This October, on Friday 5th and Saturday 6th, local elections will take place everywhere in the Czech Republic. In Brno, this will actually be two separate elections: a “big” one for the city council (which runs the whole city) and a “smaller” one for the district councils (Brno is subdivided into 29 districts and each has its own elected council). The good news is that this is not just for Czech citizens: any EU citizen with a temporary or permanent residence card can vote.
What do I need to do?
- You must be at least 18 years of age on the second day of the election (6th October).
- You must be registered for permanent or temporary residence in Brno. It is not enough to just live here: you must be registered with the authorities. If you are, you have a residence card which is similar to the ID cards all Czech citizens carry.
- You must be included in the electoral register at your district office in the city district where you live. You have until 3rd October, 2:00 p.m. to register if you are not already. For that, fill in an application form and hand it in at the local district office according to the address on your residence card – see this map of Brno districts (click the district you reside in to find the address of the office you need to go to). At the office, they should tell you where your polling station is. If they don’t, ask. They may also give you the ballot papers if they are available already. If not, you can pick them up at the polling station on the day of elections.
How do I vote?
- Come to the polling station, find the room where you are supposed to vote (this will usually depend on your street address) and show your ID to the officials sitting there.
- You will receive two ballot papers – one for the city council and one for the district council. Each party has a randomly allotted number. The Green Party is number 10 for the city council elections, but may have a different number for the district elections (for example, it is number 12 in the Brno-Centre district). Go behind the curtain where you will mark your ballot papers.
- You have as many votes as there are members of the council that are being elected – for the city council this is 55 votes. You can either give all of them to a single party by marking a large cross in the heading of the column that has the name of the party, or you can distribute your votes to candidates from different parties across the ballot paper by marking a small cross beside the name of the candidate (mark only 55 of them or less – if you mark more your vote will be invalid). You can also combine a large cross for a party and small crosses for candidates from other parties – the candidates you marked will get your votes and the rest of your votes will go the party you marked. Remember, the best way to support us is to only give a large cross to Zelení (Green Party) 🙂
- After marking the ballot papers, stay behind the curtain and insert them into the official envelope you were given. Then come out from behind the curtain and put the envelope in the ballot box. The officials sitting there must see you do it!