Local elections guide for foreigners: Episode 1

Economics and politics

Local elections guide for foreigners: Episode 1

25. 09. 2018 14:55

On November the 10th, local elections are to be held in Slovakia and foreigners who are older than 18 and have permanent residency in Slovakia can vote too.

You do not need to register for voting; the town hall puts your name on the list automatically based on data submitted by the foreign police. In the instance they fail to do so, don't worry, the electoral committee will add your name when you go to cast your ballot after checking your Foreigner's Resident Card. You can vote only in your locality - and in Bratislava and Kosice only in the borough where you have your permanent address, given the fact that apart from the Mayor of the city and the city council you also choose the mayor of that particular borough and its council

So basically if you live in Bratislava and Kosice you cast four ballots at once. One for the mayor of the city, one for the members of the city council, one for the mayor of the borough and one for the members of the borough's council. In case you're wondering how many members of these two councils you can choose, don't worry, it's written on the ballot.

In the following weeks we will bring you some tips on where you can find more information about the candidates, mainly the ones in Bratislava, where most foreigners live.

Keep your eyes on the mailbox at your permanent address in the next few weeks because you should receive a letter from the local authorities informing you about the address of the polling station where you cast your ballot. The letter is sent per household, meaning it does not need to have your name on it so it can be addressed to your flat owner. Unfortunately the letter is in Slovak only. If you do not receive the letter, don't worry, you can still find the polling station by simply visiting the nearest school and checking whether your street is on their list. If not they should tell you where your voting station is located.

Once you found out where your polling station is, feel free to visit it on November 10th between 7am and 10pm local time. Once there, show your Foreigner's Resident Card, the pink one, to the member of the electoral committee on duty who checks your name on the list, gives you the four ballots if you vote in Kosice or Bratislava, and only two if you vote anywhere else. You then go in the little booth, circle the number near the name of your favourite candidate for mayor of the locality and the borough if it applies- only one candidate for each. You do the same for the members of the councils, remember that the maximum number is mentioned on the ballot for each city or borough. For example if a council has 10 members you can chose a maximum of 10 candidates from the list, otherwise the ballot is declared void.

Next week we report on the competencies of mayors and local councils in Slovakia but meanwhile feel free to tell us what topics interest you when it comes to being an inhabitant of a village or a town in Slovakia. Please focus on the bigger issues- for example that pothole that keeps on annoying you every morning on your way to work can be placed in the context of building and managing infrastructure. Send us your comments at englishsection@rtvs.sk.

Anca Dragu, Photo: TASR

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