Make sure your voice is heard by registering and voting in local elections

Make sure your voice is heard by registering and voting in local elections

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If as a foreign community resident in Spain, you want your voice to be heard then now is the time to register for local elections.

These take place in Valencia next year in May and provide according to Vicente Garcia Nebot, Director General of the Valencian Community’s Town Planning Directorate, on Wednesday, November 30, an excellent opportunity to influence the local agenda.

Vicente said he hears many people complain that the foreign community is ignored, but he said the only way to change that is by voting. He added that with nearly 21 per cent of the population in the community of foreign origin, there is ample opportunity to make a difference simply by voting.

Vicente said residents should not be surprised if issues affecting the foreign population are not high on the agenda if it is only local Spanish people who are turning up to vote. He said the situation is simple, the foreign community needs to make itself heard if it wants to influence council expenditure, services and activities.

He went on to say that in some villages, foreigners outnumber or nearly outnumber locals and that puts them in a strong position to not only influence but to direct the agenda. That is not to say that councils should ne hijacked but rather made to look out for everyone who lives there.


Anyone who has been resident in Spain for more than three years is entitled to vote. By rights you should receive notification in the post of the need to register, with the registration period taking place between December 1 and January 15.

However, it is possible for a variety of reasons that you won’t receive such a letter. If that is the case then you can contact the council to register, with many having full details on their websites.

If you have registered before you will need to do so again or check that you are still registered, as only permanent resident’s details are retained from one election to the next.

Get your voice heard

So, the message from Vicente is very simple. You need to vote if you want your voice to be heard and there really is no point in complaining that you aren’t getting the services you would like if you didn’t vote.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at