In the midst of a hangover from the results of the municipal and regional elections, we have been taken by surprise by the announcement by the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, of the call for general elections. The BOE will reflect this call and it is expected to be held on Sunday, July 23, 2023, in the middle of the holiday period.
General Election on July 23
The chosen date can choke more than one voter. These, in case of not be present at their habitual residence on the date of the general elections, they can choose to vote by mail to exercise their right to vote.
Regarding the obligation to be part of a polling station as president or member (or if you have a substitute), the Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime (LOREG) includes the principles that regulate electoral acts. The draws of the members of the Electoral Tables are carried out between the twenty-fifth and twenty-ninth days after the call for elections, and the result must be notified to the interested parties by certified letter within three days. This way, you know when you would start having to fear receiving a summons.
Fortunately, there are some legal ways to communicate to the Electoral Board that you cannot participate in the polling station, for an excuse that is included in the article 27.3 of the LOREGon impediments and justified excuses for the positions of president and member of the polling stations.
The justified causes of “resignation” to be part of a polling station are the following:
Being over 65 years of age (65 years and older can annul their designation within 7 days of receiving the notification, without giving further explanations. After 70 they can never summon you). Have a disability Have been part of a polling station three times in the last ten years. Being in a situation of temporary incapacity for work. Being a pensioner with absolute permanent disability and severe disability. Being more than six months pregnant Having a surgical intervention planned Being in the direct care of children under eight years of age Having relevant family events planned that cannot be postponed or that cause economic damage.
Do you get rid if you are traveling?
It is in this last principle where we could try to excuse ourselves, although documentation would have to be presented. Having a trip is not registered as such among the reasons why you can renounce being part of a polling station. However, it can be counted as a planned relevant event and/or that causes economic damage.
If you have already booked your trip, you should not worry, since this reservation has been prior to the call. If you haven’t done it yet but you’ll be on vacation on July 23, you’d have to make a reservation before you could get the notification. We remind you that this should arrive three days after the draws for the members of the polling stations, which take place between the 25th and 29th day after the call for elections.
Likewise, you will have to carry out a procedure to request that your obligation be transferred to a substitute, for which you have a within 7 days of receiving the notification. “The designated President and Vocal of the polling stations have a period of seven days to claim before the Zone Electoral Board a justified and documented cause that prevents them from accepting the position. The Board resolves without further appeal within a period of five days and communicates, where appropriate, the substitution produced to the first substitute.
It is recommended that you present it in person to obtain an entry receipt and thus have proof that you have submitted the application in a timely manner. You can also submit it by certified mail with acknowledgment of receipt to have a Documentary proof of your submission.
The final decision will depend on the Zone Electoral Board, which is in charge of analyzing and resolving all the requests to resign from the polling station. Try to provide all possible evidence, including transport reservations (plane or train tickets), accommodation, excursions, tickets, etc.
Consequences of not attending
Be that as it may, in case you are not granted permission, it is convenient to be aware of the consequences of failing to comply with this obligation contained in the Law. Not attending the appointment as president or member of the polling station has consequences that can become quite serious. A possible punishment is a financial fine and even prison terms for the most serious cases. The Organic Law of the General Electoral Regime is clear in this regard: a prison sentence of three months to one year or a fine of six to 24 months will be received.
Regarding the economic amount of the sanction, it all depends on the number of days of fine that are awarded, being a normal amount for these cases between 15 and 20 euros of fine per day. Taking into account the minimum and maximum amounts established for these cases, the penalty can range from 360 up to 288,000 euros.