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The Register to Vote campaign will be a purely information campaign

The clock is ticking. For those who are not on the voters’ list, there are less than three months till the list closes at the end of December. C.L.A.R.O. is launching a campaign to increase the number of registered voters in Orihuela Costa and we hope there will be an enthusiastic response from residents.

All EU residents who are on the padron (municipal register) have the right to vote in local and European elections. However, less than 15% of Orihuela Costa EU residents are registered to vote and only 2 of the 25 member council live in Orihuela Costa – only 1 of the 2 represents an Orihuela Costa-based political party.

Since EU residents account for nearly 85% of the total population of Orihuela Costa, with so few registered to vote and too few councillors, Orihuela Costa is grossly under-represented in the Orihuela Town Council and our interests are therefore largely ignored.

If people living in Orihuela Costa want improvements such as

clean streets

decent parks and gardens

improved police and ambulance service and a Police Station open 24 hours a day

brick-built schools, not container classrooms for our children and

facilities for retired and young people,

they must vote in next May’s local elections.

For the 85% who are not on the voters’ list, in order to be able to vote next May and defend their interests, they must first register to vote. The procedures are. If you are already on the padron, go to the padron desk of the Playa Flamenca Town Hall and ask to complete the voter registration form. The documentation needed is identification (passport for British and Irish citizens) and a photocopy. The green Residencia card is NOT a requirement. It may be recommended but that is a separate formality and a separate decision which can be taken later. And once on the voters list you remain on the voters list and do not have to go through the procedure every time there is an election.

For those who have registered on the Padron since the last local election in 2011, they should soon receive a voter application form by post. This is the simplest way to register to vote. All they need to do is to sign the form and return it postage free. It is an opportunity not to be missed. The number of voter application forms sent by post is likely to be thousands – enough to elect two more councillors!

Non-EU residents, for example Norwegians, also have the right to vote but the procedures are different and advice should be obtained.

To help with the procedures, for the first time, thanks to an initiative by Martina Scheurer, Councillor for the Coast and C.L.A.R.O. Councillor, Bob Houliston, an official Information Desk will be located in the Playa Flamenca office of the Town Hall, opposite the Padron office. Volunteers who will man the desk will be able to speak English and German and perhaps other languages. They will explain the procedures in details and answer questions.

They will also be able to advise on registering on the padron or renewing the padron. Similar advice will also be available in the C.L.A.R.O. OFFICE, Asturias Restaurant, Punta Prima, Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Telephone 661 333 593).

This year registering to vote will be easier than ever. Advice and explanation will be available either at the official Information Desk in the Playa Flamenca office of the Town Hall or in the C.L.A.R.O. OFFICE.

In addition, C.L.A.R.O. will be carrying out an information campaign, distributing a Register to Vote leaflet and C.L.A.R.O. members will be available to address social groups.

Anyone with a query can also raise it at one of our weekly Friday meetings in the Asturias Restaurant from 5 – 6.30 p.m.

The Register to Vote campaign will not be a political campaign. It will be an information campaign to ensure that residents of Orihuela Costa are able to exercise a legal, democratic right and are better able to defend their interests in future by helping elect the future Town Council of Orihuela.


Press Release from CLARO

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45129/

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