On Wednesday 15 March, the Netherlands will go into polls again to elect members of the 12 provincial councils and the 21 regional water boards.
The elections are held every 4 years and cover the 12 provinces in the Netherlands: Drenthe, Flevoland, Fryslan, Gelderland, Groningen, Limburg, Noord-Brabant, Noord-Holland, Overijssel, Utrecht, Zeeland, Zuid-Holland. The provincial authorities are the ’middle tier’ of public administration and are responsible for matters such as spatial planning, nature conservation, regional accessibility, and regional economic policy. Moreover, provinces have autonomous power to decide on many public issues.
Who can vote?
Only Dutch nationals over the age of 18 are eligible to vote.
How does it go and why is it important?
The number and ’vote value’ of provincial council members depend on the number of inhabitants in the provinces. The upcoming election is significant to the coalition government since the provinces determine the composition of the Senate (Erste Kamer) on May 30.
Dutch elections overview
In the Netherlands, elections are held on a national, provincial, and municipal level.The Senate (Erste Kamer) election occurs 3 months after the provincial elections indirectly. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer) is directly elected by Dutch citizens. During the municipal elections, you can vote for members of the Municipal Council and have an impact on decisions concerning the local residents. As an EU citizen residing in the Netherlands for at least 5 years, you can also enjoy your right to vote. Regarding the European Parliament election, EU citizens can also decide to vote in the Netherlands, or in their home country.
Water Board Election (Waterschap)
On the same day, 15 March the water board election will also take place. The members of each board represent residents and the business, agriculture, and environment sector. By voting, you can help to decide on the plans for the province and water authority for the next 4 years.
Who can vote and how?
If you are interested, as an international you can also vote! The conditions are:
- being over 18 years of age
- registered in an area covered by the water authority
- not be excluded from voting
In order to vote at the polling station, you need to present your ’stempassen’ (voting passes) received by post.
For more information on how to vote visit the government's website!
Where can I vote?
To vote, you go to a polling or voting station in the municipality in which you live.
To find a voting station near you, visit this website.
Special Voting Station in Leiden
Polling station Korfbalvereniging de Danaïden is located at Montgomerystraat 50 and is set up for the deaf and those with hearing problems. Here, voters with hearing impairments can cast their vote by themselves and calmly. A sign language interpreter will be available between 9:00 am and 1:00 pm to assist voters.
This polling station is also designed to be more accessible and sensory-friendly, with space between voting booths, more quietness, and an additional person available for questions and/or personal guidance. The sensory-friendly polling station is for people who want to cast their vote in a peaceful environment, such as those who are experiencing symptoms of burnout, anxiety disorders, autism, or simply prefer a calm atmosphere while voting.