FAQ: How can foreigners vote in regional elections in Slovakia?

Currently 75,423 foreigners can influence the results of the upcoming regional elections. Here is what you need to know before visiting a polling station.

Illustrative stock photoIllustrative stock photo (Source: SME)

Q: I am a foreigner living in Slovakia. Am I eligible to vote in regional elections?
Q: Do I need to register for voting before I am allowed to vote?
Q: When will regional elections take place?
Q: Which polling station can I vote at?
Q: What do I need to bring along with me for voting?
Q: Who are the candidates?
Q: How will I choose the candidates?
Q: Why should I vote in the regional elections?

Q: I am a foreigner living in Slovakia. Am I eligible to vote in regional elections?
A: Yes, if you are older than 18 and at the same time you have permanent residence in a Slovak city, town or village. Besides regional elections, you are also able to vote in the municipal and European Parliament elections in Slovakia.

Q: Do I need to register for voting before I am allowed to vote?
A:
No, the town or village where you have permanent residence is responsible for enrolling you in the permanent list of voters.

If you find that you are not on the list when you turn up to vote, the district electoral committee will write your name down after identifying with your Foreigner Resident Card.

Read also:Voters don’t understand self-governing regions Read more 

Q: When will regional elections take place?
A:
Saturday, November 4, 2017.

Q: Which polling station can I vote at?
A:
You can vote only at the polling station in the town of your permanent residence. The location of your respective polling station will be announced to you in a letter from your municipal office that you should receive at your permanent address no later than 25 days before election day. The municipalities deliver one letter per household, even if several voters live in the household. It does not state your name.

Q: What do I need to bring along with me for voting?
A:
You have to identify yourself with your Foreigner Resident Card.

Read also:Higher territorial units: What? Read more 

Q: Who are the candidates?
A: See the complete candidate lists here.

Q: How will I choose the candidates?
A: The voters will receive two ballot papers: one with the candidates for the regional governor’s post and the other with candidates for the regional parliament. On the former, the voters can circle only one candidate, while on the latter they may circle more. The number of regional deputies that can be elected in a certain district will be stated directly on the ballot.

The voters will then put both ballots into one envelope which they will receive from the committee and cast it into the ballot box.

Q: Why should I vote in the regional elections?
A:
Self-governing regions (VÚCs) have decision-making powers in education, social services, health care, master plans, and public transport, and oversee the maintenance of lower category roads, while coordinating inter-regional and cross-border cooperation and tourism. They make decisions pertaining to the operation of museums, galleries, libraries and pharmacies, just to name a few of the crucial sectors.

Thus, whoever runs the VÚCs will impact how people commute and travel, how much they pay for social services, how far they must go to access health care or what kind of access people will have to education or cultural attractions, for example. Moreover, it is taxpayer money which fuels the VÚC machinery.

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