If you take part in local elections in Belgium, you are still entitled to vote in all 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 or ill on the day of the elections?
No worries, you can provide another voter with a power of attorney to vote on your behalf. The power of attorney form is available in french and dutch.
Can I get a fine if I don't vote?
Once registered, voting is compulsory. According to the law, you can get a reprimand or a fine between 25 and 50 euros if you don't vote. However, in practice there is a certain tolerance and fines are rarely given.
I voted in the previous local elections. Do I have to register again?
No, your registration is still valid. Municipal elections are held every six years.
Does my registration stay valid if I move to another Belgian municipality?
Your registration is automatically transferred to your new municipality, even if it is located in another region. If you are not registered in your new municipality by a specific date, usually three months before election day, you will have to vote in your former municipality.
I am registered but I no longer wish to vote.
You can simply request to be removed from the register of voters. This is impossible in the period between the deadline for enrolment and the actual day of the elections, but it is possible before and afterwards.
Is my registration valid for both local and European elections?
No, you have to register separately for both elections. These are two different procedures.
Can I stand as a candidate in local elections?
Yes, EU citizens can be elected and potentially even become aldermen. However, EU citizens are not allowed to become mayor.
What happens once I'm registered to vote?
You will receive an official notice confirming your registration. Some weeks before the day of the elections you will receive a notification to attend. On the day of the elections, you have to take this notification and your identity card with you to the polling station.
How do you vote by proxy?
Electors can also vote by proxy, by giving the authority to vote to another elector, who then becomes their mandatary. This must be another elector who also votes (it is usually a relative or friend). But a mandatary may only receive the proxy from one other person. For example, if your family consists of two people and neither of you can vote on 25 May, you must find two separate mandataries who will vote in your name. Voting by proxy is possible in certain circumstances. The most common circumstances are:
Illness or invalidity: the impossibility of voting for such reasons must be backed up by a medical certificate.
Professional reasons or duty: the employer must provide a certificate that is to be annexed to the proxy document
Study reasons, for students: the educational institution that the student attends must provide a certificate that is to be attached to the proxy document.
Holiday abroad: to be confirmed by means of a certificate from the mayor or his representative. The request must be submitted by the day before the election at the latest.
When? Giving a mandate for someone to vote by proxy is possible up to the day of the election, except in the case of a holiday abroad. In that case it must be done on the day before the election at the latest, because the local authority in question has to stamp the document. Form? You can download the proxy form from the following website: www.ibz.rrn.fgov.be/index.php?id=3279 Election day On the day of the election, the mandatary has to cast his vote in the polling station of the person who has given the proxy and must be in possession of a fully completed and signed proxy form with the necessary certificate, in addition to his own ballot paper and identity card.