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Catalans overseas move to ensure their votes are counted

In the past election, in 2015, more than 3,000 ballots cast at the Spanish Consulate in Rome did not make it to the final counting

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15 December 2017 02:42 PM

by

ACN | Barcelona

As the race for the Catalan election tightens, every vote could be decisive—including those coming from overseas. This is why a network of 818 volunteers is working to control the number of votes arriving in around a hundred Spanish embassies and consulates all around the world, so as to then be able to check them against the total absentee ballots counted on December 21.

The initiative was created by the association ‘Catalans al món’ (Catalans throughout the world). Its president Sergi Marzábal said in an interview with the Catalan News Agency (ACN) that voters living overseas go through a process with “many dark spots” in order to make their votes count.

  • “From the moment when the vote enters the ballot box at the consulate until it makes it to the ballot box in Catalonia, we lose sight of these votes and nobody knows there they are”

    Sergi Merzábal · Catalans al món president

“I can’t know whether my vote will arrive or not,” said Marzábal. “From the moment when the vote enters the ballot box at the consulate until it makes it to the ballot box in Catalonia, we lose sight of these votes and nobody knows there they are.”

In the past Catalan election, in 2015, more than 3,000 votes cast at the Spanish Consulate in Rome reportedly did not make it to the final counting. In total, 21,771 Catalans living around the world requested to vote while overseas that year.

As polls suggest, the upcoming election is set for a record-breaking turnout: provisional figures show that the number of Catalans overseas who requested to vote rose to 38,435, a 60% increase from the last election.

The ‘Catalans al món’ volunteers will be present at the consulates during the five days that the absentee voting period lasts: although it originally lasted from December 17 to 19, it was later extended until the 21, following a petition from the pro-independence Together for Catalonia ticket.

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  • A person casting a vote in the past Catalan election, in 2015 (by ACN)

  • A person casting a vote in the past Catalan election, in 2015 (by ACN)