All registered residents of Amsterdam aged 18 and above who are nationals of European Union (EU) countries are allowed to vote in the City Council elections. In addition, registered residents who are nationals of countries outside of the EU may now vote if they have legally resided in the Netherlands for a consecutive period of at least five years.*
The elections on 19 March 2014 were not only for the City Council; residents of Amsterdam were also able to vote for committee members for their city districts. An extension of the College and the Council, each District Committee in turn selected an executive board consisting of three members. In addition to Amsterdam residents who are EU nationals, residents who are nationals of non-EU countries were now also allowed to vote if they have legally resided in the Netherlands for a consecutive period of at least three years.*
The College and Council determine which tasks they transfer to the District Committees. The City District Offices will retain their function as a port of call for citizens and companies in the city, dealing with a range of matters including issuing passports and granting permits.
Referendum for residents of the Centre District
As well as the elections for City Council and District Committee, on Wednesday, 19 March, residents in the Centre District also voted in a district referendum over the redesign of the Elandsgracht. Eligible residents received a separate voting pass which they used to indicate their preference regarding the redesign of the public space around the canal. Voters chose between ‘Variant 2+’, the proposal of the executive board of the Centre District, and ‘Variant NUL’, the proposal by the Initiatiefgroep Elandsgracht. In order to participate in this referendum, you must visit a voting location within the Centre District – other voting locations will not be equipped with referendum papers. More information about the referendum and the two design options is available online (in Dutch).
* In this instance, legal residence is defined as being registered in the Municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP) and holding a valid residence permit throughout the stated period.