Ladies and gentlemen, procrastination period is over. You have only 12 days left to get registered for the October 14 communal elections. If you’re a qualified voter and you still haven’t registered, you have four options for sending your voter form to the commune from now until the July 31 deadline.
1. With the help of political parties
Since the campaign period for the communal elections officially began on July 14, political parties are now more visible around Brussels. Some of them have been assisting non-Belgians in the registration process.
In Schaerbeek, the Socialist Party (PS) will be at the weekly market at Place des Chasseurs Ardennais at 5:00 pm today and next Friday to help you get registered. In Ixelles, Ecolo-Groen’s “voting box” campaign will be back in Place Flagey tomorrow, July 21, from 10:00 to 12:00. Just drop by, fill up a voter form, and shoot it straight into the box. Objectif XL will continue distributing voter forms around Ixelles. The party will process everything for you.
2. By email
Voter forms for EU citizens and non-EU citizens are all available online. Just complete and sign the form, prepare a photocopy of your Belgian ID, and email them to your commune. You can even do that while you’re on vacation. Emailed voter forms are now accepted by Brussels communes except Anderlecht, Berchem-Sainte-Agathe, Jette, and Koekelberg. You can get the email address of your commune here.
3. By post
You can send your documents 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.
4. 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.