Every four years, local elections are held in the Czech Republic. In this respect, the local elections are a little different from the others. They will take place at the end of this September: on 23 and 24 September the polls will be open. While only a citizen of the Czech Republic can vote for parliament or senate, the system of municipal elections allows for a slightly different treatment. Let’s take a look at it.
Who can vote in local elections?
Anyone over the age of 18 can vote for their representative to the municipal council. This applies not only to citizens of the Czech Republic, but also expats. They must, however, be citizens of the European Union and have registered permanent residence in the Czech Republic. This rule has been in force since 2004, when the Czech Republic joined the European Union.
How to vote?
The last municipal elections were held in 2018. However, they did not arouse much interest among expats then. In total, expats cast just over 3,000 votes. A year earlier, the Czech Statistical Office registered more than half a million foreigners from the EU living permanently in the Czech Republic. It is to be expected that various organisations will try to raise this number again in this year’s elections.
You can vote for municipal councils on 23 September or 24 September. On Friday 23 September the polling station is open from 2pm to 10pm. Then on Saturday 24 September from 8am to 2pm. In municipal elections you have as many votes as there are members of your municipal council. You can vote for the whole party or its candidates. However, you can also cross candidates from other parties. This is called preferential voting, and a candidate who was ranked low on the list can be elected to the council.
What to remember
You cannot vote in municipal elections outside your place of residence. You should therefore take your residence card with you when you enter the polling station. Take your ID card or passport with you too. You must also register on the permanent electoral roll at least two days before the election. You can do this at the municipal office. Take proof of citizenship in another EU country and a certificate of registration with you to the municipality.