Dutch nationals living abroad have until October 11 to register their intention to vote in the national elections on November 22, if they had not done so for a previous election.
Voting is still done by local post – something which Dutch expat groups abroad have long campaigned against. They want the government to introduce electronic voting to make sure that ballot papers don’t get lost in the mail, as has happened on a wide scale in the past.
“In fact, we are recommending that people who live outside the EU use the proxy system and let someone else vote on their behalf, to ensure the votes are counted,” Eelco Keij, chairman of the Dutch expats foundation SNBN, told Dutch News.
Earlier this year Dutch nationals abroad were able to vote in the provincial elections via a special electoral college for the first time. Over 37,000 Dutch expats did so.
Some 100,000 Dutch nationals living abroad are so far registered to vote in the 2023 general election.
“This is more than the number of votes for a full seat in parliament,” says Keij. “So it shows that we have influence and that parties should take us into account.
“In a close run contest like this election, parties need to pay attention to every potential voter, including the Dutch abroad.”
To register, prospective voters have to fill in a form, add a photograph of their ID and email or upload the completed form. It can also be sent by snail mail it to The Hague city council, where foreign votes are collated.
Once registered, voters will automatically receive voting slips for all elections – national, provincial and local – from then on. Only Dutch nationals can vote in the general election.
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