Voting is a basic right and the procedure is extremely fast and simple. You fill in a one-page form form and give it to the commune (by ordinary mail or in person) with a photocopy of your Belgian identity card.
Once I am registered, is voting compulsory?
No, because non-Belgian citizens can deregister as voters before 31 July 2018. After the elections, you can also deregister if you do not wish to vote in future elections.
Can I still vote in my own country?
Yes, taking part in local elections in Belgium has in principle no effect on your right to vote in elections in your own country. Voting in European elections however, will imply that you can only cast your vote in one country.
However, if you are not registered in a municipality in your home country, you will probably not be asked to vote in local elections. This doesn't mean you aren't allowed to vote for national or European elections in your home country.
If you are registered in a municipality in your home country AND in a Belgian municipality, you can vote for local elections in both countries.
There is one exception: Irish people living abroad lose their right to vote in their home country for all elections and referenda. This is always the case, it doesn't make any difference if they register to vote in Belgium or not.
What happens if I am abroad, sick or absent for another reason on 14 October 2018?
No problem, there is a simple solution: you can give a proxy vote to another elector, who votes in your place (see more details in the “How to vote” chapter).
I voted in the previous local elections. Do I have to register again?
No, your registration is still valid, even if you have moved to another municipality in the meantime.
What if I voted in Belgium in the European elections?
You also have to register for local elections. These are two different procedures.
Can I stand as a candidate in local elections?
Yes, EU citizens can become local councillors or aldermen. Becoming a mayor is however not possible. Non-EU citizens cannot stand as a candidate.