Low turnout as Dutch expats sign up for senate vote

With just a few days to go, only around 30,000 out of one million Dutch nationals abroad have so far signed up to vote for a direct say in the make up of the senate later in the year.

The figure is ‘disappointing’ and well below the 90,000 who were able to vote in the 2021 general election, PvdA campaign manager and candidate Tim van Lieshout said.

Dutch expats have until February 1 to register their intention to vote for an electoral college which will vote in turn for the 75-seat senate in May. It is the first time Dutch expats will have been able to have an impact on the make-up of the senate, following a change in the voting regulations earlier this year.

There is a lot at stake, given the coalition government does not control the senate, Van Lieshout said. ‘Which will be the largest group, the VVD led by Edith Schippers or a new left-wing group combining GroenLinks and the PvdA?’

‘These elections are really about strengthening our democracy and exerting influence on current government policy.’

Dutch nationals who live outside the Netherlands and are not registered with a local authority will vote via a central registration system in The Hague – even if they had previously registered to vote in the general election.

Once the form is filled in and sent off, together with a copy of your Dutch ID, you will receive confirmation when it arrives in The Hague and again when you have been included in the register.

Register to vote

Voting itself takes place by post although the ballot is sent by email. If you live on Aruba, Curaçao or Sint Maarten you will receive your voting documents through the Netherlands Representative Office.

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