The main local government authority is a representative body that adopts basic decisions in the local community, and it is generally elected directly by local community residents.

In local elections each person has the right to vote only in their own municipality, so the voting rights are tied to residents of the local community. Aliens with permanent residence in the municipality may also vote, but only actively, meaning that they cannot stand for election as mayor.

For those municipalities with a small number of municipal council members (from 7 to 11) a majority electoral system is provided by law. The proportional voting system is used for municipalities with larger numbers of municipal council members. Members of municipal councils who are representatives of the Italian or Hungarian ethnic communities and representatives of the Roma community are always elected under the majority system. In this case votes are cast for individual candidates, while under the proportional system votes are cast for candidate lists.

With regard to the electoral system, the law envisages a form of standing for election that matches the electoral system. Thus candidates and candidate lists can be determined by political parties in municipalities and voters in constituencies. Voters may determine candidates and candidate lists with signatures or at voter assemblies.

The Local Elections Act regulates in particular the issues of mayoral elections, elections to municipal councils and elections to councils of local, village or ward communities.