Vote during the first edition of Royal Light Festival
This year marks the first edition of the Royal Light Festival Apeldoorn. On15 to 19 March from 7pm, the city of Apeldoorn will be decorated with beautiful lights through the streets. The Royal Light Festival is a new free festival to promote art and the history of Apeldoorn. What makes the first edition extra special is that the start of the festival falls on the same day as the start of the Provincial and Water Board elections in the Netherlands. The Royal Light Festival provides a beautiful location to cast your vote: de Grote Kerk.
The Provincial States elections are held every four years in the Netherlands to elect the members of the Provincial Councils, the legislative assemblies of the Dutch provinces. In the case of Apeldoorn, the council of the province of Gelderland will be elected. They make decisions on matters such as infrastructure, spatial planning and the environment. They also vote for the members of the Senate (de Eerste Kamer) who control the bills passed by parliament (de Tweede Kamer), so indirectly votes are also for the Senate.
In the Water Board elections, members of the water boards, regional government bodies responsible for managing water resources, including managing dykes, canals and waterways, are elected. They must ensure that water in the Netherlands remains safe and manageable and play a crucial role in protecting the country from flooding.
These elections take place on 15 March and votes can be cast at various locations around the city. One of these in Apeldoorn is in the Grote Kerk at Loolaan 16 where there will be a spectacular light show. The voting booth is at the end of the main hall, making it the perfect place to fulfil your democratic right. To vote in the water board elections, you only have to be a registered resident of the Netherlands; you will receive your "stempas" or voting pass in the mail. However, for the provincial elections you can only vote if you have Dutch citizenship and you’re over 18 years old. If you don't have citizenship, it's still a good idea to check out what the Dutch government system is like and what impact the elections will have on your immediate surroundings. Either way, you won't regret enjoying the light shows through the city of Apeldoorn.
by Niels Otterman