Luxembourg wants to get more foreigners to vote in October

EU citizens living in Luxembourg have the right to vote in Luxembourg’s municipal elections since 1999. The same right has been extended to all non-Luxembourgers in 2003. The voter turnout of this part of the population remained low over the years however. In 2011, 17% of foreigners used their right to vote.

With municipal elections coming up on October 8, 2017, Luxembourg’s government now relaunched its website that was already used for European elections in 2014. The website gives all relevant information such as who can vote, how to vote and especially: why vote?

Who can vote?

Non-Luxembourgers can participate in municipal elections if they’re at least 18 years old on election day (October 8, 2017), they have been living in Luxembourg for at least five years at the moment of registering, and they have to sign on to the electoral register no later than July 13, 2017.

Immigrants that acquired the Luxembourgish citizenship do not have to sign up, as they automatically fall under mandatory voting obligations.

To register, you have to go to the local administration office in your commune of residence and bring a valid identity document (ID card or passport). There you will have to fill out a form and prove that you have been living in Luxembourg for the past five years. Good to know: any foreign voter may request to be removed from the electoral register again if they wish so.

How to vote?

Registered voters receive a letter from their communal administration indicating the day of the elections and the opening hours of the local polling booth. The same letter contains instructions on how to vote as well as a list of the candidates.

Why vote? gives three straightforward reasons why non-Luxembourgers should vote:

  • You can have a say in your commune by choosing who you want to represent your interests;
  • You are the key to ensuring that the communal council manages the region with your interests in mind;
  • Voting is a constitutional right. It is a fundamental way to take part in the social, economic, political and cultural life of your commune.

And last but not least: If you abstain, you’re letting someone else decide for you.