The provincial and water authority elections of 2023

On march 15th, the Netherlands will vote for the government of the provincial states and for the water authority. While only Dutch nationals are allowed to vote for the provincial state government, most international students will have the right to vote for the water authority.

What do they do?

The provinces are in charge of executing the policies of the national government. Nitrogen levels, public transport and roads are all coordinated at a provincial level and are probably things that Wageningen students care about. The provincial council also decides who gets into the Dutch senate, which approves (or disapproves) the laws passed by the lower house.

If you cannot vote for the provincial government, don’t worry, you can still vote for your favorite water authority. They are responsible for water management in your area and are funded by taxes. Yes in the Netherlands, water management is so important that it becomes political: whether water is for recreation, whether it should be kept for nature only or whether we should build a wall around it (that last one was a joke).

Who to choose?

In the provincial elections there are lots of parties in the province of Gelderland. Most of these parties are the same as the parties that are in the lower house (de tweede kamer). They might have different interest than the national government does, so it pays to look it to their manifesto.

Then there’s the Water Authorities. Fun fact: the municipality of Wageningen lies in two water authorities: valei en veluwe and Rivierenland. On this website you can enter your postal code to find out which water-authority you can vote for.

If you are a basic Wageningen student and you care deeply about nature management and farming, I would recommend that you check out the stances of the parties in your water authority. Voting guides are sadly not available in English, but google translate goes a long way.

Or if you’re lazy you can take a poll that will tell you their opinions on some hot-topics The subjects for the water authorities are even available in English.

How to vote?

The voting guide of the Dutch government tells you when, where and how to vote; you will need your pass-port, or ID card (EU driver licences are also valid). Besides a ID, you will need to bring your voting pass, which should have been send to your address before the 1st of March. If you lost your voting pass or you did not receive one, you can still request a new one until the 10th of may. It is possible to vote from 7:30 21:00 at voting locations of the municipality where you are registered. See this website for the locations.