ALONG with 711'503 Spaniards, there are 22'335 foreign residents in the Balearic Islands eligible to vote in the local elections to be held on 22nd May, a government census carried out by the National Institute for Statistics confirmed yesterday.
At a national level, 35'381'270 people have the right to vote, 19'328'936 of them at a regional level and 34'567'304 in municipal elections.
Apart from citizens of other European countries and Norway living in the Islands, for the first time - and as long as they have registered to do so - residents originally from the non-European countries of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Cabo Verde, Iceland, and New Zealand can also vote. Authorities in these countries have signed reciprocal voting arrangements with Spain.
Although the national government had made a point of inviting an extra 350'000 foreigners to vote in Spain in local elections this year, only 50'000 have signed up to do so. This means that the majority of foreigners going to the polls on 22nd May will be from European Union countries, led by 103'355 Romanians and 102'633 British.
By way of contrast, the event in May will be the first occasion on which Spanish emigrants can't vote in municipal elections, although they retain the right to do so at a regional level.
Of the Spaniards who have the right to vote in the Balearics next month, 711'503 are residents and 14'762 are emigrés.
The electoral census listing those who have the right to vote at the municipal and regional elections will be posted at local town halls and provincial Census offices from next Monday for a week.
Spaniards living overseas need to register with their consulates during the same period to ensure eligibility to vote on 22nd May. From 25th April, the Census office will provide each elector with a card indicating which voting centre he or she will have to attend and the number of the table at which the vote will need to be cast.
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