How to: Voting in Spain


The local municipal and European Parliament elections are coming up this Sunday. Although it’s a tad late to register to vote now, here’s the most important information you need to know!



When do I need to vote?


For those registered, voting happens every 4 years on the last Sunday in May. This time around, it is this coming Sunday, the 26th.


How do I register to vote?


Unfortunately for these elections, anyone who is not already registered is unable to vote. However, for the next elections in 4 years time here’s what to do. You need to go to your local empadronamiento (census office) and request to vote in the local elections, European Parliament elections or both. To vote, you must be a Spanish citizen or ordinarily resident in Spain and be over the age of 18.



When is the deadline to register for voting?


The deadline to register for voting is the 31st of January of the year of voting. So unfortunately, if you haven’t already registered you are unable to vote in these elections. So put the deadline date in your diary for the 2023 elections!


What are the options for voting?


In Spain there are two options for voting. You can either choose to go to the polling station or you can register to vote by mail. In Spain you cannot vote online or by proxy.


How do I vote by mail?


If you want to vote by mail, this should be requested in any post office between the 2 April and 16 May. When requesting to vote this way make sure to take your original national identity document with you, photocopies are not allowed. Once your request has been made, you will receive ballots, electoral envelopes and an envelope with the address of the polling station of where to vote by mail. Your vote should be sent by registered mail between 6 May and 22 May.



How do I find out which polling station I have to go to?


When you register to vote, ask at the empadronamiento where your closest polling station is.


What do I need to take with me to vote?


Just yourself and your ID, passport or driver’s license for proof of identity. Whichever you choose to bring must be an original document and have a photograph included. Photocopies are not allowed!


What is the process of voting?


When at the polling station, you just have to choose the ballot you want and put in an envelope provided. There is no need to write or mark anything and if you do, it will not be counted.


Where can I find information about my local parties?


For more information about your local constituencies, have a look at the link below:

Political Parties in Andalusia



Why is it important that I vote?


The Spanish electoral system works through direct universal suffrage, so no one is obliged to vote. However, if you want more of a say about what happens in and around your area, it is important that you vote!



Interested in learning more about life in Spain? Check out some of our other blog posts!

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