New to Amsterdam? Don’t Speak Dutch? No Problem — You Can Still Vote!

The electoral prospects for the Turkish party Denk look promising at the moment. In a recent election in the Netherlands, Turkish-speaking helpers accompanied ethnic Turks into the voting booth and gave them advice and assistance in Turkish.

Many thanks to FouseSquawk for translating this article from De Telegraaf:

Reports of Turkish ‘observers’ in voting booth

March 21, 2018

AMSTERDAM — UPDATE — Turkish ‘observers’ would accompany voters in at least two Amsterdam electoral locations into the voting booth to explain everything in Turkish. This is reported on Twitter. The municipality has a statement that is at odds with the findings of voters, but will do some investigation.

A polling station at Amsterdam Central

VARA comedian Johan Goossens tweeted Wednesday after the vote: “I predict a great victory for Denk in my neighborhood Bos en Lommer in Amsterdam. In the polling room they give personal voting advice in Turkish and even go with you in the booth… I said something about it, but no one intervened. Bizarre.”


Only a voter is allowed to enter the voting booth because of voting secrecy. This is to prevent someone from being forced or influenced to vote for something. Only people with a disability may be helped. According to Goossens, who confirms his story by telephone, the latter was not the case.

“Guys, this is not allowed?”

I arrived at the polling station and that observer pointed out the older couple on the list. They spoke in Turkish and a moment later the person with the older couple disappeared into the booth, pushed through. I said, guys, this is not allowed? There were five other observers, but they did not look up. This is serious.

Goossens has complained to the Electoral Council and the municipality of Amsterdam. The municipality indicates that they are taking the message from Goossens seriously. A spokesperson says that the report is now being investigated. Among other things, a visit will be made to the polling station.

The political scientist Merijn Boezer found something similar in the local electoral office of Meevaart in the Indische Buurt in Amsterdam. “I think it is not allowed to help people who do not speak Dutch in the voting booth? Walk in and stay at the booth for a while… So this happened in the Indische Buurt, Meevaart electoral space.” Later, Boezer corrected his report: it turns out to be the Meevaart bureau; Meevaart office is located in Amsterdam Nieuw-West.

Response from Amsterdam

According to the municipality of Amsterdam, there was indeed a note about the state of affairs at the polling station in Bos en Lommer, which was also included in the official report. “After the report we went to the location with two officials to find out what happened,” says the municipal spokesman. “The chairman of the electoral committee intervened, because two people stood in one voting booth. That’s not allowed. No voting advice was given, but they were told how voting works. This happened in Dutch.” According to the spokesperson, the same thing happened at the Meevaart agency.


In response, Goossens said: “Unfortunately, this story from the municipality is not at all correct. I did not hear the observer speak a word of Dutch and he just disappeared with the couple in the voting booth, and even opened their ballot. I was the only one who said something about it.”

Rotterdam voting advice

In Rotterdam, an unknown woman gave voting advice to Turkish women in the afternoon in front of the entrance of a polling station. This is reported by RTV Rijnmond. In videos that a party leader made, it is clear that she advises women to vote against the security law, and points them to the list of candidates. “An undesirable situation,” says the municipality, which is not going to conduct any investigation.

4 thoughts on “New to Amsterdam? Don’t Speak Dutch? No Problem — You Can Still Vote!

  1. These elections are only being held in 30 municipalities not nationwide. Why that is I don’t know.

    • Aren’t the municipalities on a different schedule, with different rules, than the national elections? I believe localities have some leeway on when their elections are held.

  2. is the average muslim voter that dumb that they can’t memorize the name and logo of their party, or the activist muslims need to force the average muslim to vote for them because the average muslim knows the type of [cesspit] that a muslim run country becomes and don’t want to vote for that?

  3. In semi-related news :

    De Telegraaf reports, that only 20 out of 700 asylum seekers in the town of Almere found employment TEN (!) years after their arrival in the Netherlands.

    In (a publication called) “Social Issues”, local Christian-Democrat politician Froukje De Jonge states “Initially all of these legal asylum seekers were granted unemployment benefits. That’s only natural (!). But only three percent finding work ? After ten years ?
    That number needs to improve.”

    Well, I guess. Naturally, Mrs. De Jonge believes that the asylumseekers themselves are exempt fom any responsiblilities having to do with their own situation The collossal failure is caused by the Dutch “not doing enough for them”. “We have to DO something and DO MORE ! Like teach them the language so they can find work and participate and integrate in society ! We also have to give them places to live !”

    And so it happens, that and in full agreement with the official “FOREIGNERS FIRST !” guidelines as instructed by the EU in Brussels, EVERY SINGLE ONE of these 700 asylum-seekers was given social housing. That must be a bitter pill to swallow for the native Dutch who are being bypassed by “newcomers”, despite being on waiting lists for over a decade, the result of Netherlands’ serious, and seemingly unsolvable housing shortage problems.

    Let’s do the math : unemployment benefits @ 1000 euros a month, is 12000 per year, times 10 is 120,000 per person over a 10-year time span, times 700.
    In other words, the Dutch tax payer picked up a royal 80 million euros tab in unemployment benefits already, for these 700 asylum seekers.

    But the actual tally is much higher : The Netherlands know a system where low / fixed income househouds receive government aid to help pay the rent. This is a program called “huursubsidie” (“housing subsidy”). Fi. If you only have 1000 euros a month to live on, and your rent is 800 euros a month, the government will typically support you with 500 euros so you still have something left to buy food with.
    Since ALL of these asylumseeker are on low, fixed incomes, go figure. That’s another 20 or 30 million on the tax payers tab right there. Maybe more.

    But that ain’t all. The spouses and children (eufemistically referred to as “nareizigers”, a word I would translate to something like “delayed travellers” ) are coming this way, as well ! Hooray for more DIVERSITY !

    Now this may sound odd or unbelievable to Americans, but the Dutch government also hands out free money just for having children ! Germany knows a similar system (“kindergeld”), and in the Netherlands I think it’s about 500 euros per child every 3 months. Not much really, but it does add up when you have 6 or 10 or 12 kids, like many people “from non-Western cultures” tend to have, which is obviously the demographics group we’re talking about here.

    Then we’re not even talking about additional expenses pertaining to medical aid, coaching, legal stuff, and so on.

    Keep in mind that this is not an isolated, exceptional case. there are tens of thousands of legalized “asylum seekers” in the country, and unemployment rates among Somalis and Eritreans is close to a whopping HUNDRED percent all over the board. Iraqi’s and Syrians fare a little bit better, but not by much, even though we were reminded over and over again that all of the latter were “highly skilled professionals that we really need !”, such as medical personnel, computer experts, engineers, architects, lawyers, dentists, etc.

    Anybody who legally resides in the Netherlands for 5 years is eligible to vote.

    Source :

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