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Voting in municipal elections in the Netherlands

Citizens of the Netherlands and citizens of other European Union (EU) Member States are allowed to vote in municipal elections (gemeenteraadsverkiezingen) in the Netherlands. Non-EU citizens are also allowed to vote, provided that they meet the requirements. These elections take place every 4 years.

There are a number of conditions for voting in municipal elections:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • You must not be excluded from voting (in Dutch).
  • You must be a registered resident of a municipality in the Netherlands. And on the day of candidacy you have the right to vote in your municipality. That is 44 days before the election.  
  • Are you a citizen from a country outside the European Union (EU)? Then you must have lived lawfully in the Netherlands for at least 5 years before the day of candidacy.

  • You are not allowed to vote if you are an employee of a foreign embassy or consulate. This also applies to your family. There is an exception for employees or family members who hold Dutch citizenship.

The Kiesraad (Electoral Council) provides more information about the eligibility requirements for voting in municipal elections.

Consider the following steps when voting in municipal elections: 

  • At least 14 days before the election a polling card (stempas) in Dutch will be sent to you at your home address. You must take the polling card, together with a valid form of identification (link in Dutch), to the polling station (stembureau).
  • At least 4 days before the election you will receive the list of candidates, including the addresses of the polling stations.  

Proxy voting: 

If you are unable to vote in person, for example because you have to work or are on holiday, you can authorise another voter to cast your vote on your behalf (in Dutch).

This is how it works for you

Your (future) place of residence falls under:

Here is some information from your municipality.

Voting in municipal elections in the Netherlands

Voting by proxy

Do you want to ask someone to vote for you? Then you can authorize someone. You can do this with:

  • your voting card;
  • An authorization form.

Authorize someone with the voting pass

This is how you authorize someone with your voting card:

  1. Fill out the back of your voting card. Do this together with the person you want to authorize, to make sure you are authorizing the right person. 
  2. Give the authorized person your voting card and a copy of your ID. This proof of identity may not have expired for more than 5 years.
  3. The proxy will show the copy of your ID at the polling station. The proxy must also show his/her own ID.
  4. The proxy can only cast your vote at the same time as his/her own vote. A proxy can vote for up to 2 other people.

Authorize someone with an authorisation form

You can also authorize another voter to vote for you using an authorization form. This is called a written proxy. A few weeks before the elections, a form for this purpose is available at your municipality.

This is how you authorize someone with an authorization form:

  1. You and the person who will vote for you (the proxy) must fill out the form. First the person you want to authorize, then yourself. This way you can be sure that you authorize the right person.
  2. You hand in the form at your municipality.
  3. The authorized person will receive a proxy card with which he can vote for you. Once the municipality has approved the proxy, the proxy cannot be revoked.
  4. The proxy takes the written proxy with him/her to the polling place. You do not need to bring a copy of your ID. The proxy can only cast your vote at the same time as his own vote.

The municipality provides voting passes, candidate lists and voting locations. You will receive your voting card by post. The candidate list is delivered to your home by the municipality.

If you have not received a voting card and are eligible to vote, please come in person with a valid ID.

Questions about this topic?

Contact the Municipality of Groningen

Last updated on 23 September 2022