If you haven’t already, you may be receiving a veeeeery special letter from the gemeente this week. On Wednesday March 21st, the municipal elections will be taking place, and unlike the national elections of last year, all EU nationals over the age of 18 can vote for this one!
You may be wondering why you should be bothered to vote in a country you might only live in for a couple of years, but this is your chance to pitch in to transform The Hague (or wherever you may be living) in the student paradise it deserves to be. Think more student housing, later opening hours for bars and clubs, and a greener city… just a few ideas to get you started.
During the elections, you can get represented by 20 different political parties. Some you may know from parliament or the news, some are local parties from The Hague. Don’t know who to vote for? Head over to www.stemwijzer.nl to see which parties fit you best.
We translated the entire test to English for you in this document, but the students of International Studies at Leiden University have gone the extra mile and translated every stance of every political party in this document.
Voting for the Dutch elections 101
- You do not need to register prior to voting. If you are eligible to vote for the elections, you will have received an envelope with your personal ballot. This is ONLY if you’re registered in The Hague!
- You are not required to vote in your own neighbourhood. You can choose to vote in any part of your city. See below for exciting voting locations!
- If you’re going to vote, don’t forget to bring your personal ballot along with a valid ID or passport. If you’re not able to vote on that day, you can give someone else living in the same municipality the authority to vote on your behalf. Simply fill out the back of the voting ballot, enclose a copy of your ID and give it to someone you trust.
- Most voting locations will be opened from 7.30 until 21.00. Some however may differ slightly. To know where and what time you can cast your vote, check https://www.stembureausindenhaag.nl/
Spice up the election day by voting at one of these cool locations:
The Student Hotel: Hoefkade 9. Vote in The Hague’s hottest student hub and go grab a bite at their new restaurant The Commons afterwards.
Paard: Prinsegracht 12. See what Paard looks like when you’re not completely intoxicated!
Hotel Des Indes: Lange Voorhout 56. One of the most decadent hotels in the Hague opens its doors to the voters.
Binnenhof (Parliament): Binnenhof 1A. Take a sneak peak in the Second Chamber and cast your vote in the most democratic way possible.
ProDemos: Hofweg 1. ProDemos is the ‘House for Democracy and the Rule of Law’.
Grote Markt: Grote Markt 8A. After having loads of vodka-fueled political debates with your friends until the early hours, you can actually go and cast your vote here between midnight and 2AM!
Events in English
Do you want to know more about how to vote, why to vote, where to vote? Visit the Power Of The International Vote event at The Hague University of Applied Sciences (Haagse Hogeschool) this Friday! Not only will you be brought up-to-date about all the necessary details, there will also be debates between several political parties taking place. For more information, check out the Facebook event here