Electoral law reform
Congress approved with an overwhelming majority the vote-seeking requirement, which had reduced participation.
It would be much easier for Spaniards living abroad to vote in general elections. Congress is on track to eliminate the so-called “requested vote” and with it will end a “bureaucratic obstacle course” that had reduced their participation to a minimum level and complaints of not being able to exercise many. folded up. right to vote.
The 2011 reform, which introduced the obligation to solicit or request votes, will be repealed this Thursday with the unusual consent of political parties that have believed a major mistake was made when approving a system that He was “forced to take away a “Gymkhana” for the vote”.
For this reason, a new Reform of the Electoral Law (LOREG) abolishes this system, introducing measures that facilitate and simplify procedures for Spaniards abroad: the need to ask for ballots. without reaching homes or they can download them directly from the Internet; polling stations will be set up in the ballot box and given more time to do so; And the period before scrutiny for the arrival of votes is extended.
“Rights are not begged, rights are exercised,” declared the Presidency’s minister, Flix Bolaos, who observed that it “respects” the Reform Chamber and the country, as the Spaniards abroad “perfection”. in “Your Right to Vote”.
Both the minister and other spokesmen have highlighted a “very broad consensus” to end the “democratic anomaly” and a “dialogue to reach an agreement”. PSOE, PP, Vox, United We Can, Citizens or PNV, among others, support the change. Enters into force in the summer, when it passes through the Senate.
Key points of the new system
The most important thing about the reform is that it eliminates the need to request a vote to participate in an election. Instead, all residents living abroad, about two million registered in the Census of Absentee Resident Voters (CERA), will receive official documents at home.
Additionally, there is an option for you to download ballots electronically. All parties will be kept on file to maintain the secrecy of the vote, so that the individual can vote at a later date. This option allows you to extend the deadline for sending the document.
Thanks to this dual access to ballots, the rule aims to guarantee that all documents are with the voter on time. And thus counter one of the problems that existed before, that many of those who wanted to vote did not arrive on time. There is also more flexibility as it will be possible to send documents before the declaration of candidates and resolution of challenges.
Spaniards who wish to do so can use the ballot boxes that will be in embassies and consulates. The period for doing so has been extended from three to seven days.
Similarly, if the voter cannot attend, there remains the possibility of sending the vote by postal mail to the consular office concerned.
A relevant point is the extension of the deadline for counting votes cast abroad. There is a delay of three to five days.
Dangerous drop in participation
The figures for votes for Spaniards abroad highlight the failure of the 2011 reform, which imposed the requested vote as a measure to end alleged fraud. As stated in the explanatory memorandum of opinion of the initiative, in the 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2019 general elections, less than 10% of voters voted or requested a vote “as a result of the complexity of the process”. But the situation is that they could not even vote for everyone. Actual participation ranged between 4.73% and 6.8%.
In other words, it noted, “among 15% of voters who requested or begged to vote in the 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2019 elections ultimately did not exercise their right to vote, mainly because They had not received the electoral documents in time or because later incidents were recorded in sending their votes by postal mail to the consular offices”.
Prior to the 2011 reform, participation abroad ranged between 23% in 2000 and 31.88% in 2008. This figure is well above the current figure of between 4.73% and 6.8%.
Refusing to vote at the age of 16
Once electoral law reform opened up, some parties tried to open up to other debates of a more general nature, such as lowering the voting age to 16. However, nothing that had anything to do with the requested vote was introduced in this reform and successive amendments were rejected.
Apart from lowering the voting age to 16, the door has been closed for telematic voting (for security issue) or delegation of votes.
according to the norms of