There are local elections in Poland on Sunday November 16 and EU citizens who are resident in Poland have the right to vote in two of the the three elections taking place. But it is necessary to enrole on the electoral register of the city, town or municipality in which you are resident.
The following is a summary of who is entitled to vote and what you have to do as an EU citizen to ensure you can take part. The following has been written using information found, among others, on the website of Gdansk City Hall.
The right to vote in Poland for EU citizens who are not Polish citizens
European Union citizens, who are not citizens of the Republic of Poland, have the right to vote in the local authority and mayoral elections which are scheduled for Sunday November 16, 2014. if they are registered on the electoral register and
• reach the age of 18 years no later than on the day of the election
• are permanently resident in the territory of the local authority
• have not been deprived of their civil right by a final court judgment
• have been incapacitated by a final court judgment
A European Union citizen who is not a Polish citizen can be entered on the electoral register by making an application at the offices of the local authority in which they are resident. The mere fact that the applicant has permanent residence or temporary residence for over three months and registration of residence as a national of a member state of the European Union in the Republic of Poland does not mean that they are registered in the electoral register by the local authority.
What do you need to register?
Below are the two different forms you will need in both Polish and English. You should download all four files and complete the two that are in Polish, using the English translations as a key if necessary.
Forms to download:
Applications for registration in the register of voters in 2014 (Form in Polish in Word - this one should be completed)
Applications for registration in the register of voters in 2014 (Form in English in PDF - This should be used for reference)
Written statement containing information required for inclusion on the electoral register in 2014 (Form in Polish in Word - this one should be completed)
Written statement containing information required for inclusion on the electoral register in 2014 (Form in English in PDF - This should be used for reference)
You should then take the completed forms along to the local authority offices in the area in which you are regsitered as resident (find the addresses and opening hours of those here). You do not need to book an appointment in advance and the process has no cost. You will have to go along in person as there is no online application process for applying to be included on the electoral register. You are allowed to apply via post or via proxy but we recommend you go along yourself in person.
You will need to take with you the completed application forms including a written declaration where you give your nationality and address of permanent residence in the territory of the Republic of Poland. You should also take the original and a photocopy of a valid identity document which has a photograph (such as a passport). You ought also to take proof that you live at the place you give as your address e.g. a copy of the property deed or a copy of your rental contract if the property belongs to someone else.
The decision on whether to include or not to include a person in the electoral register of voters is given by the city mayor within 3 days from the date of submitting the application, after verifying that the voter satisfies the conditions of permanent residence in the municipality. This may involve someone from the local authority or the city guard (Straż Miejska) coming to the address you have given to check you live there.
According to the National Electoral Commission, which supervises the conduct of the electoral register, the term "permanent residence" should refer to the place of residence within the meaning of Art. 25 of the Act of the 23 April 1964. - Civil Code (Journal of Laws 2014. Pos. 121). In light of this provision, the place of residence is the place where a person actually resides with the intention of permanent residence. In this place is focussed the important interests of his/her life, property, and other personal details. Proof of confirmation of permanent residence may be documents or statements in which the applicant demonstrates circumstances confirming the concentration of the important interests of his/her life, property or other personal details at the address indicated in the application.
A voter who is added to the register of voters will be deleted from the register of voters in his/her last place of permanent residence in Poland (where they were entered in the register of electors).
The following are where to submit applications in Gdansk. If you are resident elsewhere in the Gdansk Metropolitan Area then you need to visit the offices of your local authority. You can find details of which office and its address here.
ZESPÓŁ OBSŁUGI MIESZKAŃCÓW Nr 1 (Resident Services Office Nr. 1)
ul. Partyzantów 74
Desk numbers 38, 39
tel.: 58 323 69 58/59
ZESPÓŁ OBSŁUGI MIESZKAŃCÓW Nr 3 (Resident Services Office Nr. 3)
ul. Nowe Ogrody 8/12
Desk numbers 1, 2, 3, 4
tel.: 58 323 60 51/52/53/54
ZESPÓŁ OBSŁUGI MIESZKAŃCÓW Nr 4 (Resident Services Office Nr. 4)
ul. Wilanowska 2
Desk numbers 3, 4
tel.: 58 323 71 33/75
Wydział Spraw Obywatelskich (Department of Civil Affairs)
Urząd Miejski w Gdańsku (City Hall in Gdansk)
Referat Ewidencji Ludności (Civil Registration Records)
ul. Nowe Ogrody 8/12
Tel.: 58 323 63 50/51/52/53/54/55
An appeal against the mayor’s decision may be made to the district court within three days of the receipt of the decision. The court will examine the appeal and give its verdict within three days of the receipt of the appeal. The district court’s decision cannot be appealed. Legal basis: Act of 5 January 2011. - Election Code (Journal of Laws No. 21, item. 112 with amendments).
The permanent record of voters includes persons permanently residing in the territory of the municipality, who have the right to vote. The electoral register is divided into Part A and Part B. Part A of the register of voters includes Polish citizens. Part B of the register includes European Union citizens, who are not Polish citizens, permanently residing in the territory of the municipality and entitled to the use of voting rights in the Republic of Poland. Voters shall be entered in the register of voters in Part B on the basis of their application. In part A, voters registered in the territory of the municipality for permanent residence are entered by the local authority automatically.
Polish citizens permanently residing in the territory of the municipality without any registered permanent residence in the territory of the municipality or residing in the territory of the municipality at a different address than the address of their permanent residence shall be entered in the register of voters in Part A on the basis of their application.
Applications to be included on the electoral register should be made to the authority of the municipality which has jurisdiction over the place of residence. The electoral register is made available, upon written request, for inspection at the office of the municipality.