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municipal elections

A new period for foreign residents to submit their official voting applications starts on 4th April, it has been confirmed
20.03.11 - 13:17 -
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More time for foreigners to express their wish to vote in May’s elections
Foreign residents wishing to vote in Spain's forthcoming municipal elections on 22nd May have another week to register themselves on the electoral census, it has been announced this week.
Previously, the closing date to register to vote had been set at 31st January 2011. However, the Spanish Institute of National Statistics (INE) has now confirmed that there is to be an additional window of opportunity, between Monday 4th and Monday 11th April, for residents to apply to vote.
“This extra week allows foreign residents to check that their names and details have been added correctly to the electoral census so that they are eligible to vote in May. The list will be here in the Town Hall from 4th April.” says Anette Skou from the Mijas Foreigners’ Department.
“However, it should be stressed that you must have already registered with your local Town Hall and have been on the ‘padrón’, or municipal register, before the 31st January 2011, otherwise it’s too late. This additional time period just allows people on the ‘padrón’ already, extra time to declare their intention of voting,” she adds.
Those who have not yet applied to vote and who would like to, and who are on the municipal census, should fill out a ‘Reclamación al censo’ form at their local Town Hall between 4th and 11th April, and present it with original and current photographic identification.
The INE’s announcement has been welcomed by political parties of all persuasions who are keen to capture the foreign vote, which many commentators predict may prove to be decisive in many municipalities, at this year's elections.
At a press conference on Monday, Mario Bravo, the deputy secretary of the foreign residents’ department for the Mijas Partido Popular, the municipality’s main opposition party, said: “We call on all foreigners who are registered to exercise their right to vote and actively participate in municipal life.” He continued: “This new process helps to remove one of the current barriers for foreign residents who’ve asked for the right to vote in Spain. That’s to say that it’s not enough to register themselves on the ‘padrón’, as is the case with Spanish nationals, but that there’s an extra procedure they must do, which is to officially express their intention of voting here.” Currently, foreigners account for 42 per cent of the registered population of Mijas.
All parties seek foreign voters
In many municipalities throughout the province of Malaga, the 2011 local elections are becoming defined by all parties seeking the foreign vote. “In some areas on the Costa del Sol and the Axarquía region, foreigners, mainly Britons, Germans, Scandinavians, Dutch, Moroccans and South Americans, outnumber Spanish nationals, so canvassing these potential voters has become crucial,” says political commentator, Miguel Machuca.

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