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Last update 18-06-2021

Municipal elections

Requirements applicable to European citizens who wish to vote in municipal elections in Spain

To be eligible to vote, you need to be entered on the electoral roll for municipal elections, for which you must:

  • be registered to vote in your municipality of habitual residence;

  • have formally stated your intention to vote in municipal elections in Spain;

  • and be at least 18 years old on voting day

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Time limits for registration

European citizens resident in Spain can follow the electoral registration procedures and formally state their intention to vote in municipal elections at any time.

However, to be included on the current roll for municipal elections, there are two prior formalities to complete in good time, two or three months before the date on which the elections are called.

The intention to vote in municipal elections is deemed to be permanent, unless revoked by the voter.

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Procedure for entry on the electoral roll

To register as a voter, you must follow the procedure at the relevant town council.

You can state your wish to vote in municipal elections in Spain, in your municipality, at the time of registration or later:

In the months prior to municipal elections being called, the Electoral Census Office sends a letter to EU residents in Spain (unless sent to them on the occasion of previous municipal elections), informing them that, if they are interested in voting, they should formally state their intention to do so.  The letter also includes an electronic access code (CTT) which you can use to state your intention to vote via a procedure open to you at this time at the Electronic Office of INE.

Once EU citizens resident in Spain have registered and declared their intention to vote in municipal elections, if they have access to Cl@ve, they have electronic access to their details held on the electoral roll at the Electronic Office of INE(Abre en nueva ventana) . When municipal elections are called, they can view their entry on the current electoral roll via the procedures open to them at the Electronic Office of INE, when these elections are called.

Those who have not been entered on the electoral roll, or who find errors or omissions, may file a complaint to the Electoral Census Office of their municipality at any time or from 6 to 13 days after the calling of municipal elections. The complaint will be resolved in accordance with the criteria established in the resolutions on complaints, of 27 October 2014(Abre en nueva ventana) and 23 January 2017(Abre en nueva ventana) , of the Electoral Census Office.

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Conditions which EU citizens must meet, and documents which they must supply, for entry on the electoral roll

The (padrón) register is a municipal register. The town council is responsible for compiling and managing it. To register, you have to apply to the council of the municipality of your habitual residence and supply the requested documents.

There is only one requirement for the formality of stating your intention to vote in municipal elections in Spain: you must already be on the electoral roll and complete the form, either on paper at the town hall or remotely at the Electronic Office of INE(Abre en nueva ventana) .

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Information on compulsory voting

In Spain it is not compulsory to vote.

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Rights and obligations of EU citizens wishing to stand as candidates in municipal elections in Spain

Under the current rules ( article 177 of the Organic Law on the General Electoral System(Abre en nueva ventana) ), all residents in Spain who have not acquired Spanish citizenship, but meet the condition of being citizens of the European Union, can stand in municipal elections.

They must fulfil the following requirements:

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Authority responsible for the information

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation
Spanish National Statistics Institute

Ministry of the Interior
Directorate-General of Interior Policy