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Voters in Brussels local elections to be allowed to choose polling station

14:07 08/07/2023

Brussels residents will be able to choose the polling station they go to when they cast their vote in their commune for the 2024 municipal elections if a draft ordinance is approved.

The ordinance was approved by the internal affairs committee of the Brussels parliament and will now be voted on in the parliament's plenary session.

Tabled by Bernard Clerfayt (DéFI), minister for local authorities, it aims to modernise the Brussels municipal electoral code.

While electronic voting has been in place everywhere in Brussels since the 2018 elections, Clerfayt wants to digitise even more procedures, including a centralised electronic tallying of voters.

According to the minister, such a system will enable voters to be ticked off as they turn up at the polling station via a central database, putting an end to the obligation to keep manual paper tally lists and guaranteeing smoother movement through the polling station, saving paper, simplifying work and reducing costs.

It would also mean that people can vote in the polling station of their choice, provided that it is in the same municipality as the voter's home.

In the 2018 local elections, the absentention rate was 16.47%, down from 2012. The Brussels region wants to reduce it even further through modernising the system.

Written by Helen Lyons