Each commune has a communal council (which represents the commune) and a board of mayor and aldermen (which is the executive and administrative body for day-to-day management of the commune). The communal councillors are directly elected by the inhabitants of the commune.
The communal council is renewed every 6 years during elections which are usually held on the second Sunday in October.
The elections can be moved to the first Sunday in June if the legislative elections and the communal elections were scheduled to take place in October of the same year.
The number of communal councillors in the communal council is determined by the number of inhabitants in the commune. Each commune is an electoral district. Voters have as many votes as there are councillors to elect. The board of the mayor and aldermen of each commune is selected from the communal council.
Voting is mandatory for all voters registered on the electoral lists, regardless of their nationality (Luxembourg nationals, EU nationals and others). Voters may not be represented by proxy. To be eligible to vote, voters must be registered on the electoral registers no later than 87 days before the elections. The voting takes place by secret ballot.
Citizens of Luxembourg are automatically registered on the electoral list of their commune of residence as soon as they meet the legal conditions to vote.
In order to prevent abstention, it is possible for electors to request to vote by mail.
Who is concerned
Voting in the communal elections in their commune of residence is open to each citizen who:
- is Luxembourgish;
- is not Luxembourgish;
- is resident in Luxembourg, and;
- is registered on the electoral register.
Whilst the lists of voters (electoral registers) are permanent, removals and new registrations are possible:
- until the 87th day (the 13th Friday) before the communal elections;
- due to a change in voters' electoral residence;
- due to a correction by the administrative courts.
Elector status is demonstrated by inclusion on the electoral register.
In case of moving to another commune, whatever the period of the year, the transfer of voting rights to the new commune is mandatory and will be performed automatically by the communal administrations.
To vote in communal elections, voters must:
- be at least 18 years of age on the day of the election;
- enjoy civil rights and not have been stripped of the right to vote in either their country of residence or in their home country. The second condition cannot, however, be applied to non-Luxembourg citizens who have lost the right to vote in their country of origin due to residency abroad;
- for Luxembourgers, be domiciled in Luxembourg;
- for nationals of another Member State of the European Union (EU), be domiciled in Luxembourg and have resided there for at least 5 years: the last year of residence prior to the application for registration on the list of voters must be uninterrupted;
- for other foreign nationals, be domiciled in Luxembourg and have resided there for at least 5 years, and the last year of residence prior to the application for registration on the list of voters must be uninterrupted. They must also be legally resident, have valid identity documents and, if necessary, a visa during all of the aforementioned period of time.
The following persons are excluded from the electorate and are not allowed to vote:
- individuals who have been convicted of criminal offences;
- people who, for lesser offences, have been stripped of the right to vote following a conviction;
- adults under guardianship.
DeadlinesThe application for registration on the electoral register must be made no later than the 87th day before the election at 17.00. The electoral registers are definitively closed on the 72 nd day before the election.
How to proceed
Registering as a Luxembourgish voter
Throughout the year, the commune continuously updates the list of Luxembourg citizens called to participate in the elections. It maintains and registers on the roll, on its own initiative or at the request of any Luxembourgish citizen, those who satisfy the eligibility requirements and are domiciled in the commune.
Voters are automatically registered :
- on the official roll, for persons reaching the age of 18 before the provisional closing of the roll;
- on the secondary register, if they have reached the age of 18 between the provisional deadline for registration and the date of the election, inclusive.
If, after a claim is made, the commune removes the names of voters during their provisional or final review of the lists, the voters concerned shall be informed in writing at their place of residence within 48 hours from the publication of the lists. The reasons for their removal are mentioned in the letter.
In the case of a full or partial election of the communal council, the age and residency conditions must be met on the day of the communal elections.
Registering as a non-Luxembourgish voter
A citizen of another State, whether or not it is an EU Member State, resident in Luxembourg, has the right to vote in communal elections without losing the right to vote in their country of origin.
A foreign national wishing to participate for the first time in local elections may either:
- submit their request electronically via MyGuichet.lu; or
- submit a written application on plain paper; In this case, the voter must go in person to the communal administration of their place of residence in order to complete, date and sign an application for registration on the separate list of foreign voters (which mentions, among others, the nationality of the registered voters). A receipt is issued when the application is complete.
The application for registration must be submitted the 87th day before the election at 17.00 at the latest.
In support of their application for registration, foreign nationals must also:
- complete, date and sign a formal declaration stating:
- their nationality, their date and place of birth, their last address in their country of origin, and their address in Luxembourg;
- that they have not been stripped of the right to vote in their country of origin by individual court order or by administrative decision provided said decision can be subject to an appeal, or that their loss of eligibility is due to the condition of residency imposed by the country of origin;
- present a current valid identity document.
15 days after the application for registration, concerned parties will be informed by individual letter of the result of their application, and any denial of registration must be justified.
If a foreign national is registered to vote, they will remain registered under the same conditions as Luxembourgish voters (should they move, they do not need to re-register as the transfer of voting rights to the new address is automatic), until they ask to be removed or until they are officially removed because they no longer meet the eligibility criteria.
When they are registered, they are required to vote.
Voters on the separate list of foreign voters in communal elections who acquire the Luxembourgish nationality after the 87th day prior to the communal elections cannot be included on the register of Luxembourgish voters before the elections. They may, however, exercise their right to vote in those elections by virtue of their inclusion on the separate register of non-Luxembourgish voters.
Removal / Deregistration
Voters who wish to be removed from the electoral register must make their request in writing to the board of mayor and aldermen, attaching a photocopy of their identity document (identity card or passport).
Notice of election
A poll card is sent to each voter at least 8 days in advance indicating:
- the election date;
- the start and end times of the voting;
- the location of the polling station;
- if there are several polling stations, the designation of the one where the voter is called to vote.
The polling card contains voter instructions and also the list of candidates.
On election day, voters may go to the polling station with their identity card, passport or residence permit, but do not need to bring the poll card.
A voter who shows up without one of these documents may be admitted to vote if his or her identity and capacity are recognized by the members of the polling station.