On 22 May 2014, voters in the Netherlands will join other EU member states in choosing the new European Parliament. Your vote helps to decide who will represent the Netherlands in the European Parliament and how Europe will be governed.
Who is eligible to vote?
The following eligibility criteria is in place for the 2014 European Parliamentary election:
You must be 18 years of age or older on 22 May 2014.
You must have been registered in the Amsterdam Municipal Personal Records Database (Basisregistratie Personen, BRP) by 8 April 2014. If you registered in the Netherlands after 8 April 2014, you are not eligible to vote in the Netherlands for this election.
You must be a national of an EU Member State.
You must not be excluded from the right to vote.
To vote you need to possess a valid voting pass (stempas) and a valid identity document.
Has your voting pass not arrived or have you misplaced it?
If you have not received a voting pass, or if you have misplaced your voting pass, you can request a replacement in person at the Civil Affairs (Burgerzaken) department of any city district office until noon on 21 May 2014.
Valid identity documents
When voting on 22 May you will be required to show a valid identity document. This identity document must not have expired any longer than five years earlier. Valid identity documents include the following documents from the Netherlands or another EU country:
If you do not have a valid identity document you have three options:
You can submit a written request to authorise someone else to vote on your behalf ('by proxy'). With the proper authorisation, someone else can cast your vote for you without them needing to show your identity document. The Civil Registry (Dienst Basisinformatie) must receive your written request to authorise a proxy voter no later than 19 May 2014.
You can identify yourself at the polling station with a copy of an official police report (in case your identity document was stolen) or an official statement regarding your missing or damaged travel document or driving licence (in case your identity document is missing or damaged) in combination with another document that shows your name and a passport-type photo (e.g. an annual NS train pass, or a library card). This option is intended for those for whom it is too late to apply for a new identity document.
Where can you vote in Amsterdam?
Your voting pass will list the address of a polling station in your neighbourhood, but you are free to vote at any polling station in Amsterdam.
The polling stations will be open from 07:30 to 21:00. Some polling stations (e.g. those at or nearby train stations) may have different opening hours. You can find an overview of all polling stations on www.amsterdam.nl/verkiezingen (in Dutch).
It is also possible to cast your vote in a different municipality in the Netherlands. To do that, however, you will first need to apply for an electoral pass (kiezerspas) in one of two ways:
In writing, using the application form that you can download from the website www.amsterdam.nl/verkiezingen or collect at a district office. It is possible to submit a written application for an electoral pass until 19 May 2014. You can submit a written application for an electoral pass even before you have received your voting pass.
In person, by going to the Civil Affairs (Burgerzaken) department of any district office. When applying for an electoral pass in person at the counter of the Civil Affairs department, you will need to show your voting pass and an identity document. You may show an expired identity document as long as the expiry date was no more than five years prior to the day of the election (22 May 2014). It is possible to apply for an electoral pass in person at the counter of the Civil Affairs department until noon on 21 May 2014.
Authorising a proxy voter
If you are unable to vote yourself you can have someone else cast your vote for you by arranging a proxy voter. The person who will be voting on your behalf (i.e. the proxy) must also be eligible to vote. There are two ways that you can authorise someone else to vote on your behalf:
- by authorising a proxy voter directly on your voting pass.
- by submitting a written request for proxy voter authorisation.
Authorising a proxy voter directly on your voting pass
This form of authorisation is only possible if the person who will be voting on your behalf (i.e. the proxy voter) is also eligible to vote in Amsterdam and will be voting. You can directly authorise your own proxy up until the day of the elections itself (22 May 2014). Fill in the form on the back of your voting pass or electoral pass and give this and (a copy of) your identity document to your proxy to take with them. In the case of an electoral pass, the following holds: on the back of your electoral pass you can authorise someone to vote on your behalf. That person must also be in possession of their own electoral pass or their own voting pass from Amsterdam. If the person who will vote on your behalf shows a voting pass, they must cast both votes in Amsterdam.
Submitting a written request for proxy authorisation
If you submit a written request for proxy authorisation, your proxy will receive a separate proof of authorisation by post. Even if you do not have a valid identity document yourself, you can still submit a written request for proxy authorisation. You can download the application form for proxy authorisation (volmachtbewijs) from www.amsterdam.nl/verkiezingen or pick up a form at any city district office. The completed form must be received by the Civil Registry (Dienst Basisinfromatie) no later than 19 May 2014.
Important information regarding the authorised proxy voter
The person who will vote on your behalf must do so at the same time that they cast their own vote. The voting may not happen on two different occasions. An authorised proxy voter can vote for at most two other people besides him or herself per election.
For more information about the elections and about voting in Amsterdam see:
Twitter: @AmsterdamNL twee: #020stemt
- Telephone: 14 020, the information number of the City of Amsterdam, available from 08:00 until 18:00.
- List of political parties and policies on Dutchnews.nl
Please note: revised opening hours
On 22 May 2014, the Civil Affairs (Burgerzaken) departments of the various city district offices will have limited opening hours. For up-to-date information (in Dutch) on opening hours, check www.amsterdam.nl/openingstijden.
Information for blind people and for the visually impaired
If you know someone who is blind or visually impaired, please pass on the voting information above. They can also receive a spoken version of the lists of candidates from Oogvereniging Amsterdam (Eye Association): contact [email protected] or by telephone (020-613 0619).