Elections and Voter’s Registration
I am a Portuguese Citizen and I reside in the United States.
What do I need to know in order to vote at the Consulate of Portugal in New Bedford for the elections that take place in Portugal?
Registering to Vote
All Portuguese nationals over 18 with active electoral capacity have the right and the duty to register to vote, to confirm their voter’s registration, and to request an amendment or correction of their voter’s registration information.
Voter registration is not automatic overseas. You need to register in person and indicate where you want to be registered at.
If you want to vote at the Consulate in New Bedford you need to present a valid Portuguese Identification document and proof of residence in the US. The voter registration is promptly processed and at no charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
I live in the New Bedford consular area; I requested the renewal of my Citizen Card and declared my official address to be in Portugal because I want my contact address with the Health Department, Social Security and Portuguese IRS (Finanças) to be in Portugal. Am I excluded from voting at the Consulate in New Bedford?
When you pick up your Citizen Card you become automatically registered to vote at the Portuguese precinct area of residence you have indicated for the Citizen Card request. The Portuguese election Committee will send a letter to that address, indicating your new voting precinct and the voter’s number automatically assigned to you for future elections. However, and despite this, you may register to vote at the Consulate in New Bedford right after you activate your Citizen Card so that you can be able to vote at the Consulate. You need to express that intent at the Consulate and present proof of residence in the US. Once you register to vote at the Consulate your voter’s registration in Portugal will be automatically eliminated.
What if I change my mind, may I vote in Portugal?
Yes, but for that you need to cancel your voter’s registration with the Consulate.
I have residency established in Portugal but have been voting at the Consulate. Meanwhile, I requested a Citizen Card and maintained the address in Portugal. May I continue to vote at the same place (at the Consulate)?
Yes, but once you activate your new Citizen Card you need to express immediately that you wish to vote again at the Consulate and present proof of residency in the US. Otherwise you will be automatically registered to vote at the precinct of the address declared for the Citizen Card request and will only be able to vote in person in Portugal. In this instance, your voter’s registration transfer is not automatic and your clear manifestation of intent as to where you want to vote is required.
I reside within the New Bedford consular area but because I intend to vote in Portugal I renewed my Citizen Card and provided my address in Portugal. Do I need to do anything else?
No. In those circumstances, once you activate your Citizen Card, you become automatically registered to vote in the electoral precinct pertaining to the Portuguese address that you provided. The Electoral Administration will later remit a letter to that same address indicating the precinct you are registered and your respective voter’s number, automatically assigned to you, to be used in future elections.
What if later I change my mind and decide to vote at the Consulate in New Bedford, maintaining however my residency in Portugal, do I need to do anything?
Yes. In that case you need to visit the Consulate and register to vote there, presenting, for that purpose, proof of residency in the US issued by a competent American authority.
I had residency established in Portugal but when I renewed my Citizen Card I provided my address in the New Bedford consular area, where I currently live. Do I then vote at the Consulate in New Bedford?
Yes, but you need to visit the Consulate upon receiving a letter from the Portuguese Election Committee at your US address advising you that your voter’s registration in Portugal has been cancelled. You need to present at the Consulate proof of residency issued by a competent US authority and request to be registered to vote at the Consulate. This procedure is necessary because when you activate your Citizen Card your voter’s registration in Portugal is cancelled. The transfer to the foreign residents’ electoral caucus is not automatic and requires a clear manifestation of intent.
I had my US address associated to my Citizen Card and when I renewed it I maintained that same US address. Do I need to do anything to continue voting at the Consulate?
No. If you were already registered to vote at the Consulate and if you provided your American address when requested your Citizen Card, your voter’s registration remains active and no changes are due related to where you vote or concerning your address, for electoral purposes.
There’s an election scheduled in Portugal some months from now. What do I need to do in order to find out if my voter’s registration is in good order and if I am eligible to vote at a location convenient for me?
To check your voter’s registration information, or to verify your voter’s number please refer to the following website of the Portuguese Ministry of Internal Affairs: www.recenseamento.mai.gov.pt
You may request to update your voter’s registration information anytime EXCEPT during 60 days before any election. During the mentioned 60 day period it is not possible to request any change to you voter’s registration information as the electoral rolls are sealed.