IND error denies 100s of foreigners right to vote

3rd March 2006, Comments 0 comments

3 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Thanks to administrative faults made by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), hundreds of immigrants have wrongly not been sent voting cards for the municipal elections being held next Tuesday.

3 March 2006

AMSTERDAM — Thanks to administrative faults made by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND), hundreds of immigrants have wrongly not been sent voting cards for the municipal elections being held next Tuesday.

According to the IND, up to 1,200 have had their right to vote ignored, spread over 150 municipal councils. The problem came to light when Hilversum council received complaints from foreign residents.

All foreigners who have lived in the Netherlands for five consecutive years have the right to vote in local elections. The IND supplies the residence history of foreign residents to the councils.

It is not known how many of the 1,200 people actually have the right to vote. The IND is re-checking their residency status and will inform councils on Friday whether they should still send out voter cards.

The IND have denied it is to blame for the mix-up. Incorrect details had been passed on by the police force's alien registration office (Vreemdelingendiensten) in 2004 when it handed over responsibility to the IND.

The IND has been heavily criticized in the subsequent two years for administrative chaos that has led to thousands of problems for people registering for unemployment benefits, for example, and applying for driver's licences.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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