Voting as an international during Dutch elections in November

General elections for the House of Representatives are held every four years. The next general elections are scheduled on November 22, 2023. Find out more about these elections and if you're eligible to vote.

Dutch government explained

The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy. The King and ministers together make up the Dutch government. Ministers and state secretaries are responsible for the day-to-day businesses of government.

Constitutional monarchy
As the Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy, King Willem-Alexander is the head of state. As president of the Council of State, the King’s role is purely symbolic.

Parliamentary democracy
The Prime Minister is in charge of the day-to-day management. The government consists of ministers and state secretaries. Dutch people can choose who represents them in parliament.

The parliament consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer in Dutch) and the Senate (Eerste Kamer in Dutch). The House of Representatives represents the people, passes laws, and controls the government. The Senate approves or disapproves laws that are proposed by the House of Representatives.

Provinces and municipalities
There are twelve provinces in the Netherlands. These provinces are responsible for matters of subnational or regional importance and represent the administrative layer between the national government and local municipalities. For example, provinces decide about nature and roads in their own regions. There are 342 municipalities within the twelve provinces, that are responsible for local services.

The Binnenhof is a complex of buildings in the center of The Hague that has been the center of Dutch politics. It houses the House of Representatives and the Senate. The prime minister also has an office here, in 'het Torentje'.

Early general elections in 2023

Because the government resigned in July this year, the general elections are pushed forward to November 2023, instead of in 2025. During these general elections, the members of the House of Representatives will be elected. As Mark Rutte will step back from politics, a new Prime Minister will be elected as well. The general elections are scheduled to be held on Wednesday, November 22, 2023.

Can I vote during the general elections?

As a non-Dutch national, you can vote during municipal and EU elections. You can’t vote in the general elections. To be eligible to vote in the general elections, you must have Dutch citizenship. To vote, you must:

  • have Dutch nationality; 
  • be at least 18 years old. 

How does voting during the general elections work?

If you're allowed to vote, you'll automatically receive a voting pass (stempas in Dutch) at home in your mailbox. You can expect it around two weeks before the elections.

Who to vote for?
On October 9, 2023, all political parties must have submitted their lists of candidates. There are many candidates to vote for. Voting tools can help you make your decision. Dutch options include StemWijzer and Kieskompas.

Where can I vote?
On election day, you can vote at one of the many polling stations (stembureaus in Dutch). These polling stations are open all day: from 7:30 in the morning until 21:00 in the evening. To make it easy for everyone, you can often find a polling station nearby your home. You can find the nearest polling station on your voting pass. Most polling stations have an identifiable flag in front of the entrance.

What do I need to bring?
You need to identify yourself at the polling station. You can identify yourself with your passport, identity card, or driver’s license. And very important: bring your voting pass!

At the polling station, one of the election volunteers will ask you for your voting pass and any valid identification. Without these documents, you're not allowed to vote. You'll receive a voting paper and a red pencil. The voting paper is a (very) large sheet of paper. Choose your candidate, color the dot in front of your candidate’s name red, and fold the paper again. Finally, put your voting paper in the designated mailbox.

Good to know
Some things are good to know when you're going to vote:

  • Children are not allowed into the voting booth!
  • You may take a photo of your voting paper, but you must ensure the privacy of the other voters.

At the evening of election day, the (unofficial) results will be announced on television. About two days after the voting day, the official results will be publicized.


written by Inge

Big fan of content, in all ways. A good chance that you won’t spot her without her phone. Trained her thumb to scroll on social media and loves to write.