Foreign residents in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (CABA) have long been cleared to vote at the municipal level, but since participation is not mandatory for non-nationals, they were required to register.
A change in the City's Electoral Code submitted by the Frente de Todos (FdT) which at city level is the opposition to Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta's Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) has resulted in over 417,000 resident migrants aged 16 and over being allowed to participate in Sunday's Open, Mandatory and Simultaneous Primary (PASO) elections.
As reported by CABA's Superior Court of Justice (TSJ), there will be 1,189 polling stations in schools and institutions across 15 communes, where 417,558 foreign resiodents may cast their votes, a significant increase for the around 20,000 foreign voters of porevious elections.
The amendment to the City's Electoral Code established that resident migrants over 16 years of age are now automatically deemed as eligible to vote.
Under the previous Buenos Aires Law 334 of the year 2000, foreigners had to register voluntarily and before each election, which discouraged participation since it was cumbersome to carry out the procedure.
Alejandra Tadei, Secretary of Indigenous Affairs with Electoral Competence of the City's Supreme Court, explained that foreigners who have the category of permanent residents are automatically authorized to vote, although voting shall not be mandatory. Tadei also explained that 95% of foreigners residing in the City of Buenos Aires did not vote at all.
Tadei made it clear that foreigners who “have the category of permanent resident in the country in the terms of the migration legislation, have a foreigner's ID,” and are not otherwise disenfranchised, are automatically listed on the foreign voters' registry to choose candidates to vie for a seat on the City Council on November 14.