14 days left to register for the communal elections
If you’re a qualified voter who hasn’t registered for the communal elections on October 14, no worries. You still have today until July 31 to submit your voter form. And it’s easy as ABC and 1-2-3. Voter forms for EU citizens and non-EU citizens are all available online. Just complete and sign the form and prepare a photocopy of your Belgian ID. Once you’ve done that, here are three easy ways to send your voter form to your commune.
1. By email
This wasn’t possible in the past communal elections. But now, you have the convenience of simply emailing your documents to the commune. You can even do that while you’re on vacation. Emailed voter forms are accepted by Brussels communes except Anderlecht, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Jette, and Koekelberg. You can get the email address of your commune here.
2. By post
You can send your voter form and the photocopy of your Belgian ID by ordinary mail. The post box is just a few minutes’ walk away. And in this lovely summer weather, a nice little walk wouldn’t hurt. The mailing addresses of the communes are provided here.
3. A quick trip to the communal hall
You can drop by the population or electoral services department of your commune and submit your documents personally.
After submitting your voter form, you will get an official notice confirming your registration. A few weeks before election day, you will receive a notification to vote in the communal elections. You must present this notification and your Belgian ID when you go to the polling station on October 14.
Let’s not forget, voting is not obligatory for non-Belgians. But in case you registered but cannot make it on the day of elections, you have two options:
1. Vote by proxy
You can ask another registered voter to cast a ballot for you. There are four common circumstances under which you can vote by proxy: illness or invalidity, work or duty, studies, and if you’re abroad. You just have to fill up and sign the applicable proxy form and provide a certificate that attests your situation. Your designated voter must bring these documents to the polling station, along with the notification to vote you received from the commune, and the proxy’s Belgian ID and notification to vote.
All you have to do is send a simple, written declaration to your commune to cancel your registration. Remember that you only need to register once to be able to vote in all local elections. So if you no longer wish to vote in future elections, you can simply deregister.
Or better yet, you can go and exercise your right to vote. Communal elections only happen once in six years, and voting won’t take more than a few minutes. There are more than 300,000 non-Belgians in Brussels and if they all vote, they will represent one-third of the electorate. Your vote could contribute to realizing that huge potential to influence politics and effect changes in your commune.
You can find more information on the communal elections from the Brussels Commissioner for Europe, Elections 2018 Brussels, and VoteBrussels. You can even challenge yourself to one of VoteBrussels’ fun quizzes and learn more about the 19 communes of Brussels and the elections in Belgium.