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. You have the right to vote in the municipality where you are registered on the day of candidacy. That is 44 days before the election.
There is an additional condition for citizens from countries outside the European Union (EU). You must have lived lawfully in the Netherlands for at least 5 years before the day of candidacy.
The right to vote does not apply to employees of foreign embassies or consulates. This also applies to their families. There is an exception for employees or family members who hold Dutch citizenship, they are allowed to vote.
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.
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
Questions about this topic?
Contact the Municipality of Heerenveen