On Sunday, 24 May, Spain goes to the polls in the local elections to vote for which party will govern your local town hall for the next four years.
Citizens of all EU countries, along with citizens of a number of countries which have reciprocal agreements, are eligible to vote providing they are registered on the local census (Padron) and have requested the right to vote.
Those of you who expressed a desire to vote before December 31 of last year, or who voted in the last local election should have received a voting slip (Tarjeta censal) in the post. If you haven’t received your slip don’t worry, merely turn up at your designated polling station on Sunday May 24 between 9 am and 8 pm with photo id (your passport is always the best bet) and the station staff will look you up on their list.
Inside the voting slip it will have your details along with the address of the polling station where you should go to vote.
In the case of Manilva there are three polling stations: The Pabellon de Usos Multiples, next to the football ground in Manilva for those resident in Manilva town and adjacent developments; the CEIP San Luis de Sabinillas primary school in Calle Maria Zambrano for those living in Sabinillas; and the Castle in Castillo de la Duquesa for those living in Castillo, Duquesa and most of the urbanisations such as El Hacho, Los Hidalgos, Hacienda Guadalupe, etc.
Once the staff have checked that you are eligible to vote you will be directed to a voting booth inside of which you will find the lists of all the parties contesting the election.
In Spain you vote for the Party rather than for individuals so all you need to do is place the list of the party for which you wish to vote in the envelope supplied, there is no need to seal it. Only include one list, DO NOT mark the list in any way, shape or form, in fact don’t take a pen or pencil with you, that way you will not be tempted to put a cross or tick or any comment on the list. If you do it will be disqualified and your vote wasted.
Take the envelope to the table where the officer will instruct you to place it in the ballot box and your contribution to local democracy is complete.
The List System
There are a fixed number of councillors which is governed by the number of registered residents, in Manilva’s case there are currently 17 elected councillors.
Unlike the UK the election is by proportional representation and you vote for the political party as opposed to individual candidates. Each party presents a list of its candidates in order of preference, they then get to install their members into office according to the percentage of the vote they receive ie 1 councillor for every 5.9% of the vote they gain.
The Mayor is then elected by the councillors and is in most cases the leader of the party which gains the highest percentage of the overall vote, although if the party fails to get a majority they have to pact with one or more of the other parties, and this can sometimes be at the expense of handing over the mayorship.
- Sunday 24 May, 2015
- Polling station open from 9 am to 8 pm
- Take ID and Tarjeta censal if you have it
- Select the list of your preferred party
- DO NOT mark the list in any way
- Hand envelope to ballot officer
- Go and celebrate your contribution to local democracy
Where to vote
The Pabellon de Usos Multiples, next to the football ground in Manilva for those resident in Manilva town and adjacent developments; the CEIP San Luis de Sabinillas primary school in Calle Maria Zambrano for those living in Sabinillas; and the Castle in Castillo de la Duquesa for those living in Castillo, Duquesa and most of the urbanisations such as El Hacho, Los Hidalgos, Hacienda Guadalupe, etc.
For those living in Casares Town and rural areas your polling stations is in the Pensioner’s Club, Hogar del Jubilado, Calle Carrera 91, Casares.
For Casares Costa you should cast your vote at the Tenencia de Alcaldia in Marina de Casares.
Whilst those of you in Secadero should visit the Tenencia de Alcaldia in Secadero.
Given the size of Estepona there are a number of polling stations across the municipality. To find out in which one you should vote visit the Town Hall website at http://ayuntamiento.estepona.es/ and introduce your NIE number into the box ‘Consulta de Colegios Electorales’ and you will be told where your polling station is.