VOTING INFO POINT NOW OPEN

The Orihuela Costa town hall has inaugurated the proposed information table that will offer advice on the procedures and documents required to ensure that residents of Orihuela are correctly registered on the voting list, and therefore do not miss the opportunity to have their voice heard in the next municipal elections.

The Councillor for the Orihuela Costa, Beaches and International Residents, Martina Scheurer, explained that the information point is staffed by volunteers from different nationalities, in order to meet the requirements of the international population of Orihuela, with representation possible in a variety of languages such as English, French, German, Norwegian, Swedish or Dutch.

In addition, the councillor has asked the town hall to provide staff to offer information on whether or not a person is registered on the electoral roll, as many people come to consult the office of the register, which saturates this service.

Scheurer has explained that, usually, to community nationals who enrol in the municipal register are offered the opportunity to register on the electoral roll, a process which normally only takes one document attesting residence in Orihuela (such as a lease, deed or receipt for electricity, water or telephone) and identification. “It’s very important that people who live here year-round get involved”, Scheurer stated, “Voting is not only a right, but a duty”, whilst also affirming the importance of registering promptly, as the deadline to register on the electoral roll ends in December.

The councillor also said that many foreigners who live for more than six months a year in Orihuela do not register, interfering in the provision of services such as the post office. Thus, volunteers serving the information point will also be able to provide information on the need to register on the census, in order to reflect the actual population of Orihuela Costa, and thus provide the services that are tailored according to this. “It’s important to realise the benefits of being enrolled”, Scheurer stated, as this directly affects services such as “police, postal and health centres”, which all depend on the number of census entries.

Scheurer also made it quite clear that the volunteers who are operating on the information point will offer no political bias, and will simply be there to offer procedural advice without prejudice to ant political group.

Statement of the Councillor for the Coast Martina Scheurer

Already on the 2nd day of the Information Table situated in the hall of the Town Hall in Playa Flamenca to help and inform citizens about registering to vote at the next municipal elections, there was a slight problem of interpretation.

In spite of the fact that a representative of the Diputación from Alicante said in a public meeting a few months ago that the Residencia (Green sheet) was not needed to register to vote, the employee of the Town Hall insists on it and will not allow this to take place without the Residencia.

In fact the NEW FORMS from INE do also ask for the NIE Number.

The Chief of the Padrón Department declared that based on Real Decreto 240 from 2007 all foreigners living in Spain for more than 3 months do have the obligation to register in the National Foreigners Register (= apply for Residencia/Green sheet). And this is true.

But the doubt is, if there is obligation to have the Residencia to be able to register for the voting list.

To clarify all doubts she has asked for an official statement to the legal department of the Town Hall, as well as to the corresponding department of the INE (National Statistic Institute) and to the Diputación.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45281/

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