-printed registrations. This will be sent only to those who have not previously voted in local elections (IE those who registered after August 30, 2018) and have not made the formal declaration. This communication includes a code for electronic processing (CTT) that makes it possible to vote in municipal elections online, without having access to cl@ve. Upon reciept of this communication you will be able to express your willingness to vote with access to cl@ve or with the CTT, or by post by sending the response to the letter directly to the OCE Provincial Delegation, without the need to pay postage.
Please note that the expression of willingness to vote in Spain is permanent while the interested party resides in Spain, unless otherwise formally requested.
2. Nationals of Non EU Countries ( including UK citizens)
Residents in Spain who are nationals of countries with agreements recognizing the right to vote in municipal elections, who meet the requirements established to be voters, have the right to vote in the local elections of May 2023 but you must request registration in the electoral roll even if they have previously done so but you can not do this before December 1st 2022.
The Countries with Agreements in force are:
Trinidad and Tobago.
Nationals of other countries with which Agreements are established may also apply for registration, if they are in force within the established application period.
The conditions that must be met to be eligible for registration are:
- Be over eighteen years of age and not be deprived of the right to active suffrage.
- Be registered in the Padrón
- Be in possession of the residence permit in Spain.
- Have resided legally in Spain for the time required in the Agreement between the country of your nationality and Spain (three years on the day of the vote for Norwegian nationals, three years at the time of application for United Kingdom nationals and five years at the time of application for the rest of the countries). Proof of legal residence may be justified by providing the certificate of residence issued by the Police Station.
Procedures and application deadline
In order for UK citizens to vote in these elections the Spanish Government needs to amend the Ministerial Order to include the United Kingdom in the list of countries with an Agreement signed with Spain which means the inscription window for non EU nationals will not open until December 1st and closes on January 15 2023.
Applications for registration can be made online, by mail or in person at the Town Hall. At the end of November 2022, the OCE will send a communication to non EU citizens residing in Spain, who meet the conditions established in the previous section, with pre-printed personal and residence data, obtained from the information of the Central Registry of Foreigners and the Municipal Registers existing in the INE. The registration information has a reference date of August 30, 2022. This communication will include a key for electronic processing (CTT) that makes it possible to make a registration request online.
a) Register online:
To make the registration request online you must access the "solicitud de inscripción” through the Electronic Office of the INE:
Those who do not have a cl@ve system may apply by accessing the system with their NIE and the electronic processing key (CTT) included in the communication.
b) By mail:
Those wishing to register in the census should send the reply form that will be included in the communication directly to the Provincial Delegation of the OCE, without having to pay postage.
c) In the Town Hall of residence:
Interested parties who consider that they meet the conditions of the Agreement may submit the application in person at the Town Hall, identifying themselves with their Foreigner Identity Card (for nationals of Norway, Iceland and the United Kingdom, the national identity document or passport will be valid ).
The time of legal residence in Spain must be justified with a certificate of residence issued by the Immigration Office or Police Station of the corresponding province. It must be remembered that the General Directorate of the Police is the only competent body for immigration issues.
Remember that none of the above will be possible until December 1st 2022.
The established application submission period is from December 1, 2022 to January 15, 2023. The applications that are presented directly to the town halls must be sent to the OCE before January 20, 2023. Applications made after the deadline, including those that are submitted late due to changes in personal data, will be rejected for failing to comply with this requirement.
No foreign residents can vote in regional or national elections in Spain.
For voting in your home country, please consult that specific country’s election rules.