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Recortes de Prensa

No vote, no voice

Round Town News, 25 | 11 | 2010 - Noticia

In the 2007 local elections, as many as 80% of the eligible EU nationals living in Alicante Province did not vote because they were NOT on the municipal Padron and thus not on the Electoral Roll, the ‘Censo Electoral’. You need to be on BOTH to vote.

Who should register?

EU nationals who spend all or much of their time in Spain should register on both the Padrón and the Censo Electoral. Many wrongly assume that the Padrón is a means of vigilance by the state. In reality it is simply a way for the Town Hall to count those that live in their area, with no investigation as to a person’s official status or financial affairs. The information you provide is confidential and covered by data protection laws.

But the population data created by annual statistical returns from Town Halls to the National Government in Madrid is used as the base for the distribution of central government tax revenues (eg IVA, income tax etc) to Autonomous Regions and from those regions back to Town Halls. In crude terms, the more people registered on a municipality’s padrón, the more money the Town Hall gets from Madrid.

What are the benefits to you?

You comply with legal requirements.

Better public services: Central Government pays the local council around €170 per person on the Padrón each year.

Access to benefits and social care; people on the Padrón aged 65 and over can get free municipal bus passes and other benefits.

A reduction in taxes; registration on the Padrón could mean reductions in Property Tax, certain community charges and inheritance tax.

Voting rights for an easier life; you need your Padrón certificate to carry out various administrative tasks, such as registering for healthcare, registering your car with Spanish number plates or enrolling children in school.

Remember: NO VOTE, NO VOICE.

Are you already on the padrón?

If ‘yes’, you are still NOT automatically registered as a voter. To vote, you must also be listed on the Censo Electoral (the Electoral Roll). Your right to vote in Local (or Euro) elections is enshrined in Spanish and European law and your vote will influence the type and style of your local government. Now is the time to check with your town hall that your padron details are up-to-date and complete, and that you have been correctly listed on the Censo.

I´m not on the padrón– How do I register?

You can register on both the Padrón and Censo Electoral AT THE SAME TIME. You will need to take to the Office of Statistics Oficina de Empadronamineto in your Town Hall the following documents:

Passport OR Residencia plus your last Rates (I.B.I.) receipt OR Water / Electric bill in your name OR your Escritura OR rental contract. It always makes sense to take the original documents, plus a photocopy of each when you deal with officialdom. Need help? Town Hall officials will help. Instructions in English, German and French are on the back of the Padrón form.

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