Foreign voters in Portugal

Nearly 27,000 foreigners will be able to vote in September’s local elections (Eleições Autárquicas), more than half of whom reside in the districts of Faro and Lisbon, according to data from the Ministry of Internal Administration cited by Portuguese news agency Lusa.

Lisbon is home to 11,704 eligible foreign voters, while Faro comes second with 6,731, both accounting for 18,435 of the 26,977 total.

This number is part of the national total of 9,485,604 individuals eligible to vote in the coming elections across the country.

Out of that total, 11,894 are foreigners from other EU countries living in Portugal, while 15,083 of the total amount of voters are from Cape Verde, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Iceland, Norway or New Zealand.

At the end ofthe 2009 electoralregistration process, 26,932 foreign citizens were enrolled, a number which is very similar to this year’s. However, in terms of non-EU voters, there was a decrease of nearly 1,000 people this year when compared to 2009, which was virtually compensated by the rise in the number of European voters.

Expensive local elections

Meanwhile, news has emerged that this year’s local elections, on September 29, will cost the government €14 million, which is €3 million more than it spent on the last general elections. The reason is the Local Administration Reform, involving the merger of several parish councils across the country, in a bid to cut public expenditure, and “various technical aspects to ensure new measures and systems are implemented smoothly,” said the Secretary of State for Internal Administration, Filipe Lobo d’Ávila.