Voting in the Dutch parliamentary elections if you live abroad

On 17 March 2021 you will again be able to vote as a Dutch voter abroad during the Dutch parliamentary elections. You can vote by post or with a voter card. You can also authorise someone to vote on your behalf.

Voting in the parliamentary elections

Do you live outside of the Netherlands? And would you like to vote? Then you need to be registered as a Dutch voter abroad. The deadline to register as a Dutch voter abroad is 3 February 2021.

If you are registered as a voter, you will automatically receive all the information and documents you need for every election to be able to vote.

Ways of voting

The standard way of voting for Dutch voters abroad is to vote by post. In some countries the mail service is slow or unreliable, for example because of the corona epidemic? Would you rather not vote by post? Then you can decide to vote by proxy or with a voter card.

There are 3 ways of voting:

  • The standard way of voting for Dutch voters abroad is to vote by post. The municipality will send you your postal voting slip on 23 December 2020. This is proof that you are allowed to vote in the upcoming Dutch parliamentary elections. Keep your postal voting slip in a safe place. You will need it later to be able to vote.

    Approximately 4 weeks before the election the municipality will send you the ballot. Normally you receive these documents by email, but you can also receive them by post if you indicated this preference on the registration form. You can vote only when you have received both your postal voting slip and your ballot. You will receive voting instructions together with your ballot.

    Your voting papers must arrive at the postal voting office in The Hague by 15.00 hrs. (CET) on 17 March 2021. You are also allowed to send your voting papers to or hand them in at a Netherlands embassy. In that case the embassy must have received your voting papers by Friday, 5 March 2021.

  • When you vote by proxy you authorise somebody in a Dutch municipality to vote on your behalf. This is called authorising somebody (through a proxy). This person in the Netherlands is required to also cast a vote himself. If you would like to authorise somebody to vote on your behalf in the Dutch parliamentary elections, you need to fill in a form. The municipality must receive your form by Wednesday, 3 February 2021.

    Did you vote by proxy in a previous election? Then you still need to apply on time again for a proxy vote for the Dutch parliamentary elections on 17 March 2021.

    The advantage of authorising somebody to vote on your behalf is that you will not have problems with the mail service.

    For more information and a video with instructions go to the page Dutch voters abroad: Authorise somebody to vote on your behalf.

  • A voter card (kiezerspas) is a pass which enables you to cast your vote yourself at a polling station in a Dutch municipality. This can be handy if you live in the border region or if you will be in the Netherlands on election day. If you would like to vote with a voter card in the Dutch parliamentary elections, you need to fill in a form. The municipality must receive your form by Wednesday, 3 February 2021. Your voter card will be sent to the address you provided. You can vote everywhere in the Netherlands with the voter card, also in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.

    Did you vote with a voter card in a previous election? Then you still need to apply on time again for a voter card for the Dutch parliamentary elections on 17 March 2021.

    For more information go to Dutch voters abroad: Voting with a voter card.

Keep your address up to date

Are you moving to another address abroad? Notify the municipality through the page Change your address as a Dutch voter abroad.

Temporarily abroad

Will you be abroad temporarily on 17 March 2021 during the Dutch parliamentary elections? For example for your work, studies or holiday? And are you registered in a Dutch municipality or in Bonaire, Sint Eustatius or Saba? If so, you can vote by proxy or with a postal voting slip. Look for more information on the page Temporarily abroad during the Dutch parliamentary elections.

Watch the video Manieren om te stemmen (YouTube channel of the municipality)

More information

Do you have any questions? Contact the Elections Unit at the Municipality of The Hague.

Also see Dutch voters abroad

Published: 16 October 2020Modified: 13 November 2020