Nieuws - 18 februari 2010

D66 wants voter notification card in English as well

Foreign students and staff should get voter notification cards in English. That is what the leader of the political party D66, Michiel Uitdehaag, thinks

Together, the 'foreigners' at Wageningen UR can determine four of the twenty-five seats in Wageningen council. But many of them don't vote because they can't read the voter notification card.
The Elections Act says that the voter notification card has to be in Dutch. 'But there's nothing in the Act that says you can't do something extra. Make that card available in English as well if you want people from the EU to vote', says Uitdehaag. 'You can't expect everyone who is staying here just for a short period to speak Dutch.'
The progressive liberal party D66 is explicitly targeting foreign Wageningen UR students eligible to vote by providing posters and flyers in English as well. The Christian democratic party, the CDA, is even going one further for Spanish-speaking foreigners.
Foreigners are only eligible to take part in the municipal elections. They cannot vote in the Dutch parliamentary elections or the elections for the Provincial Councils . The municipality estimates that there are about 2800 such people in Wageningen. These are EU nationals living in Wageningen  and people from outside the EU who have been legally resident in the Netherlands for an uninterrupted period of at least five years. If the electoral quotient from four years ago is applied, then those 2800 foreign votes are good for four seats.