As more than 50 people took to their seats, joined by political leads of Orihuela, including the councillor for tourism, Rosa Martínez of the PSOE, Bob Houliston of CLARO and Martina Scheurer, the councillor for international residents, the initial mood was one of anticipation of a talk on voting and registration given on Thursday by expert on EU law Rafael Agulló, distinguished professor of the Faculty of Law of the University of Alicante.
The presentation was given in Spanish, translated immediately into English and supported by a range of slides, also in English, detailing all of the legal requirements and facts about registering an intention to vote and the requirements of an individual living in Spain.
However, one important factor that was cleared up, one which has been the topic of much confusion for some time is that it is not a requirement to hold a “residecia” certificate of any kind in order to register on the padrón. It was explained that this simplifies the process considerably, but, none the less, you are able to sign on the padrón, without having residencia.
This is good news for local town halls as it now means that more people are eligible to register on the padrón, which means that the official quantity of people that they serve can grow, and, therefore, so can the amount of money received towards public services from the central government. For Orihuela, this is even better news than in other locations, as the municipality is only a small number away from gaining the next status level in terms of registered inhabitants, which means that the amount of money per head paid by the central government would also increase. It is no surprise now that everybody with a vested interest in encouraging investment and growth will also now be encouraging registration on the padrón even more.
However, with that said, it was also pointed out that it is a legal requirement to obtain “Residencia” if you stay in spain for more than 3 months. In addition, it is also a legal requirement that those who stay in spain for more than half of a year sign onto the padrón also.
The requirements for voting were also explained in some detail, with the main answer to all questions being that the local town hall will be able to help with any enquiries you might have. IN fact, the orihuela costa town hall in playa flamenca will also shortly have a digital file where they will be able to check the individual status in terms of your administrative ability to vote in the next European elections in May of next year.
It was pointed out that whilst registering on the padrón the option to register an intention to vote was always given, but many people have dismissed this option, or simply delayed it for another time. That time is looming and with these elections offering the chance for your voice to be heard in the European councils, then it is an opportunity that should not be missed or avoided.
Despite a small number of people leaving feeling confused, as the talk then evolved into a question and answer session, many of the questions raised were of individual interest only, rather than based on the presentation, to which the reply soon became a common one, that is to speak to the representatives of the town hall and the staff in the registration offices will be able to help. In addition, information is also available on the official website of the Diputación de Alicante, which is at www.ciudadanosextranjeros.es, which is available in English.
Finally, as the presentation came to a close, many of those individual cases were discussed on a personal level as the councillor for the coast and her team listened to many of the issues raised, and Bob Houliston of CLARO also held an audience of enquirers, reemphasising the fact that these council members are happy to both listen and, more importantly, help in any way they can to encourage as many people to be on the lists that enables the town hall to grow and enables democracy to flourish.
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/41468/